November 24, 2016: Enger Tower, Duluth, Minnesota


Enger Tower is an 80-foot (24 m), five story observation tower built in 1939 atop Enger Hill in Duluth Minnesota.  The tower was constructed with local blue stone as a tribute to businessman and philanthropist, Bert Enger (1864-1931), a Norwegian immigrant who had found success in Duluth as a furniture seller.  At the time of his death, Enger donated a sizable portion of his estate to the city of Duluth. This included the land known as Enger Hill which includes Enger Park and Enger Golf Course.  The tower was first dedicated by Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Märtha of Norway on June 15, 1939.  Seventy two years later, Enger Tower and Enger Park were renovated.  Thus, the royal couple of Norway (King Harald V, son of Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha) and his wife Queen Sonja, came to re-dedicate the tower on October 17, 2011,  As you enter Enger Tower, you will see a plaque which commemorates these events.


Standing at an elevation of 531 feet (162 m) above Lake Superior, Enger Tower provides spectacular panoramic views of Duluth Minnesota and Superior Wisconsin, aka the Twin Ports.  Each of the tower's levels has a lookout that is accessible by stairs only.


The hike and climb to the top of Enger Tower is well worth the effort for the beautiful panoramic view.  We will begin by looking northeast, and we see the entertainment district of Canal Park, the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge which marks the entrance to Duluth Harbor Basin, the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, the Great Lakes Aquarium, and Bayfront Festival Park.


We now turn clockwise and look east, where in the foreground we see Enger Hill, and in the background we see the skinny sandspit of Park Point (the world's longest freshwater sandbar), Rice's Point and its many grain elevators and heavy rail traffic, and the Highway 53 bridge which takes you from Rice's Point in Duluth Minnesota over the Duluth Harbor Basin / St. Louis Bay to Superior, Wisconsin.


We now turn clockwise again and look southeast, where we see the city of Duluth, iron ore docks, the St. Louis River, The Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge (Highway 2) which also connects Duluth Minnesota to Superior Wisconsin.


Again, we turn clockwise and look southwest, where we see Duluth Minnesota and part of Enger Golf Course.


Turning clockwise again and looking west, we see more of Enger Golf Course.


Again we turn clockwise and look northwest, where we see more of Enger Golf Course and Enger Hill.


Finally, we make our last turn clockwise and look north, where we see Enger Hill in the foreground, and in the background we see the city of Duluth, the north shore of Lake Superior, Canal park with the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge, and Duluth Harbor Basin.


After taking in this breathtaking panoramic view, you walk down the stairs of Enger Tower and begin your hike back to the parking lot.  You walk along a wide well maintained paved trail which takes you through beautiful Enger Park, but I'll save that story and photos for my next picture of the day which will appear on Thursday, December 8, 2016  right here at Travelgumbo.   I hope you come back and check it out.



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Hi Garry

I never thought of counting the number of steps to the top of Enger Tower for I was too preoccupied with the beautiful scenery; However, thanks to your question I did some internet investigating and discovered that apparently there are 105 steps you must walk to get to the top of Enger Tower (therefore 210 steps in total to get up and down the tower).

You really don't need to be an Olympian to get to the top of Enger Tower.  Although the number of steps sounds like a lot, and the fact you are walking uphill to get to the tower, the path to the tower has a gradual incline (not steep), and is wide and paved.  Once you start climbing the stairs of the tower you can take a rest break on every floor which offers open window viewing areas.  If you are in reasonable health, have fairly good mobility, and take your time to stop and smell the flowers along the way and enjoy the views of the tower, the trek is a very doable and enjoyable one.  As you can see from the above stairwell picture, young and old accomplish and enjoy Enger Tower. 



Thanks Ottoman. Thanks for the reassurance. I did have a fear of a thousand tourists behind me - pushing to ascend the stairway - and all at the gallop.

The intervals are all well spaced and welcomed.

That's why older people carry a camera ! 

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