Flat Rock Beach: Deserted at the Moment
Have you ever wished you had a Fortress of Solitude, like Superman did? That is, have you ever wanted a big scenic location where you can just be alone with your thoughts?
Flat Rock Beach is not quite like the Fortress of Solitude. There are other people there and there isn't some computer simulation of a long-dead alien mentor.
Still, compared to someplace like Brighton Beach (Duluth's most famous rock beach), this hidden beach is pretty desolate. As I sit, at this place and write about it, I am the only one here. There are other times when I have been the only one here.
If you are looking up "Flat Rock Beach" on a Duluth map you won't find it. I made the name up, since the area is currently unmarked on any maps or signs. It isn't all flat but there is a lot of flat rock that is good for laying on, soaking up the sun, and listening to the waves splash.
Good Rock to Lay on
More people don’t come to Flat Rock because it isn’t marked on a map, is kind of hidden by trees, and you have to get out of your car to see it.
You don’t have to get out of your car long to reach it. You can park by the entrance to the Lakewalk behind the London Road Perkins. Then, you go down that concrete ramp to the bottom. After this just walk northeast (water on your right) up the Lakewalk. Soon you will see a few little trails on the right going into the woods. Pick the one that looks the widest. These aren’t official trails. So, the quality varies.
After the little woods you will reach this wide open “rock prairie”. The trees totally block out the view of the Lakewalk and the road above. But, you can see all the way to most of Park Point. You have to be standing on a higher point to see the Lift Bridge.
When I called it Flat Rock Beach that wasn’t to imply that it was all uniform. By these massive outcrops, the shore is a jagged shape with inlets to squeeze incoming waves. Between the rocks, are wide valleys you can sit in, hidden from others.
Jagged Rocks and Rock Valleys
If you look close in this last photo you can see that I put my blue chair in about the only shady spot on Flat Rock. It was a hidden spot within a hidden spot. It was a secret spot on of the best kept secrets in Duluth. Here I typed part of this blog until my battery went dead. From my "rock office" I could still see much.
View from "Rock Office"
This picture makes it look like I am in a cave. If you look at the previous photo you can see it is more like a walled courtyard than a cave. I did find something more like a cave once.
A couple of years back I was at Flat Rock Beach, when it was windy and colder. I found a little opening in the rock facing the lake. It wasn't quite a cave but maybe a rock hollow or a very shallow cave. It was enough to block the wind and shielded me from some light rain as well.
I tried to find it again, while writing this but could not. It looks like the water level is so high that the little cave is covered by the water.
Here are some photos from that windy day. Sorry, I didn't have that great of a camera at the time.
Flat Rock During Windy Weather
As I said, Flat Rock Beach is not all flat and has lots of rocks with strange angles. There is a section that remind me of Picasso's paintings. It looks like a cubic rock landscape.
Cubic Rock Landscape
Going northeast, Flat Rock becomes rougher and eventually you reach a regular small rock beach, sometimes. Right now, this other hidden beach is totally hidden by the high water levels. When present, this narrow strand of coastline goes beneath London Road mansions, on top of a cliff. You may or may not be able to live in a house like that or in a location like this. But, you can enjoy walking on what is a fairly exclusive beach.
Beach Under Houses: The beach is currently underwater.