If your travels bring you to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore this month, stop by the park’s Meyer Beach trailhead. If it’s a Saturday, chances are good that you might find a Friends of the Apostle Islands board member ready and eager to meet you at this popular spot.
We’re talking to hikers of the Lakeshore Trail, paddlers launching their kayaks for the sea caves, outfitters and guides, and National Park Service rangers about our organization’s projects and our Access for All campaign.
On summertime Saturdays, Meyers Beach is likely the busiest place in the park, because it’s the starting point for those who want to explore the mainland sea caves from the water or see them from above on the hiking trail.
Outfitters often line up their kayaks and do orientation for their guests on the lawn on the bluff before heading down the stairs to the lake.
Meyers Beach is also the site of our biggest project to date – replacing those stairs with an accessible ramp aimed at making it easier for people of all mobilities to get themselves and their kayaks from the bluff top to the beach and back.
Friends is working to raise $325,000 to fund half of the project. The National Park Service is working on securing matching money from a variety of sources.
Friends board member Mark Peterson says paddlers on their way to explore the mainland sea caves learn first-hand what it’s like to haul their boats up and down the existing wooden stairs and how special it is to be able to kayak from the beach to the caves. He says, “our goal is to make paddlers and hikers aware of the project and hopefully to gain their support. The ramp will benefit everyone who wants to get from the top of the bluff to the beach.”