For OnFocus – Starting this week, visitors to Pattison State Park in Douglas County will find all trails reopened, with seven new and improved boardwalks.
In 2018, Little Manitou and the East Beaver Trail at Pattison State Park were closed due to a severe flood. Damage included downed trees, deep gullies and some areas scoured down to the bedrock several feet below.
The new design for the trails includes sustainability measures to avoid future flood damage, including re-routing a section of Little Manitou away from the river. This new section bridges a tributary and will provide an opportunity for a future overlook above the Black River.
Other changes included larger culverts, grade reversals, buried drain tile and side grades to help prevent future washouts and damage. The total project cost was $750,000 and took two years to complete.
“The improvements will provide enjoyable trails to hike for all ages,” said Kevin Feind, Pattison Park superintendent. “The trail has a few steps but is largely rolling hills, exploring a variety of forest cover types. Most of the new sections are about 6 feet wide, providing plenty of space for social distancing.”
During the 2018 storms, some areas of the region received as much as 12 inches of rain. The flooding also washed out Highway 35 above the dam at Pattison State Park, which drained Interfalls Lake. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation made repairs to the dam, refilled the lake in 2019 and reopened the beach at the park.
For more information about Pattison State Park, visit the DNR website here.
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