Calling All Creatives! IATA Photo Contest

Ice Age National Scenic Trail Jerry Lake Segment Taylor County Chippewa Moraine

A glimpse of boardwalk along the Jerry Lake Segment of the Chippewa Moraine in Taylor County.
Photo credit: D. Caliebe

Have you ever, while hiking along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, found yourself standing in awe, exhaling a huge sigh, your heart filled, and knowing there were simply no words for the beauty you were witness to?

Perhaps, in the next moment, you whipped out your phone, or dug around in your day pack for a camera, sincerely hoping the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words” was true and you could adequately capture the way the sun slants golden across the field; the way the trillium spreads across the forest floor, a delicate white carpet fit for a fairy queen. Perhaps you sought to hold on to the expression of sheer happiness on your hiking partner’s face and his or her wind-tousled hair.

Maybe, you too, have felt the truth of Ansel Adams’ statement, “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

For you, your love affair with life is reflected in the photographs you take while immersed in nature. If you are the one with camera in hand on a hike, then we would love to partner with you. Continue reading

Team Building: Hard Hats Not Hard Heads

Ice Age National Scenic Trail Mobile Skills Crew Leadership Training

Emerging leaders from the Spring 2016 Crew Leadership Skills class.
Photo credit: D. Caliebe

Did you know a trail, as it winds through the woods or across a grassy field, has an “anatomy”?

The “body parts” of a trail include aspects like a corridor, the bench or tread, drainage features, structures, anchors, edges, and gateways, just to name a few.

This glossary of terms, along with the why and how of sustainable trail design, were the nuanced details of trail building learned by the most recent participants of the Ice Age Trail Alliance Crew Leadership and Skills training. Continue reading

Kids Fight Invasive Species!

Hartland School of Community Learning Hartland Saunters Marsh Clean up 2016

This is what happiness looks like: sunshine, fresh air, muscles put to good use, and the satisfaction of a job well done!
Photo credit: P. Witkowski

The boundless energy of kids.

We all wish we had a bit more of it ourselves.

Perhaps you’ve even wished you could harness it.

What if you could focus all that energy and unleash it like a super power, in service of a better, brighter world?

Well, the visionaries of Village of Hartland and the Hartland School of Community Learning did just that through a collaborative service event on Friday, May 6th to clean up a section of the Hartland Marsh. Continue reading

Feeding Farmers

The Ice Age Trail staffs a food tent at the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days

Hiking at the edge of a pasture.
Photo credit: R. Roberts, IAT volunteer

Guess what milking parlors and sand manure separators; demonstrations of alfalfa mowing and conditioning; and rows and rows of skid steer loaders, balers, windrowers, and enormous tractors have to do with the Ice Age National Scenic Trail?

A mammoth-sized opportunity, through collaboration with Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, that’s what! It’s our chance to feed the farmers who traditionally are the ones in the position to feed us. Continue reading

Chillin’ On The Trail: A “Walk” of Art

Ice Age Trail Trail Community Designation Party

“A Trail of Glass” – an Ice Age Trail themed fused glass piece featured at the Lake Country Fine Arts School and Gallery

“Art is a harmony parallel with nature.”

~ Paul Cezanne, French artist and Post-Impressionist painter

For those lucky souls who live in an Ice Age Trail Community, adventure is often mere steps away as the Ice Age National Scenic Trail passes through town, perhaps, only blocks from their front door.

Gorgeous, natural beauty is easily accessible.  The Trail takes those who love to hike, walk, or stroll to some of the best glacial features in the world.  This 1,000-mile footpath follows the contours created by the last colossal glacier when it retreated some 12,000 years ago.

The Hartland Segment is notable for its lovely marshland, boardwalks, and a scenic view along the Bark River. It also highlights three commemorative sites of famous conservationists, John Muir, John Wesley Powell, and Aldo Leopold.

