Stower Seven Lakes Trail

Elroy-Sparta Trail

Chippewa River State Trail

Gandy Dancer Trail

Peninsula State Park observation tower to close immediately due to safety concerns

Door County Tower Closed to Public UseFISH CREEK, Wis. - The observation tower located in Peninsula State Park, known as Eagle Tower, will be closed immediately because of public safety concerns related to structural deficiency issues according to Kelli Bruns, park superintendent.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources decided to close the tower to the public after receiving an inspection report on May 20, 2015 from a company hired to conduct a detailed inspection of the structure earlier this spring. The report recommended the tower be closed to all public use because of the poor structural condition of wooden beams supporting three observation platforms and a staircase as a result of decay. The inspection involved removing and analyzing wooden cores from the tower support beams.
Eagle Tower was originally built as a forest fire observation platform in 1914 using logs cut in the park and without the use of machinery. In the 1930s, the tower was rebuilt by the Civilian Conservation Corps. In the late 1970s and again in the mid-90s, portions of the structure were refurbished. The 75-foot tall tower offers extraordinary views of Green Bay and even the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It stands 225 feet above the water.
The 3,776-acre Peninsula State Park is located in the Door County Peninsula between the villages of Fish Creek and Ephraim. Considered Wisconsin's most complete park, Peninsula offers 468 campsites, three group camps, a summer theater, an 18-hole golf course, sand beach, bike trails, a lighthouse and 8 miles of Door County shoreline. For more information about the park, search the Department of Natural Resources website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "Peninsula."
Further study of the inspection report will determine the future of the structure.
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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Northeast Wisconsin

2984 Shawano Avenue, Green Bay WI 54313
Phone:  920-662-5122    TDD:  711
dnr.wi.gov www.wisconsin.gov
DATE:   May 20, 2015
CONTACT: Kelli Bruns, Peninsula State Park superintendent, 920 868-3258
SUBJECT: Peninsula State Park observation tower to close immediately due to safety concerns
http://dnr.wi.gov/news/releases/article/?id=3614

State Recreational Areas Affect Your Pocket Book- Mississippi River Corridor*

dnr.wi.gov topic parks documents wisc_st_parks econ_report_2013_final_web.pdfWisconsin's state parks, outdoor recreation areas, forests and trails serve as important drivers of local economic vitality, according to a recent report that estimates that total spending by Wisconsin state park properties visitors is more than $1 billion a year. (1) In recent years, the park system recorded an average level of 14 million visitor-days per year. (Photo source: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/documents/wisc_st_parks-econ_report_2013_final_web.pdf)
The Mississippi River Corridor Region is located along the west edge of Wisconsin from its middle to the southern border, and encompasses St. Croix, Dunn, Pierce, Pepin, Buffalo, Trempealeau, La Crosse, Vernon, Crawford, and Grant Counties. This region contains roughly 6,700 square miles and 385 lakes. The Mississippi River running along the region’s western border is the primary recreational resource in the region.  Although most public lands within the region are fishery or wildlife areas, there are also a number of state parks. The Great River Road, a thoroughfare that follows the Mississippi for 250 miles, connects over 50 local parks and beaches. Urban influences also impact this region as visitors from the nearby Twin Cities metropolitan area make use of the region’s recreational resources. Suburban development associated with the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area in St. Croix and Pierce Counties continues to impact recreation supply and demand across the region.
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Your Wisconsin State Budget vote May 7.

Here is link to State Park Budget info.

 http://legis.wisconsin.gov/…/Docume…/Budget%20Papers/461.pdf

Here is link to contact your legislator

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/

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The Mississippi River Corridor Region has thirteen properties in the WSPS. State Trails in this region include the Buffalo River, Chippewa River, Great River, and LaCrosse River, and Red Cedar. Hoffman Hills is the single State Recreation Area in the region. The region’s State Parks include Kinnickinnic, Merrick, Nelson Dewey, Perrot, Wildcat Mountain, Willow River, and Wyalusing River.
The Wisconsin Park System accounts for over 1,200  jobs generating over $84 million in wages that are centered among the top employment sectors of the regional economy that include state and local government, food services and drinking places, private hospitals, and wholesale trade businesses.
Wyalusing State Park
In 2010, the  Wisconsin State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan listed the yearly total visitation to Wyalusing State Park at over 207,000 visitors.  Nearly 63,000 of the visitors were from the area, and the remainder were non-local visitors.  In 2013, annual non-local expenditures was $13,530,146.   Local Expenditures was $3,253,368.  In 2013, the local economy was helped by $16,783,514.  Does Wyalusing State Park, help the local economy? You bet!

