During the excavation of the various tunnels required by the I-35 Construction Plan, a large amount of rock material was excavated. Nearby Canal Park was a handful of scrapyards, warehouses, and saloons. Landscape Architect Kent Worley saw potential in the area, and knew this rock fill had a role to play in the neighborhood. The excavated material placed along Canal Park's lakefront created a new beach as well as the initial site for Duluth's Lakewalk. The new trail created a place for recreation and access to the lake which previously hadn't existed.
The Lakewalk consists of a multi-modal recreation trail, with a boardwalk for walkers and an asphalt trail for biking and other types of recreation. Understanding the harsh nature of Lake Superior, the boardwalk is made out of Brazillian Ipe wood, one of the hardest woods available. The trail has a series of overlooks and historical information signs to keep users entertained and involved in the surrounding environment. The trail over the years has been extended and now runs all the way to the Lakeside neighborhood to the east, and to Bayfront Park to the west via the Baywalk.
The close proximity to Lake Superior has made the Lakewalk prone to damages by large storms, with several notable examples in recent years.
The trail remains one of the city's most popular destinations, with a recent study by the Duluth Metropolitan Interstate Council finding an average of 2,500 people using the trail each day.