This weekend, the Village of Hartland is celebrating their close tie to the Trail and their official designation as an Ice Age Trail Community with an Art Walk featuring Ice Age Trail themed art. By fusing together the beauty of art and nature, community leaders of Hartland have taken to heart the words of Vincent Van Gogh, “Keep your love of nature for that is the true way to understand art more and more.”

Make an evening of it this Friday, May 13th. From 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. you may stroll through downtown Hartland, visit various establishments to grab a bite to eat, and view exquisite artwork by local budding artists, which celebrates the Trail. Continue reading

Honor Your Mother

Photo credit: J. Wildermuth, IAT volunteer

Photo credit: J. Wildermuth, IAT volunteer

Mother’s Day is Sunday. Honor Mother Earth. Honor Mother Nature.

Honor your ever-lovin’ mama who brought you into this world.

Just like your mother, Mother Nature has the power to soothe and comfort, to nurture your soul. She just may be a reserve of enduring, quiet strength. She might also get all whipped up in a thunderous fury. Celebrate that glorious, mercurial wonder that is motherhood with a day immersed in nature.

There are some simply stunning opportunities to move your body, still your mind, and have a quality conversation with your mother along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, a unique footpath which winds its way through Wisconsin. Continue reading

No Sense of Direction?

Ice Age National Scenic Trail Mammoth Tracks App

Do you lack a reliable sense of direction? 

It can be a seriously annoying trait when you’re driving, trying to get somewhere on time. It can induce a panicky feeling when you are out in the woods and there’s only a few hours of daylight left to locate a camp site and pitch your tent.

If you can relate to the cartoon above, then hopefully, you and Siri, are good friends by now and she’s helped you navigate, turn-by-turn, to your various destinations.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance has you covered while you are out and about on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail with our new app, Mammoth Tracks. Continue reading

Twilight Trail Run: Headlamp Hustle

Headlamp Hustle Fontana Sports

If your idea of a good time is a twilight trail run with a headlamp, then we have the race for you!

Fontana Sports Headlamp Hustle

Not your average trail race, the Headlamp Hustle will take place on Friday, May 20th. Runners line for a 7:30 p.m. start and the race features 5K and 10K distances over beautiful and challenging terrain. The post-race celebration with music, a bonfire, food and Lake Louie beer is well worth the effort. Continue reading

A Fresh New Season of Trail Building Begins

The Ice Age Trail Mobile Skills Crew

Photo credit, Dave Caliebe: Women busy getting the job done!

As Jack Frost fades out of view, the warmer temperatures and budding wildflowers unmistakably signal that winters rest is over – the “Stones and Ripples” trailbuilding season is upon us!

The first full-scale Mobile Skills Crew event of the year takes place in the always friendly and ever challenging terrain of Rib Lake. Thanks to special funding received from Michelob ULTRA’s Superior Trails Contest we’ll call Taylor County home twice this season. The punch list is long; please join us and help move us one step closer to reestablishing new and greatly improved section of the trail near Rib Lake. Continue reading

Thank You

The Alliance’s Annual Conference and Membership Meeting was a success on many fronts. Guided hikes at the Plover River, Underdown and Dells of the Eau Claire segments, despite being blanketed in a late spring snow, provided the opportunity to recharge and enjoy a saunter with Trail friends from far and wide.

The Conference also featured new opportunities including daily raffles, a live auction and the final act of the Duff Bucket Challenge. The combined generosity of donors and attendees was overwhelming.

We would like to thank our generous sponsors and Trail supporters:

REI        FAV High Res Fontana Logo in Green            CWO-Logo---for-Dark-background

JHenrySons_Logo_K                             ICF logo_2015_blue on white               wawanissee logo           

ALF logo

We also want to thank Dean Dversdall and Bob Lange for their donations.

These gifts and collective energy generated at the Annual Conference make hikes and experiences on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail a reality, forming stories that shape generations. Thank you to our donors, sponsors and attendees for making these experiences. Don’t take it from us, though…let members, hikers and friends of the Trail tell their story. Enjoy our first installment of Storytellers:

The songs “Happy” and “St. Louis” used with permission by Widespread Panic.