Recap: Mobile Skills Crew Wildcard Event on National Trails Day, 6/1/13
What better way to celebrate National Trails Day, June 1, than helping improve the Ice Age National Scenic Trail? Twenty-five volunteers agreed as they contributed 562 hours of service during the Mobile Skills Crew “wildcard” event in Waushara County.
In just two and a half days, volunteers helped build about 2,000 feet of new trail, signed and performed maintenance on a white-blaze loop trail, pulled garlic mustard, installed trail signage posts and refreshed blazes on existing trail for about three miles. Click here to see a map of the Trail in the area.
From the south end of the Chaffee Creek Segment to the north end of the Deerfield Segment, there are now approximately 30 miles of trail in Waushara County with only eight miles of connecting road walks. The addition of the DCA in the middle of the county will make Waushara County a great destination for multi-day hikers.
Help Spruce Up the Ice Age Trail in the Blue Hills, June 13-16
The Blue Hills of northwestern Wisconsin are the scoured remnants of a mountain range older than the Appalachians and most of the Rockies. The focus of this event is giving the Ice Age Trail through the Blue Hills a “shoe shine”...sprucing up existing Trail segments to ensure that hikers here have a first-rate experience.
What We're Doing
Over the full span of the Ice Age Trail through the Blue Hills, we’ll be opening up the Trail corridor with mowing, pruning and chainsaw work; upgrading signage to National Scenic Trail standards; improving a primitive, walk-to campsite on remote North Lake; repairing broken fence stiles; and potentially solving a few Trail anatomy problems with simple reroutes.
To help us plan this event with your needs in mind, please visit our online registration page and register by Monday, June 10th. To get more information about the other events coming up this season, check the 2013 calendar.
Awe-Inspiring Plover River Segment Nearing Completion
The longest MSC project on record took place on one of the most picturesque canvases in the state: the Plover River area of Marathon County. Volunteers were surrounded by the yellows, whites and pinks of untold wildflowers mingled with the shades of green of new sprouts.
All told, 149 volunteers contributed 3830 hours. These amazing volunteers:
- Completed two boardwalks – including accessible passing zones and viewing area – totaling over 1200 feet;
- Crafted more than 5000 feet of tread through tough, boulder-strewn terrain;
- Completed rock and tread work at the boulder train and terminal moraine;
- Crafted dozens of trail plumbing features; and
- Installed draft trail signage for the entire 2.7-mile project area.
While not finished, the Plover River Segment is many steps closer to completion. Stay tuned because we will be back to finish the work and officially open this epic forest walk for public use.
Check Out Our New Thousand-Miler Tribute Doc!
If you're looking for some inspiration to get out there on the Ice Age Trail, start by taking a look at our newest Thousand-Miler Tribute Doc. In it, our latest class of Thousand-Milers (those who have hiked every mile of the Ice Age Trail route) tells their stirring stories about what it's like to devote months and years to completing the Trail.
You can find a full list of our 77 Thousand-Milers and read previous editions of our Tribute Docs on our Thousand-Milers Through the Years page.
First Ice Age Trail University of 2013 Complete
Volunteers the weekend of April 26-28 participated in Chainsaw Safety, Camp Chef, and First Aid & CPR trainings in Chippewa County.
The first Ice Age Trail University of 2013 was based at Camp Nawakwa and led by Ice Age Trail Alliance staff.
The second session of IAT-U, featuring Gibraltar Rock, will take place near Lodi July 11-14. Learn more and register here.
Mammoth Tales Now Available Online
Get a glimpse of the new issue here.
New Report Available: Ice Age Trail Usership
The Ice Age Trail draws an estimated 1,252,685 visitors every year, according to findings compiled by the Ice Age Trail Alliance, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, and other partners.
"This is some of the biggest news the IATA has ever received," said Mike Wollmer, Executive Director.
You may remember taking the Trail User Survey last fall (if you did, thank you!). That was part of the research used to determine trail usership. Along with your input, researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater interviewed users out on the Trail and polled businesses near the Trail. In addition to user numbers, the research determined that Trail users contribute approximately $113 million annually to statewide and local economies.
The findings of the research are now available to the public. Download the report.
Read more about the economic impact of land trusts like the Ice Age Trail Alliance in a blog post at the Gathering Waters Conservancy Blog for Wisconsin Land Trusts.
Register for 2013 Mobile Skills Crew Events
The IATA's Mobile Skills Crew Program is a great way to get involved with the Ice Age Trail. You can build trail, greet volunteers, prepare food, and more. Events happen all over the state of Wisconsin from April through October.
Season at a Glance (PDF)