Climbing Huckleberry Hill - STAIRS COMPLETE!
It can be very challenging to bring materials and visitors safely to Cape Decision Lighthouse. In the calmest of weather a sturdy skiff launched from a larger boat can often land on the steep rocks surrounding the lighthouse. Most of the time this is not a possibility and all materials and volunteers must hike in on the 1 mile historic light keepers trail. This trail was constructed as an alternative access to the lighthouse from a leeward shore where materials and workers could reach land in non-ideal weather conditions. The one-mile trail was abandoned by the coast guard when the helicopter pad was constructed and the access problem solved.
When CDLS took over stewardship of Cape Decision Lighthouse our first priority was to re-build this trail so our volunteers could safely access the property. In 1997 a group of Americorps volunteers partnered with the Petersburg ranger district and CDLS and re-opened the one-mile trail. The very last stretch of the trail where hikers must descend the final steep slope to the lighthouse originally had a wooden staircase that enabled a safe descent. The staircase was built in the 1930s and was badly rotted and dangerous. The 1997 trail crew removed what was left of the rotten stairs. Unfortunately, this final steep section became extremely muddy and dangerous and volunteers are left clinging to ropes and sliding in the mud. Injuries are very likely to occur as most hikers are carrying heavy loads and lighthouse supplies. The safety of our students and volunteers is our highest priority.
We have been working on the rebuild of the Huckleberry hill stairs for a number of years. Many volunteers have hauled gravel and lumber and have been covered in mud on Huckleberry Hill. The new stairs were built similar to the old ones except for the use of more modern, rot –resistant materials. The stairs include 6 landings and four flights and ascend aprox 50 vertical feet.