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High Falls Gorge rises from storm damage to reopen in Wilmington

High Falls Gorge Owner Kathryn Reiss and Northwoods Engineer Joe Garso stand on the glass platform over the Au Sable River after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 1.

High Falls Gorge Owner Kathryn Reiss and Northwoods Engineer Joe Garso stand on the glass platform over the Au Sable River after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 1. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— The damages to the Gorge have exceeded $200,000, and financing has been privately funded through bank loans and personal donations by supporters of the Gorge.

Reiss said she has received checks with heartfelt letters of support from people who have visited the Gorge or grew up in the region, expressing how passionate they felt about keeping the Gorge open for more visitors.

“It means a lot to see how much others love this place like we do,” Reiss said.

Though the opening of the new walkway is a monumental victory for the Gorge, there is much left to do. Reiss estimates there is still about $120,000 in repairs needing to be completed.

“Right now we have temporary supports holding the main bridge to the footpath,” Reiss said. “Our main lodge is in need of serious work in the basement walls and bathrooms. We are used to helping out the community any way we can offering our lodge for school dances and fundraisers. This is the first time we are the ones who need the help.”

For more information on how to help High Falls Gorge or give a donation, visit online at www.HighFallsGorge.com or visit the Gorge in person on state Route 86 in the town of Wilmington.

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