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June 12th, 2023

Contact: Erika Lang at 715. 235.8850 or

Landmark Conservancy is pleased to announce an important milestone achievement for the long-term future of the Brownstone Trail in Bayfield County.  In partnership with Landmark Conservancy, Bayfield County has agreed to assume ownership of a parcel critical to the Brownstone Trail. This collaboration will facilitate the restoration of severe erosion of the trail along Lake Superior.  

The next phase of the project includes trail restoration and will officially kick off in July with the unveiling of a design concept. Landmark will lead both the design and restoration work. “Public ownership of the newly acquired property positions us well for state and federal grant opportunities,” said Advancement Director Kristin Thompson. “We are grateful for our partnership with Bayfield County that allows us to protect important landscapes while promoting public access.” 

Brownstone Trail Entrance
Entrance to the Brownstone Trail.

Mark Abeles-Allison, Bayfield County Administrator, stated that Bayfield County appreciates Landmark Conservancy’s role in ensuring future access to the Brownstone Trail. “Severe erosion has made this iconic Lake Superior walking trail impassable, and the work required to restore access is monumental,” he said. “Landmark’s willingness to partner with the community to raise funds and develop restoration plans is visionary. Its efforts are in line with Bayfield County’s outdoor recreation plan and goals. The completed project will complement the larger Bayfield trail system very dear to residents and visitors alike.”   

Kate Kitchell, who serves as Committee Chair of the Bayfield Area Trails group, commended Landmark for their progress on the project. “The Brownstone Trail has been one the most cherished trails in our Bayfield community for decades. As a centerpiece to the Bayfield Area Trails network, the Brownstone provides a unique opportunity for everyone to enjoy an easy stroll or bike ride along the lakeshore; and it serves as a non-motorized access route between the City of Bayfield and the Pikes Bay area,” said Kitchell. 

Slump Site on the Brownstone Trail
Slump site along the Brownstone Trail. 
Maki Site
Landmark Conservancy purchased property upslope from the trail slump site as part of a long-term restoration plan.

Restoring this site will be another key step toward achieving the Bayfield Area Trails’ vision for a trails network connecting the Bayfield Peninsula communities. 

Public input, permitting, design work, and soliciting contractor bids will occur this year. Simultaneously Landmark will seek grant funds to support restoration costs. Pending successful fundraising, earth work is slated to begin in June 2024. A community park and trailhead will be created at the top of the slope once restoration is complete.  

“As a nonprofit focused on conservation, the creation and maintenance of a public park is outside the scope of our mission,” said Thompson. “We appreciate that the County has embraced the vision for a public greenspace that will someday become a ‘gateway to Bayfield.’” 

Ongoing support from the community is needed!