Starting on Saturday December 5th, volunteers began efforts to restore the view of Bayfield’s Historic Iron Bridge at the Gil Larsen Trailhead on Washington Ave. This phase of the work is now complete thanks to the help of 12 community volunteers who dedicated 60 hours of time cutting and clearing trees and brush.
This sets the stage for restoring the creek bottom with native species. The cut stumps will be carefully treated by mid-December with an herbicide. The first round of planting and continued invasive species control will occur in Spring/Summer of 2021.
Over the last four months, the City Parks and Recreation Committee, in coordination with the Tree Board and Landmark Conservancy, has led development of this Plan to Restore and Maintain the Viewshed in the long-term by planting low and slow-growing shrubs and trees that will “frame” the view corridor. Bay Area Environmental Consultants provided technical input on this plan as part of a contracted Erosion Control and Restoration Plan for the Big Ravine. Copies of these plans are also linked on the Bayfield Area Trails website News page.
For more information contact: Kate Kitchell email@example.com or Matt Carrier firstname.lastname@example.org.
With this connection, folks will be able to travel from the new parking area on Meyers-Olson Rd. to the top of the Second Street hill as well as along a loop via the new Pine Bluff Trail between the Sweeny Trailhead and north Second Street.
The Big Ravine Trails map is being updated and signs are being posted to show this section of trail as open for public access.
Chuck Finn knows how much this means to our community. “As Mary and I encounter folks out on the East Rim Trail and the Finn Loop, we hear sincere gratitude for the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Big Ravine. This access from Bob and Maria is a tremendous addition for all.”
As a condition of granting this access, Bob and Maria Fierek ask that all users greet one another with a smile and that we make sure to take good care of the land. WE CAN DO THAT!!
PLEASE NOTE: There is no parking at this trail access. Please park at the Sweeny Ave. Trailhead lot, just one block away.
Doug Olson, Mt. Ashwabay’s Operations Manager, applauds the help from special partners. “We could not have gotten this done without the donation of five days rental of an excavator from Northland Lawn and Sport. That is HUGE!”
It will be time to wax your skis before you know it!
If you travel Meyers-Olson Road north of the City of Bayfield, you may notice the new parking area about 1/3 of a mile from the Betzold Road intersection. This long-awaited improvement will make parking and access to the Big Ravine’s East Rim Trail (previously known as “The Old Snowmobile Trail”) much safer throughout the year. Many thanks to C&W Trucking and the Town of Bayfield for their great work!
Also, a project to address the very wet sections of the northern end of the East Rim Trail has been completed. If you’ve ever traveled this trail in the spring and early summer, you’ve realized that rubber boots and tick repellent were a necessity. To resolve these sections, the trail is being re-routed in two locations and the low wet areas are being filled in with rock and gravel. We have improved over a mile of walking trail now.
Chuck and Mary Finn are in the process of adding “The Finn Loop” onto their property off of the main trail, providing some more options for enjoying the woods on the Ravine’s east side. We’re especially grateful to Chuck for the many hours he has spent on his excavator building all of these new trail sections. Look for blue blazes that mark East Rim Trail and gold blazes on the Finn Loop.
Signs will be installed at the trailhead and at key spots along the trail. It’s important to note that bikes and ATVs are prohibited.
These improvements are made possible thanks to funding and support from the Town of Bayfield, the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, the Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau, Landmark Conservancy, and dozens of volunteers. Thanks to all!
If you’re interested in helping, please contact please contact email@example.com or sign up on the website at bayfieldareatrails.com.
These trails are among several that were professionally planned by Trails Anonymous under a contract with the City and funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program. Two more of these trails have yet to be built. The Pine Bluff Trail is slated for construction before winter settles in. Pine Bluff will link the Gil Larsen Trail in the Ravine bottom to the East Rim Trail, creating access all of the way up to the North Ravine Trailhead on Meyers-Olson Road. If grant funding comes through for 2021, the final link, Hemlock Heights Trail, would make a similar connection between the Gil Larsen Trail and the trail network northwest of the Bayfield school.
Kate Kitchell from the City of Bayfield Parks and Recreation Committee and Bayfield Area Trails Committee has been inspired by the generosity and spirit of all who pitched in. “It’s truly remarkable to see what we’ve been able to accomplish!” My heartfelt thanks to Sue Aiken, Katie Barningham, Adrian Bethel, Bill Bland, Ian Campbell, Matt Carrier, Abe Clark, Mike Eldred, Liz Fentress, Bob Feyen, Neil Howk, John Ipsen, Genevieve Johnson, Dave Judd, Mike Kinnee, Kate Kitchell, Gene Lemmenes, Chris Nybo, Anney Olson, John Olson, Mark Peterson, Sheree Peterson, Keith Ray, Janel Ryan, Erik Scott, Kris Wegerson, and Bob Wood. “You’re the best!”
Please let us know what you think or if you’re interested in joining in by clicking here or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you out on the trail!
“It’s pretty cool to see the community involvement—the blood, sweat and tears, all of it,” Krift said. “And the community-building around these trails. I didn’t have too many expectations but there are so many returnees getting into the swing of things; they come back and they already have the skills. The progress we’ve made is really cool.”
Volunteer Genevieve Johnson was working with a rogue hoe, a tool for digging up dirt and scraping the trail. She said the day was “a steamy one.” And then she summed up what’s made it all worthwhile: “We’re already getting feedback from locals and tourists hiking in from the trailhead; they’re excited to see what’s going on. They say, ‘Thank-you for your work.’”
The cultural and natural history around the Bayfield area is heavily intertwined; you can’t talk about one without the other.
Congratulations to volunteers with the Bayfield Area Trail Stewards (BATS)—18 of them!--who are working hard on improvements to the Gil Larsen Trail—also known as the Iron Bridge Trail—in Bayfield’s Big Ravine.
Check out the trail!