Lois Albrecht’s affinity for gardening has led her to being a self-made steward of the Brownstone Trail. During the summer months, she can be found with pruners in hand along the trail bearing the mission, “If it whacks me in the face, or would whack someone on a bike, it’s gone.”  

As a resident of Bayfield since 1974, she has skied, hiked, and biked the Brownstone Trail, even when the trail was nothing more than train tracks in the 1970’s. With her proximity to the trail and passion for pruning, it was a natural fit for her to volunteer her skills. 

Lois walks the trail at least once a week in the summer, pruning where needed, and is a friendly face for visitors and residents alike. “There’s a sense of ownership as you’re taking care of the trail,” Lois stated. “I feel like I can answer questions about the detour. The trail is used in the summer a lot, when I’m out there pruning. People know that I’m connected to the trail, and they can ask me questions and usually I know the answer. It’s nice to be a resource,” she described 

Lois Albrecht on the Brownstone Trail
Lois Albrecht on the Brownstone Trail
View from Brownstone Trail Lake and Ice
View of Lake Superior from the Brownstone Trail in February
Brownstone Trail Path with Snow and Sunshine
Snow along the Brownstone Trail in February

The restoration along the Brownstone is apparent to any user of the trail, and Lois is helpful in sharing with optimism the progress Landmark Conservancy and community partners have made. In reference to the recent detour Lois described, “The workaround was a great step forward so folks don’t have to walk around the highway on the curve.” She went on to say, “The whole slump didn’t happen in a day, it happened over time. Just as it will for the process of the trail’s restoration.” 

Hikers like Lois make the Brownstone Trail a treasured community resource for residents and visitors to access nature steps away from downtown Bayfield. Lois shared, “The beginning of the Brownstone Trail is two blocks away from my house. Just two blocks and I’m in the woods which I love. The silence and the views of Lake Superior are perfect.”