New bridges, cabin renovations complete on Windfall Lake Trail

Contact(s): Paul Robbins Jr.


JUNEAU, Alaska – Visitors can now cross two new, safe steel bridges on the 3.2-mile-long trail leading to the recently renovated Windfall Lake Cabin, the highest use cabin on the Tongass National Forest. The first bridge was completed in September 2019.  The second bridge was finished and opened for use on August 31, 2020. And the cabin’s new deck and foundation were completed September 21, 2020.  

The Windfall Lake trail bridges were originally built more than 40 years ago. Inspections of the old bridges found that soil support was removed from the far braces of the lower bridge, and the near braces on the upper bridge had partially collapsed. The new, steel truss stringer bridges are longer and sit higher above the river. They are also wider to allow for improved trail access, including access for trail maintenance equipment.  

Funding for the two bridges was covered under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which was signed into law in 2015. The total project cost for the bridges was $790,000 with the balance of $140,000 coming from Forest Service trails funding. The Forest Service projected the economic benefits from replacing the two failing trail bridges included 44 new jobs and more than $2 million worth of indirect economic benefits.

The cabin maintenance was generously funded through the Rasmuson Foundation in Anchorage via a donation to the Alaska Forest Fund of the National Forest Foundation. The Forest Service provided a 50% cash match.

“The new foundation is more robust than the old one, the new deck meets current building codes, and the new handrail provides more of an open view of the lake,” said Mike Dilger, Recreation Resources Planner for the Juneau Ranger District.

This popular Juneau trail provide access to the Windfall Lake Cabin, as well as a unique recreational sockeye fishery at the meeting of the Windfall Lake outlet stream and the Herbert River. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game allows fishing for sockeye salmon in the Windfall Lake outlet stream on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the month of June.  

For more information, call 907-789-6228 or email mike.dilger@usda.gov.

For interviews and information to be used for publication, contact the Tongass Public Affairs Officer at 907-228-6201 or paul.robbins@usda.gov.

 

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/tongass/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD809400