Landmark Conservancy is pleased to announce the signing of a purchase agreement for the property adjacent to and upslope from the Brownstone Trail just south of Bayfield, Wisconsin. The purchase of the property is scheduled to close in late 2022, pending successful fundraising. The negotiation of the purchase agreement was made possible thanks to owners Dan and Mark Maki in coordination with Landmark Conservancy.

Erika Lang - Mark Maki - Dan Maki

Conservation Manager Erika Lang, pictured with Mark and Dan Maki.

The Brownstone Trail is a treasured outlet for Bayfield residents and the many summer visitors who use the trail to enjoy nature and the lake views from the brownstone cliffs. A slump in the trail occurred following strong storms in 2017-2018. Landmark Conservancy has continued to work diligently with the Bayfield Community to make the Brownstone Trail accessible once again without the need for the current detour onto Highway 13.

Following a successful fundraising campaign to purchase the Maki property, Landmark will be able to work with coastal experts and local contractors to restore the slope and relocate the trail to higher, more stable ground. The multi-year project of trail restoration will occur simultaneously to a transition by the Makis to another site. The Bayfield community, including visitors, will be invited to engage in both the design concept and layout of the upslope property and Brownstone Trail access points through surveys and listening sessions.

“Our commitment to restoring the Brownstone has never wavered, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we worked through a complex negotiation. This land purchase will be critical as we work to stabilize the slope and improve water drainage. Over the next year we will be focused on improving a temporary trail and planning for restoration of the Brownstone. Based on our early conversations we are delighted at the community interest. The restored lands will add to this amazing community that honors and celebrates its diverse recreational offerings.”

Lindsey Ketchel

Landmark Conservancy’s Executive Director

The Brownstone Trail was established in 1996 through a partnership with private landowners who granted public access in the form of trail easements held by Landmark Conservancy (previously Bayfield Regional Conservancy).

Active fundraising for the Brownstone Trail project will begin in June for funds to cover the property purchase and improvements. Interested community members and prospective donors are invited to visit Landmark’s website to view a timeline of the Brownstone Trail’s evolution and learn more about upcoming activities, events, and ways to contribute.