Public access at Burntside will stay open until July 8

The Fourth of July on Burntside Lake just became a little easier to enjoy.
The Tower office of DNR Parks and Waterways announced Wednesday the Van Vac public access will now remain open until July 8.
A pre-construction meeting for the project was held last week and contractor Low Impact gave notice that work won’t start until July 8.
That’s a welcome relief for people trying to launch boats on Burntside Lake, which has limited public accesses.
The landing on Van Vac is the easiest to access and offers the most parking.
Other landings are at Burntside Lodge (parking on Hwy. 88), Wolf Lake Road (two small parking lots), Passi Road (very limited parking) and North Arm Road (limited parking).
DNR Parks and Trails area supervisor Joe Majerus said the project is expected to cost around $250,000 and will include a new parking lot near the road for overnight parking. There is also a new canoe ramp next to the dock that is meant to reduce congestion.
The shoulder up the hill will be improved/widened allowing more undesignated truck/trailer parking. And the new lot on the top of the hill will also add at least a few undesignated single vehicle spots.
During construction the Van Vac landing will be closed.
The improvements at Van Vac are going to help in the long run. The new parking area near the road will help move island and longer term users away from the coveted parking areas for day users.
Even the parking by the lake will be made deeper to allow for vehicles with trailers to straighten out and keep trailers aligned. There will be a brick wall put in and steps leading up to the two parking lots.
“The reality is for this summer the parking is going to be rough,” said Dekkers. “Even when Sandemar is there, to manage Wolf Lake Road’s access would be a bonus. On the extreme end we need parking this summer, absolutely.”
The Sandemar project includes: A non-motorized preparation area allowing paddlers to unload and launch without blocking ramp access; 15 vehicle parking spaces; 15 vehicle/trailer parking spaces; 2 ADA accessible parking spaces; More space in driving lanes, improving maneuverability and visibility; one portable restroom.