Also known as Minnesota Point, is a long, narrow sand spit that extends out from the Canal Park, the tourist recreation-oriented district of the city of Duluth. The Point separates Lake Superior from Superior Bay and the Duluth Harbor Basin.
Lake Avenue South / Minnesota Avenue serves as a main route in the community.
Near the end of Minnesota Point is a small airport, Sky Harbor Airport. Beyond the airport, approximately 3/4 mile, is an old growth red and white pine forest. Within the forest is a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources designated area, the Minnesota Point Pine Forest Scientific and Natural Area, which encompasses 18 acres.
Minnesota Point is approximately 7 miles in length, and when included with adjacent Wisconsin Point, which extends 3 miles out from the city of Superior, Wisconsin, is reported to be the largest freshwater sand spit in the world at a total of 10 miles.
Due to the short and easy portage across Minnesota Point, the Ojibwa name for the city of Duluth is Onigamiinsing (“at the little portage”).
In the 1850s, the Saint Louis River was established as the border between neighboring states Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the two ports Duluth (Minnesota) and Superior (Wisconsin) became fierce economic competitors for shipping traffic off of Lake Superior. As commercial traffic on Lake Superior increased with the completion of the Sault St Marie canal connecting Lake Superior to Lake Michigan, Congress appropriated the funds to build a lighthouse on the narrow opening on Minnesota Point, known as Superior Entry. The lighthouse built between 1855 and 1858 was the first to use RH Barret’s Fifth Order Fresnal lamp, and Barret became the station’s first lighthouse keeper, succeeded in 1861 by Samuel Stewart Palmer. This lighthouse was affectionately known by the name, “The Old Standby”.
Since the digging of an artificial canal in 1870–1871, Minnesota Point is technically an island, connected to the rest of the city of Duluth since 1905 by the Aerial Lift Bridge.