Sugar Loaf Bluff Plan

Sugar Loaf Bluff Plan

Winona, MN

Standing nearly 85 feet in height, Sugar Loaf Bluff is the most distinguishing landmark for the City of Winona and a symbol of the City’s historic quarry operations. Despite its popular usage, the attraction lacked a formal entrance and signage for sightseers. To accommodate locals and visitors alike, Winona’s Parks & Recreation Department hired ISG to develop an action plan outlining sustainable, safety-focused improvements, as well as educational and wayfinding signage that will preserve the site for future generations.

Much of the project concentrated on resolving the absence of a designated parking area, entrance, or trail access. To visit Sugar Loaf Bluff, visitors and hikers would access an informal trial via a staircase dedicated for access to a City pump house building, taking a path that at times was heavily eroded and washed away. To prepare a trail and signage plan for Sugar Loaf Bluff, ISG met with City staff at critical points throughout planning and design to review preliminary ideas and gather feedback. Several site visits were also conducted to examine current conditions, trail alignments, adjoining land uses and potential conflicts, and identify opportunities for improvements.

ISG prepared a comprehensive document outlining findings and summarizing a list of recommended improvements to help develop parking, access, trail elements, and educational possibilities while reducing overall human impact on the natural landscape. One of the primary suggestions included the development of a trail to the north of Sugar Loaf Bluff, as opposed to the informal southern trail. These recommendations were substantiated by a list of grant funding and volunteer opportunities to help the City meet the estimated costs of improvement options.

Equipped with a tangible plan of action, the City of Winona’s City Council has supported an estimated $260,000 project to construct the new trail on the north side of Sugar Loaf Bluff, increasing safety for visitors and preserving the environment for generations to come.

  • Key Elements
    • Community meetings
    • Wayfinding signage
    • Cost estimation
    • Environmental preservation
  • Measureable Design Expertise
    • 85 feet in height
    • 20 space overflow parking


Sports and Recreation

  • Cherokee Aquatic Center

  • Clarion Aquatic Center

  • East Leach Park Skateboard Park

  • Fallenstein Field – The Miracle League of North Mankato

  • Faribault High School Fielitz Fitness Center

  • Faribault High School Pool

  • Faribault Ice Arena

  • Faribault Soccer Complex

  • Farmington Synthetic Field

  • Forest City Athletic Facilities

  • Franklin Rogers Park

  • Kasson-Mantorville Field

  • Mankato Community Fields

  • Mankato Family YMCA

  • Marshall Regional Track and Field Complex

  • Minnesota State University, Mankato – Athletic Facility Master Plan

  • Minnesota State University, Mankato – Game Room

  • Minnesota State University, Mankato – Recreation & Athletic Field

  • Plainview-Elgin-Millville (PEM) School District

  • Riverfront Park

  • Storm Lake Trail