When Eagle Tower is reconstructed, it will include a canopy walk through the surrounding area to the top platform on Eagle Bluff. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released their decision in a press release, citing a majority of more than 650 public comments choosing the canopy walk design among three alternatives.
“Most people who commented on concepts for a new Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park would like to see the tower rebuilt with an accessible ramp connecting the existing parking area and trails to the tower viewing deck through a tree canopy trail rather than from an elevator or internal switchback ramp,” the release stated.
The design calls for a maximum height of 65-feet but Ben Bergey, Wisconsin State Parks System Director, said the department will explore the possibility of extending the height to 75-feet, the height of the deconstructed tower.
Bergey said the next steps will be to select an architectural and engineering firm to develop the design based on the selected concept. Depending on fundraising, plan approval and bidding, Bergey said he hopes the new tower will be under construction in approximately a year.
The estimated cost is $2.1 million. The Friends of Peninsula State Park have raised approximately $650,000 of the group’s $750,000 goal for the new tower. The state budget included up to $750,000 in matching funds for the tower. Any additional fundraising needed beyond the Friends of Peninsula State Park goal will be coordinated with the Friends group and the DNR.