Remembering The Old Playfront Castle In Duluth & Where To Find Ones Like It
Remember the old wooden castle at Playfront park in Duluth? A few similar ones still exist today if you're willing to do a little road trip for it.
Some of my best childhood memories took place at this park. No amount of splinters could stop me from having the time of my life. I remember begging my parents countless times to bring me to Playfront. Even in high school my friends and I would play capture the flag at the park.
The wooden castle was built at Bayfront back in 1989 as a community project by the Junior League of Duluth.
According to their website, The JLD is:
An organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.
It was Duluth's largest playground and I remember it always being packed. The JLD then helped rebuild the park after concerns of it needing it to be replaced after 15 years of it being in use. They worked with community partners on the EVOS design structure in 2010 to create what you see today. According to the Duluth News Tribune, the new playground was originally proposed to be built near the Lakewalk, next to the Canal Park Lodge.
As for the wooden castle, I'm sure most was thrown away after it was demolished, however, parts of it are now used as a garden wall at the Lafayette Community Center on Park Point (3016 Minnesota Avenue).
Even though the Playfront castle no longer exists in Duluth, there are a few that might be worth a drive to relive some sweet childhood memories. There's also a Facebook group called I Remember The Wooden Park with some old pics of the park.
Just over a 5-hour drive from Duluth will bring you to Ludington Park in Escanaba, Michigan. Not only does a wonderful wooden castle park exist here, but there's also a public beach, lighthouse, tennis courts, sand volleyball court, picnic pavilion, and more all along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Cushing Memorial Park
While they aren't the same exact parks, they are pretty similar. So if you're looking to relive some childhood memories or make new memories with your kids, these two playgrounds might be worth the road trip.