A New Mudbrook Wetland Bridge And Boardwalk Provide Spectacular Views (And Dry Feet)

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Photo: Libby Stupak

The newly constructed Mudbrook bridge midway between Plummer Lake Road and Deer Fly Trail offers a spectacular view of the wetland in the Mudbrook floodplain, and provides a solid and dry passage through the area. It replaces a bridge and rickety boardwalk conglomeration that has traversed the combination of wetland and beaver dams and which was well beyond “end of life”. The main bridge on the old route was a Wisconsin Conservation Corps project built 30-40 years ago. The connecting boardwalk was constructed and reconstructed many times, and was highlighted by sections of boardwalk built on top of older sections as the land sunk or the beavers got more active. The new route in a new location includes boardwalk built 36 inches above the current water level. The total structure is 192 feet long, with a 24-foot bridge span and 168 feet of connecting boardwalk. There’s a handrail on one side, kick plate on the other. A technique used for the first time locally involves resting the legs on steel “pans” resting on solid ground in the bottom of the wetland. 

Although some handrail remains temporary, and not all of the trail is up to usual standards, the route is safe, dry, and ready to welcome hikers. The full route between Plummer Lake Road and Deer Fly Trail is just over 2 miles and is waiting for your inspection. Better yet, plan to join our June 16 Trail Improvement Day (see next item) and help smooth some rough edges. 

We will be removing the remaining portions of the old boardwalk and the old structure itself during the coming weeks.

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Thanks to the 47 volunteers from near and far who assembled to make the event happen, several even staying an extra day in order to be able to open the new trail. An astounding 19 local chapter volunteers included Tony Schuster, Pat McKearn, Nancy Schuster, Steve White, Rosemary Kilbridge, Libby Stupak, Diane Harp, Jerry Sazama, Mary Skalecki, Bruce France, Norm Card, Mike Hilger, Dave Rasmussen, JoAnn Parks, Jean Dressel, Carrol Waldenberger, Gary Janssen, Amy Hallstrom, Jim Brenner, Richard Smith, and additional cookie bakers. Several of our local volunteers worked an additional two or three days prior to the event to transport lumber and equipment over part of the over-1-mile distance from road to worksite along primitive forest trails.