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*(1)"Economic Impacts of the Wisconsin State Park System: Connections to Gateway Communities" [PDF] is available by searching the DNR website for "parks," and then clicking on the link for "Reports and more" under the "Documents & publications" tab.

Focus of Friends–Ahnapee State Trail

1  Friends of the Ahnapee State TrailThe Friends of the Ahnapee  was created exclusively for the promotion, development and maintenance of the Ahnapee State Trail. The Friends partner with Kewaunee and Door County and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in developing and maintaining the trail. Friends of the Ahnapee is a grass roots group dedicated to raise the consciousness of the local people and potential visitors to the quality aspects of the trail. This is accomplished through publications, special events, and interpretive and community programs including “hands-on” projects. They monitor trail use and condition, plan improvements, conduct events, undertake maintenance and solicit funds to support the trail. All their work is volunteer.
The Ahnapee State Trail is a 48-mile, county-operated trail winds south along the beautiful Ahnapee and Kewaunee rivers to Algoma, Casco, Luxemburg and Kewaunee, passing by a mixture of evergreen glades, farmland, prairies and wooded areas teeming with wildlife and native wildflowers.  The 8 to 10 foot wide trail has a firm surface. TrailIt is used by people who travel its length in multiple ways. In the summer, some people walk, some jog or run, some ride bicycles, and some ride horses or drive horse drawn wagons, buggies, or carts.
In the winter snowmobiles and cross-country skiers share the trail. During the winter the trail is used especially by snowmobilers – though cross-country skiing is also permitted – and interconnects with 95 miles of snowmobile trails in Kewaunee County and 275 miles of trail in Door County. A “rails to trails” conversion has removed the tracks. .  (link to maps)
One of the goals of the Friends of the Ahnapee Trail is to promote safety and courtesy among all who share the trail.
Whether through monetary donations, volunteer hours, or donations of materials, the work that has been done to build, promote, and maintain this trail has brought about many positive changes over the past years. The Friends work continues, as they work to raise funds to build a trailhead building in the village of Luxemburg. This facility will welcome trail users in every season and will become a gathering place for group activities on the trail.
The major fundraiser is the Ahnapee Summer Solstice 50. It is a 50 mile relay race on the Ahnapee Trail, and will attract runners from all over the Midwest. The run starts in Sturgeon Bay, goes through Algoma and Casco Junction to Bruemmer Park near Kewaunee, and then back to the Luxemburg Fairgrounds for the post run party.
Every year, the Friends group asks local businesses to help sponsor this event and all proceeds from the event are put directly back into the trail in the form of maintenance and improvement. For this relay there will be 9 exchange points.
The Friends of Ahnapee have an up-to-date Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AhnapeeTrail) and website http://www.ahnapeestatetrail.com/.
The Ahnapee State Trail Friends encourages others to become members. (Link to membership) Members are notified about all events, projects and proposals pertaining to the Ahnapee State Trail, as well as volunteering opportunities.
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Source: Friends of Ahnapee State trail, Wisconsin DNR

