Building Puncheon Boardwalks at Sawdust Hole

EcoCorps Project Portfolio


Brethren, Manistee County


2019, 2020


  • National Forest Foundation
  • National Park Foundation
  • The Minger Family Endowment (of the Manistee County Community Foundation)


Popular natural areas in Manistee County are more accessible now thanks to the hard work of SEEDS EcoCorps!

EcoCorps crew members constructed a new puncheon and repaired badly rotting stairs at the Sawdust Hole site. They also reconstructed the fish slide at Suicide Hill.

Sawdust Hole is a local river access that provides several opportunities for outdoor recreation and wildlife viewing. Upon entering the access site one is greeted by well built primitive camping sites which include a picnic table and firepit. Following down the freshly renovated stairs into the forest gives way to a field and a new short puncheon. 

During the walk to the river there is the opportunity to see a variety of plants and wildlife of field and forest variety. The high abundance of milkweed leads to a wide range of butterflies and moths frequenting the area.

The restoration of steps and puncheon aid in safety and beautification efforts. By working to maintain a pleasant experience it encourages use of these lands by the public and exploration of local nature settings. Stairs in disrepair may cause hikers and backpackers that pass through the area to use the hillside and blaze a path. This would be due to the desire to avoid potentially dangerous footing. When a hiker goes off trail and begins using the side it may encourage others to do so causing damage to the hillside and promote erosion.

Watch a video about the project here.