Since 2011, Conservation Corps field crews have been working to improve accessibility to one of the North Shore’s most popular sites, Shovel Point at Tettegouche State Park in Silver Bay, Minn. Crews working there this summer are nearing completion on 1/8 miles of boardwalk and steps that lead to the site, which hosts nesting Peregrine Falcons and offers spectacular views of Lake Superior. It’s also a popular site for rock climbing directly over the lake. Work on the first half of the project involved rebuilding boardwalk and stairs to increase their width from three to six feet, and adding railings and other safety features. Crews are now building new boardwalk and stairs on a stretch that was previously gravel path. The work is challenging because the terrain on the final approach to the point is rockier, but crews have made great progress this summer. If funding is approved for work later this summer, crews should be able to complete the project in time for the opening of a brand new visitor’s center, scheduled for Labor Day weekend.
Crews regularly encounter hikers on the trail, who often comment on how nice it looks, and regular users notice the progress. “When’s the escalator going in?” is a repeat comment, along with “How’d the lumber get up here?” Visitors are amazed to learn that crew members haul it up and are impressed with their great attitudes and work ethic.