Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-07-17 09:53:02 –
By BARRY ADAMS
Madison, Wisconsin (AP) —Wooden observatories scattered throughout Wisconsin provide unobstructed and beautiful views and are the setting for more than a few family photos.
Climb the tower at Lapham Peak near Delafield to see southern Kettle Moraine State Forest, Lake Nagawicka, and part of Interstate Highway 94. The 60-foot Parnell Tower near Plymouth offers glacier views of the northern part of Kettle Moraine State Forest Park. And the Ice Age Trail.
High Cliff State Park near Sherwood in Calumet County has a tower overlooking Lake Winnebago, and Copper Falls State Park in central Ashland County has a tower that flaunts part of the Chekwamegon Nicolet National Forest.
Even the highest points in the state, such as Tim’s Hill and Live Mountain, have towers. Blue Mound State Park has two towers. One offers views of Madison and the other offers views of Dodgeville and the Wisconsin River Valley.
The Eagle Tower is the newest in the state and offers beautiful views of Horseshoe Island, the village of Ephraim, and, on sunny days, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, 14 miles away. And while those views are still photographed and incorporated, the tower itself occupies storage space for digital cameras and cell phones for adventurers in Door County Peninsula State Park.
No country can match the Eagle Tower. According to the Wisconsin Journal, it turns out to be a huge attraction for an estimated 2 million people who are expected to visit a park near Fish Creek this year.
Yes, it’s 60 feet high and has 100 stairs. But what sets this $ 3.5 million tower apart (besides the price tag) is that it’s designed for easy access, with an 850-foot turn from the parking lot through the canopy to the top of the tower. There is a length ramp deck 253 feet above Green Bay Bay.
“That’s just such a symbolic feature,” said Eric Hyde, the park’s director since last fall. “It’s amazing to see how many people are there and how many are taking pictures of the tower itself. People are just in awe.”
The Eagle Bluff Tower opened this spring, but earlier this month, a structure made of assembled Minamimatsu and Sugi boards was officially dedicated.
Participants included members of Friends of Peninsula State Park, who donated $ 750,000 to the group’s largest project since its formation in 2007. Some donated just a few pennies, but one donated $ 160,000 and the Family Foundation donated $ 100,000. There were multiple donations between $ 40,000 and $ 50,000, while many other donations were $ 1,000 each.
Friends use donation boxes to send mail to local real estate owners, solicit foundations, and continue to sell Eagle Tower merchandise such as coffee mugs, pins, canes, and eagle figurines.
“We are absolutely excited about what it has been like. It’s a beautiful walk,” said Chris Horisek, president of Friends Group. “A person with a disability came to us and said,” Thank you. I sat at the bottom and looked up for the rest of my life. “And high places like that because it’s a way to gradually rise. Some people who are afraid of phobia. “
The observatory has been part of many of the park’s attributes for decades. Founded in 1909, the park is the second oldest state park after Interstate State Park, founded in 1900. Devil’s Lake State Park was born in 1911.
The first Eagle Tower, built in 1914 for $ 1,061 from trees harvested from the park, was built for use as a fire lookout tower. There was also a telephone line to help report the fire quickly. A second similar tower stood in Svensbluff until 1947, according to a historical description on the Friends website.
The first Eagle Tower was demolished in 1932 and replaced when a 76-foot tower with 108 steps was built. Safety improvements, including the tilting of the top deck rails, were made in 1972, after which the hardware and deck were replaced. However, wear forced authorities to close the tower in May 2015. The tower was removed a year later and a new tower was built. Currently, fault-free access is provided.
“The Eagle Tower congratulates the community and makes outdoor recreation opportunities available to everyone, regardless of your abilities,” said Diamblesaw, Deputy Chief of the Fish and Wildlife Parks Division of the State Department of Natural Resources. Stated.
However, the tower is a park with 460 highly popular campgrounds, a summer theater, an 18-hole golf course, beaches, bike trails, and the historic Eagle Bluff Lighthouse built in 1868. It’s just the latest in.
Friends Group is the primary source of funding for the $ 360,000 Nature Center Building, which is scheduled to open later this year. Work on the adjacent 100-seat amphitheater will begin after Labor Day and will be ready for the 2022 camp season. Friends is also in the middle of a $ 80,000 fundraising campaign to help exchange playset at Nicorette Beach.
According to Hyde, the cost of this project could exceed $ 125,000.
In addition, the state spent about $ 15 million last year on other improvements to the park. These projects aren’t as flashy as the new towers, but they’re essential to making your summer camping trip more comfortable and less odorous.
New shower and toilet facilities at South Nicolet Campground were built along with other toilet upgrades at South Nicolet Campground and Webborg Point Campground. A new sanitation station has been built for RV owners to dispose of trash, a new toilet facility has been built at the Northern Sky Theater, and 400 campgrounds have been repaved. In addition, there are new grills and fire rings, 23 campgrounds have been upgraded to electrical services, and there are new drinking fountains (actually called bubblers) throughout the campgrounds.
Next spring, about 6 miles of park roads will be repaved. It’s all because park use increased by 30% last year to 1.5 million visitors, up to the point where it could be the highest ever this year.