Wisconsin State Park System provides key economic, natural resource benefits

By Central Office February 25, 2014

dnr.wi.gov topic parks documents wisc_st_parks econ_report_2013_final_web.pdfMADISON -- Wisconsin's state parks, outdoor recreation areas, forests and trails serve as important drivers of local economic vitality, according to a recent report that estimates that total spending by Wisconsin state park properties visitors is more than $1 billion a year. The report also found that the State Park System conserves important environmental resource areas that are public legacies.
"Our state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas are truly the jewels of our state's natural resources, and this report shows they are also jewels for our economy," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp. "This study shows how important our state park properties are to the local economies of communities across the state that are gateways to these properties."
"Economic Impacts of the Wisconsin State Park System: Connections to Gateway Communities" co-produced by the Wisconsin DNR Bureau of Parks and Recreation and University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension, looks at 69 outdoor recreation sites operated by the Wisconsin parks program.
Key findings of the report included:
  • The Wisconsin State Park System offers a wide variety of activities, such as hiking, camping, boating, skiing, bird watching, and all-terrain vehicle use that attracts different types of visitors.
  • In recent years, the park system recorded an average level of 14 million visitor-days per year.
  • Visitors include day-trippers and overnight guests who come from many different locations. Understanding where visitors come from is important in identifying sources of new money flowing into gateway communities near state park properties.
  • On average, individual state forest visitors spent almost $41 per day, state park visitors over $50 a day, while state trails visitors spent over $90 per day.
  • The vast majority of spending -- nearly 70 percent -- comes from visitors to state parks, which account for 45 of the 69 properties studied.
  • Non-local visitor spending is estimated to exceed $580 million, providing a significant economic stimulus to local private sector businesses.
  • When combined, the local economic impacts of private sector stimulus in the State Park System regions accounted for over 8,200 jobs and $350 million in income for Wisconsin residents.
Jeff Prey, senior planner for Wisconsin state parks and co-author of the report, said the researchers wanted to learn how state-owned properties differed in the recreational opportunities they offered; how different types of visitors spent their money in communities located near the sites; and how visitors contributed to local job creation and income generation.
"We found the economic impacts of the Wisconsin State Park System vary across the state and depend on property and visitor activity type, visitation levels, and local economic conditions," Prey said.
"Each property and its near-by communities offered unique resources and opportunities for people to enjoy," said co-author Dave Marcouiller, chair of the UW-Madison Department of Urban and Regional Planning.
Impacts from the Park System sites, located around the state, were categorized into eight regions based on the Wisconsin State Comprehensive Outdoor recreation Plan: the Great Northwest; the Northwoods; the Upper Lake Michigan Coastal; the Lake Winnebago Waters; the Western Sands; the Mississippi River Corridor; the Southern Gateways; and the Lower Lake Michigan Coastal.
"Total operational funding for our state park system is less than $25 million a year," Secretary Stepp noted, "so Wisconsin is getting a significant return on its investment from the State Parks System."
"But even more important than their economic value, from the cliffs of Interstate Park overlooking the St. Croix River to the Lake Michigan dunes at Whitefish Dunes State Park, and from the glacial geology of Kettle Moraine State Forest to the breathtaking 165 foot waterfall at Pattison State Park, these properties protect and conserve some of our most valuable natural resource treasures."
"Economic Impacts of the Wisconsin State Park System: Connections to Gateway Communities" [PDF] is available by searching the DNR website for "parks," and then clicking on the link for "Reports and more" under the "Documents & publications" tab.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Prey, DNR, 608-266-2182, David Marcouiller, UW, 608-262-2998, or Paul Holtan, state parks public affairs manager, 608-267-2775

State Parks, Forests, Trails, and Recreational Areas and Money*

What is the economic impact of the state park, forest, trail, or recreational area near you? Visitors to the Wisconsin State Park System include both day—trippers and overnight guests; their place of origin varies widely but is important in understanding and isolating new money flowing into the gateway communities surrounding these properties.
  • On average, individual trip spending of visitors to these area ranged from almost $41 per day (State Forests) to over $90 per day (State Trails).
  • During the recent past, the entire park system experienced an average annual visitation level of roughly 14 million visitor-days.
  • Visitors to the Wisconsin State Park System have annual expenditure patterns that, in total, sum to more than 1 billion dollars (2013 USD) per year.
  • The vast majority of this Wisconsin State Park System trip spending (almost 70 percent) is done by visitors to State Parks.
  • Non—local visitors who are not resident in the region containing these state properties infuse private sector stimulus that drives local economic impacts; in sum, the annual spending of these non—locals is estimated to exceed 580 million dollars.
  • The economic impacts of the Wisconsin State Park System vary across the state and depend on property and visitor activity type, visitation levels, and local economic conditions. When combined, the local economic impacts of this private sector stimulus within these regions accounted for over 8,200 jobs and S350 million in income for residents of the state of Wisconsin.
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Wisconsin State Park Funding

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 The properties managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Parks and Recreation serve as important drivers of local economic vitality within gateway communities across the state. Further, these properties are managed to protect and conserve important environmental resources of the state and serve as key Wisconsin legacy areas.
Outdoor recreation on public lands serves as a key motivator  for tourism.. State parks,  forests, recreation areas, and trails provide the linkage to these  underlying local assets. Lakes, shorelines, forests, topography,  unique geology, historic and cultural heritage, and bucolic rural  landscapes are driving inputs to the production of the tourism  product. A large portion of the overall demand for travel and  the tourism product is motivated by natural amenities accessed  by recreational sites, often publicly owned and managed. (1)
Watch for future articles for Financial impact of Wisconsin State Recreational Area.
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*(1)Source: Economic Impacts of the Wisconsin State Park System: Connections to Gateway Communities, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, November, 2013, Report # PR-487-2013