DULUTH, Minn. (WCCO) – The people of Duluth are enjoying some national recognition.  Readers of Outside Magazine voted online and declared Duluth the best town in the nation.

It does offer plenty of ways to get people off the couch and out of the house, from hiking and biking to kayaking and climbing.

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And many people get started at a young age.

Steph Love and her husband, Blake Cazier, take groups of mostly young people on outdoor adventures through all four seasons with their nonprofit, Positive Energy Outdoors.

This week, they began their latest summer day camp with kids ages 4 to 9, which includes swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, horseback riding and rock climbing.

“When you have places like this in your backyard, it’s exciting to be able to take kids as young as four out,” Love said. “And have them be successful on a climb – even their first time outside.”

Their beginner’s climb is right in the city, with views of Lake Superior. It’s a 30-foot urban crag known as the Whoopee Wall.

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“If you make it to the top you should definitely say something to celebrate,” Cazier said. “Like, whoopee!”

Four nearby state parks, Interstate, Tettegouche, Blue Mounds and Temperance River, offer climbing opportunities as well.

“On the North Shore of Lake Superior we have some incredible climbing,” Love said. “There’s nothing quite like rappelling over Lake Superior at Shovel Point or at Palisade Head.”

It’s a sport that challenges both body and mind, as you work to solve a puzzle.

“When you’re climbing you’re looking for places you can put your feet, you’re looking for places for your hands,” Love said. “It’s a lot of footwork. So you’re really using your feet, working on your footwork, trusting your toes.”

Love and Cazier are seeing more interest in rock climbing lately, and they think it’s partly because of all the indoor climbing walls. People enjoy that challenge and want to try the real thing.

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