A New Bridge Spans Sailor Creek!

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Sailor Creek Bridge, US Forest Service, Jerry Lake Segment
Volunteers cart soon-to-be repurposed deck boards to another location. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

Perfect weather, minimal bugs, and a fantastic crew, made for quick work as the bridge over Sailor Creek rose from the mud like a lotus. The squelching of boots through curmudgeonly swamp accompanied the din of hammers, saws, and drills, as 20 volunteers came together to complete the 178-foot-long Forest Service structure. In just over three days, the Jerry Lake Project totaled over 500 service hours! “Big Spider Bridge” will allow for the safe crossing of Sailor Creek for the next half century.

In addition to the bridge, a quick-thinking ancillary team rebuilt the puncheon on the northern approach, which could have been a project in itself. Two straight pines were felled for the girders, hauled by a team of ten, and then covered with repurposed deck boards to create a bespoke boardwalk. All of this was accomplished while the muck conspired to steal their boots.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Jerry Lake Segment, Reconnect Event, 2021
Volunteers fasten deck boards to the 154-foot-long boardwalk approaches (total) to the bridge now spanning Sailor Creek. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

To everyone who helped make this event a success, a special thanks to:

  • New Vision Wilderness for lending a few extra helping hands (and paws).
  • New Glarus Brewing Company’s Only in Wisconsin Giving, Inc. Charitable Foundation which supports projects dedicated to improving water protection and quality in Wisconsin.
  • Ann Dassow, Patrick Hampston, and the US Forest Service for the funding and design of this project, for all of the predrilling and delivery of our construction materials, and for providing accommodations over the project’s duration.
Mobile Skills Crew logo small

20 Volunteers

500 Volunteer Hours

154-foot-long boardwalk

24-foot-long bridge

Up Next:

July 28 – August 1, Valley View and Cross Plains Segments, Dane County (Registration open.)

Join us in Dane County, July 28 – August 1, as we complete the Valley View Segment extension, create a wetland crossing featuring stepping stones, and build a 400-foot-long boardwalk. Mowing and adding signage next to Timber Lane will get the Trail off pavement. We will also create miles of new tread through Mammoth’s Back Preserve, connecting Stagecoach Road to County Road P.

Excitingly, 2+ miles of new Ice Age Trail will be created during this event.

Event Details and Registration, Here.

Ice Age Trail, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Reconnect, Trail Improvement Days

See our full schedule upcoming events here: 2021 Reconnect Events.

Generous Sponsors of the 2021 Mobile Skills Crew Trailbuilding Season include:

Duluth Trading Company REI