A One-Mile Section Becomes a Jewel

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Reconnect, Mobile Skills Crew, trailbuilding season
A newly built 311-foot-long boardwalk greets hikers as they emerge from the woods along the Montrose Segment. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

After two days of sawdust-filled work preassembling frames and cutting deck boards, all hands were on deck to begin construction in the middle of the week. Over three days, despite challenging weather (Tuesday was cut short due to rain), 20 volunteers donated 351 hours of service to construct 311 feet of boardwalk and a 12-foot bridge. These structures offer easier passage for hikers across an area notorious for standing water and muddy conditions.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Reconnect, Mobile Skills Crew, Trailbuilding, Boardwalk building
A team of volunteers place pans on posts, a crucial step in building a boardwalk spanning a notoriously wet area along the Montrose Segment. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

The Dane County Chapter has worked to make the one-mile section of the Montrose Segment, between Piller Road and the Badger State Trail, something of which to be proud. With diligent invasive species management, prairie reseeding, and now the new boardwalk and bridge, this short distance is becoming a jewel. We eagerly await the emergence (in the next three years) of the newly planted prairie for an enhanced hiker experience.

Note: The volunteers featured in these photos followed COVID-19 safety protocols by being vaccinated and maintaining social distance.

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A team of volunteers work together to place and secure deck boards on the 311-foot-long boardwalk. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

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

Tess Mulrooney for bringing sandwiches and desserts each day.

Jerry Pfiefer for his capable crew leadership throughout the project.

Ed Spoon for shepherding this project from the beginning.

New Glarus Brewing Company’s Only in Wisconsin Giving, Inc. Charitable Foundation which supports projects dedicated to improving water protection and quality in Wisconsin.

Kevin Swenson, Property Manager, and Drew Hanson, Parks and Rec Specialist, from the Department of Natural Resources for their support of the project.

Jim Fahey for allowing access to the worksite through his property.

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20 Volunteers

351 Volunteer Hours

311-foot-long boardwalk

12-foot-long bridge

1-Mile Section

Thousands (?) of prairie seeds sowed along the fifty-foot wide trail easement.

Up Next:

July 7 – 10, Jerry Lake Segment, Taylor County (Registration open.)
It’s time to replace the structures built over Sailor Creek with a heavy-duty Forest Service bridge.

We head to the big woods of the Chequamegon National Forest to build a bridge and boardwalk on the Jerry Lake Segment. It’ll be a good walk to the worksite but the construction materials are already onsite. Join us July 7-10 in Taylor County. Register now.

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