Gateway to Wilderness


In the spring of 2014 the 112 year old Wanakena Footbridge was destroyed by the very river it spans – which frozen, static and silent at one moment, and the next avalanching downriver like a freight train in the form of massive ice shards and picked-up forest debris lending no attention to the historic structure.

Over the next two and a half years Wanakena existed without its beloved icon. Pedestrian foot traffic seeking to cross the Oswegatchie River was limited to the steel deck car bridge just up river from the footbridge’s void. This included hikers navigating the Cranberry Lake 50 – a fifty mile hike circumnavigating Cranberry Lake - which when designed utilized the footbridge as a segment of the journey.

The footbridge has since been rebuilt and new maps printed depict the return of the Cranberry Lake 50 from the detour over the car bridge back to the swinging suspension crossing. 

In collaboration with The Five Ponds Partners - the creators of the CL50 – and the DEC, this ladder-pack was used in aid of relocating the circular blue “50” trail markers which are used to direct hikers along the trail. Photo and video documentation of the task/performance exist.
This project/performance was created in conjunction with the Gateway to Wilderness Project + Residency Program.