“There is no combination of stream and hillsides, woodland, waterfall and canyon in or near any other American city that is capable of development for beauty and utility comparing with that lying on both sides of Tischer Creek,” wrote landscape engineer A.U. Morrell of New York City. In 1908, Chester A. Congdon donated this 33.7 acres of land that is still known for its rugged beauty located in the heart of eastern Duluth.
As in other areas of Duluth, billion-year-old volcanic rock can be seen. Here in Congdon Park the volcanic rock is a red variety called rhyolite, in contrast to the more common, dark basalt seen elsewhere in the area. This rhyolite, which was erupted in a huge explosion, tends to break up naturally into small fragments, making it easy for the creek to erode out the gorge through which it flows. Upstream (from about Second Street upwards) the creek flows over the Endion Sill, which grades from red to black upstream. This sill formed as a thick layer of molten rock intruded underneath the rhyolite and solidified beneath the surface. It is more resistant to erosion and so produces some dramatic waterfalls
Cedar clings to the walls of the canyon, as do willows. Above the canyon are stands of both red and white pine, with carpets of thick mosses and ferns. Bridges constructed in 1930 take visitors past a view of a hanging waterfall, and other trails follow both sides of the river. Parking is best on the upper side of the park located just off St. Marie Street and Lakeview Drive.