Photo Credit: Rachel Roberts
Connecting Kids to the Ice Age Trail
Join us on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail – one of Wisconsin’s premier outdoor playgrounds and learning labs!
Resources for Hike Leaders: Games and Activities
Explore the Ice Age Trail. Encourage a deeper connection to nature. Enhance your child’s hike.
Ice Age Trail Explorer Backpacks
The Ice Age Trail Explorer Backpack contains everything you need to interact with and learn about Wisconsin’s flora and fauna while hiking the Ice Age National Scenic Trail!
As you seek out the next yellow blaze, deepen your children’s connection to nature using Wisconsin wildlife identification guides. They’ll gain a closer look at critters through binoculars, and learn how to navigate the Ice Age Trail with the atlas, guidebook, and compass.
Ice Age Trail Explorer Backpacks contain:
• Ice Age Trail Guidebook
• Ice Age Trail Atlas
• Pocket Naturalist Guides (Birds, Wildlife, Trees & Wildflowers)
• “Trees” Fandex Field Guide
• Rite in the Rain Journal
• Magnifying Glass
• Scat Identification Bandana
• Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics Tag
• First Aid Kit
The Ice Age Trail Explorer Backpacks are available for checkout at public libraries located in one of our Ice Age Trail Communities.
Explore the Ice Age Trail: Digital Scavenger Hunt
When is a good time to learn more about the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and the Ice Age Trail Alliance? Any time with a digital scavenger hunt!
Before you go out for an adventure on the Trail, explore www.iceagetrail.org (or see the buttons, below) to learn more about what makes the Ice Age Trail so special, the unique glacial features you’ll see along the way, and how the Ice Age Trail Alliance is working to create, support and protect this thousand-mile footpath in Wisconsin.
Download and populate this fillable PDF with your discoveries!
The Answer Key is here.
The Art of Sauntering: Games and Activities
This hike leader’s guide to games and activities (downloadable PDF) offers plenty ideas for how to get and keep kids engaged while out for a hike or field experience on the Ice Age Trail. These activities are a wonderful way to begin a hike, keep a group together, spice up a destination, or occupy part of the group while the other part catches up. Adults will enjoy them as much as children!
These activities are reprinted courtesy of courtesy of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and were originally developed by Delia Clark and Pat Straughan for Shelburne Farms.
Explorer Program: Trail Discoveries
The downloadable [PDF] playsheets (see example left) were created by Education Outfitters as a result of generous funding for a grant project known as “From the Inside Out”.
Each tab contains age appropriate playsheets as a way to expand and deepen the hiking experience. Created by a former educator, these activities offer something for every learning style.
Companion Guide for Sauntering
You can download the Companion Guide for Sauntering – an Ice Age Trail journal [PDF] for your children or your students to use as they explore the Ice Age Trail.
A collaboration of Alliance staff, Saunters teachers and volunteers developed the guide, which covers core concepts related to the natural environment and includes activities students can complete on the Trail.
All activities are connected to the Common Core and/or Wisconsin Model Academic Standards. A guide for hike leaders that details the connections to Common Core and Wisconsin Model Academic Standards is also available.
Most hikes also connect with the Alliance’s ColdCache program which is an exciting way to explore and learn about the many natural features along the Ice Age Trail.
If you are looking for a family-friendly or classroom-friendly activity that allows your children to experience the thrill of a treasure hunt, learn important navigational skills and develop an appreciation for Wisconsin’s fascinating Ice Age history, ColdCaching is for you!
Parents, Grandparents, and Hike Leaders!
Did you find our games and activities helpful?
If you did, please let us know which resources you used and how many kids participated, and as a thank you, we will send you Ice Age Trail stickers!
These resources were made possible by grant funding from the American Girl Foundation and from the National Park Foundation through generous support of partners including Union Pacific Railroad and donors across the country.