The nine-day gun deer hunting season (November 20 – 28) spans the Thanksgiving holiday, a time when friends and family gather. It’s natural to want to introduce your loved ones to the Ice Age Trail, yet safe hiking options are limited. Keeping this in mind, we have 16 hikes to share with you where deer hunting is not allowed. Most of these options take place in or near Ice Age Trail Communities and are a perfect blend of natural surroundings and urban amenities.
Self-Guided Hikes: Explore Our Trail Communities!
(Listed west to east)
St. Croix Falls Segment (9 miles)
City of Lodi Segment (1.8 miles)
This hike starts, or ends, at the 150-foot-long footbridge spanning a ravine between Lodi’s middle and high schools. Based on a 16th century Chinese Rainbow Bridge, this structure is sure to amaze. The Trail through the City is a mix of dirt path and paved sidewalk. Enjoy the quaint downtown of this proud Trail Community along the way.
Valley View Segment (1.8 miles)
Situated on the terminal moraine, this segment features some of the finest examples of prairie and oak savannah restoration. If Black Friday is a clear day, hikers will be able to see Blue Mounds to the west.
Verona Segment (4.9 miles excluding Prairie Moraine Park)
With about 200 acres of restored native prairie, the Verona Segment features open views of the surrounding landscape. There are numerous kiosks explaining the Ice Age Trail and Upper Sugar River Valley.
Trail Alert: Beginning November 2020, the IAT will be closed from the Military Ridge State Trail by the Little League Complex to Whalen Rd. due to a sewer reconstruction project. A detour will be in effect through Spring 2022.
Cross Plains Segment (2.8 miles)
Located along Black Earth Creek in a valley between tall bluffs, this segment represents the boundary between the Driftless Area to the south and west and glaciated lands to the east. This hike can make for a nice loop through prairie, oak savannah and the Village of Cross Plains. For those of you who might be tempted to combine this hike with a tour of the Table Bluff Segment, please know that segment is closed for hunting.
Janesville Segment (10.4 miles)
The southern gateway to the Ice Age Trail, and one of the largest communities found on the route. Along the way, hikers may enjoy numerous parks and educational opportunities. A portion of the hike will take you along the Rock River where lovely views of the river have been opened up during restoration work by the Rock County Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance and partnering Boy Scout troops.
Devil’s Staircase Segment (1.7 miles)
Connecting with the Janesville Segment, Devil’s Staircase features one of the more unique hikes in the state. For a good portion of this stretch, hikers parallel the Rock River and may witness the impressive work done by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
Lapham Peak Segment (7.6 miles)
This segment of the Ice Age Trail connects to Delafield and makes for a longer Black Friday hike. Spanning 1,000 acres, Lapham Peak has numerous hiking paths to follow. Hunting is prohibited in Lapham Peak, however, wearing blaze orange is a good idea this time of year.
Delafield Segment (2.8 miles)
Hartland Segment (6.8 miles)
This stretch follows the Bark River through downtown Hartland before heading south into the Hartland Marsh. Enjoy the perks of extensive restoration efforts in the Marsh before heading downtown for a bite to eat. Several establishments in this proud Trail Community have the Ice Age Trail logo on display. Be sure to let them know you’ve been out for a hike, it helps businesses appreciate the economic impact Trail enthusiasts have on their local economy.
Slinger Segment (1.5 miles)
West Bend Segment (6.7 miles)
This urban hike strolls through impressive green-spaces at the edge of West Bend. Tromp across boardwalk spanning a water-filled kettle/wetland. Follow the Trail as it meanders alongside picturesque Silver Creek and hugs the ridge of a moraine, dipping between hills on its way to CTH-D.
City of Manitowoc Segment (7.3 miles)
City of Two Rivers Segment (2.8 miles)
Walla Hi Segment (2.3 miles)
The Walla Hi Segment highlights the Walla Hi County Park (closed to hunting), which showcases a variety of glacial features including kettles, moraines, and erratics.
See details of the Walla Hi Segment [Manitowoc County].
Sturgeon Bay Segment (13.7 miles)
This segment offers hikers three widely varying experiences beginning with a rail-trail hike, a transition to an urban hike through a city with a rich cultural history, and then finishes with a quiet, forested trek through the Potawatomi State Park. Please know, hunting is allowed in Potawatomi.
Thank you for hiking responsibly during the Thanksgiving Holidays! Happy Trails!