As part of our commitment to helping the National Park Service make the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore accessible for people of all abilities, the Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore announces a major initiative to improve access to Meyers Beach.
Thousands of visitors use the facilities at Meyers Beach as a starting point to paddle to the mainland sea caves in summer and to hike to them in the winter, when the ice is safe.
Getting from the parking lot to the beach below now requires navigating a long wooden staircase. This can be a challenge for people with disabilities. The goal of this accessibility project is to make it easier for people with mobility challenges and for kayakers hauling their boats to and from the water.
Friends received a Wisconsin Coastal Management Program grant with help from partner Wilderness Inquiry, to prepare a feasibility study with three alternative designs to meet Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards (ABAAS).
AIM Consulting Engineers from Superior, WI prepared the preliminary conceptual designs. Included in the design options are a wheelchair-accessible sloped walkway, additional access to the beach, and an improved staircase with a watercraft flume/handrail.
Additional considerations in the study are the added challenges of the eroding embankment, changing water levels and climate, maintaining the natural aesthetics of the site, protecting the shoreline from further erosion, and long and short term maintenance needs.
The study was funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office for Coastal Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act, Grant #NA17NOS4190035.
Friends is working on this important project in partnership with the National Park Service and other stakeholders. We thank our partners and donors for enabling us to get the project started. As the official non-profit, fundraising partner of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Friends will be launching a significant fundraising effort in the months ahead. I’d like to help.