Photo shows trees hanging perilously over the lake.

After years of family “camp” fires and fun, our client’s shoreline retreat was destroyed by ice push and erosion. Erosion had undercut beautiful maple trees and tipped them into the lake, while ice pushed boulder “steps” up under the bank and lifted flagstones on the lakeward side of a patio completely out of place.

Stones formerly used as informal steps to the water and loose logs tumbling down the bank.

With the informal stone steps into the lake undermined and the patio broken, the only access to the lake was off the dock. This confined access along the 120 feet of shoreline to just ONE spot!

Photo shows where ice has pushed the bank up under the patio's flagstones leaving them on roughly a 70 degree angle.


How did we fix this one??

Photo shows four men standing on the shoreline with erosion control installation in progress.

To install protective stone rip-rap on the shoreline, the NBN crew would need to make many trips with our Gator and wheelbarrows. First, we installed plywood over the patio stones to protect them. Of course, the existing boulder seating had to be set aside to create the travel path.

The design of the new biotechnical erosion control rip-rap included restoring the stepping stones down to the water and adding an access ramp. A shoreline buffer garden featuring deep-rooted, native shoreline plants (the biological part of biotechnical) will also help stabilize the lakeshore while also adding beauty and a subtle sense of privacy.

Photo of flagstone patio being reset like a giant puzzle.

With the shoreline protected, we turned to putting the patio puzzle back together. We re-set the boulder seats and slabs. This stone was one of the steps that had been pushed into the bank. The stone legs underneath brought the stone up to a comfortable seat height.

Photo shows a slab or ledge stone being lowers onto two stones which will serve to raise it to a comfortable height for sitting.

Photo of the finished patio with the access steeping stones and ramp in the foreground.

It was satisfying to see the restored patio and shoreline come together. The access ramp of smaller stones set at a gentle slope will deflect future push-ice events, freeing the family to enjoy their lake-side patio and waterfront for decades to come.