Pattison State Park Trails Busy During First Weekend Open After 2018 Flood Damage

Visitors from as far as Utah came to check out the waterfalls along the newly renovated trails.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Hikers, families and nature lovers wasted no time getting back to Pattison State Park over the weekend as it reopened after two years, after flood waters tore through the trails on Father’s Day 2018.

“Very, very excited not only to be on the trails but to be outside, to be around people,” said David Zander, a Minneapolis native who visits Pattison often.

Boots were seen hiking the trails at the park again, and the people in those boots couldn’t be happier.

“”It’s really nice to get out again and I’ve noticed that the state parks are great,” Zander said, “they’re popular because it’s something that you can do and still social distance.”

“So I’m happier than a clam to be here, and I’m happier than a clam that they’ve opened up again,” he said.

To fix some of the flood-damaged trails, crews added new wooden boardwalks at raised elevations. Trails were also reinforced with two layers of aggregate and fabric to help withstand future downpours and floods.

And as rain showers battered them Sunday, they were put to the test.

“Yeah it’s great, they’re in great shape and it’s easy to walk around and we didn’t get wet,” said Darrell Davis.

Davis was in town from Utah, to attend a wedding in Bayfield. Despite the less than ideal weather, he couldn’t miss stopping by on his way back to the airport.

“The falls are awesome. It was totally worth it,” he said. “I mean it’s not a very long hike but it sure is spectacular falls.”

For many others, too, the newly opened trails were pathways to new wonders: “Waterfalls,” said Jessica and Hailey Herrewig enthusiastically, above the roar of Big and Little Manitou Falls.

“We get out but we don’t go far and there’s no, there’s not a lot of waterfalls where we live so it’s kind of cool to just see everything,” young Hailey said.

The two from Loganville can now cross the views at Pattison State Park off their list. “We’re kind of touring Wisconsin, hitting as many state and national parks as we can,” said Jessica. “We did Bayfield and Ashland a couple of years ago so, seeing what’s out there.”

Visitors like Zander say now more than ever, the calm canopy of trees, the watchful eyes of deer, and the majestic rumble of waterfalls is just what they need.

“To kind of get out a little bit I think it means a lot and the trails are a good example of good things,” he said.

Some minor parts of West Beaver Trail will still be closed. The park hopes to have them open in early September.

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