2019 Annual Conference & Membership Meeting

Welcome Trail Friends!

You’re invited to our Annual Conference and Membership Meeting beginning Thursday, April 11th through Sunday, April 14th. 

We’ll be celebrating you – the hikers, volunteers, members, and donors – and all you do to make the Ice Age National Scenic Trail the treasure that it is.

NOTE: Please check back after January 15th for on-line registration and even MORE details!

Lodging & Reservations

We’ll be hosted by the comfortable and modern Ho-Chunk Hotel & Convention Center, S3214 County Road BD, Baraboo, WI 53913

Please make lodging arrangements by calling 800-746-2486.  Ask for Ice Age Trail Alliance room block pricing using ID# 8568.

Room prices: $89.00 single and doubles, $99 triple, $109 quad. The deadline for the conference room rate ends Monday, March 11, 2019.

Registration & Meals

There are a variety of conference packages to choose based on the number of days you’ll be participating. All packages include meals.

In addition to choosing your conference package, please register separately for the following (part of the above registration link):

Choose Your Adventure hike options (to save your spot on a bus). This helps us accurately plan transportation.

Long-Distance Hiking Seminar. This helps us accurately plan for adequate room arrangements and handouts.

Meetings on Friday: Chapter Leadership Summit, Annual Membership Meeting & Board of Director Elections.

We THANK our generous sponsors who’ve helped keep this beautifully located conference affordable.

Conference Schedule

Thursday, April 11, 2019

6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Check-in/Registration/Coffee

7:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m. Breakfast Buffet

8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE (details coming)

Gibraltar Rock Segment Hike

Hikers will enjoy the iconic Gibraltar Rock segment, along with seeing the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s Steenbock Preserve property. If the Ferry is running, we’ll take a “ride” across the Trail and finish on the north side of Lake Wisconsin in Merrimac. Hike: 4.8 miles, difficult terrain, 35-minute bus ride. LIMIT 50 attendees.

Cradle of Conservation Tour

Walk the home ground of conservation superstars on a tour led by Robert Root, IATA Waukesha/Milwaukee County member. First stop: John Muir County Park with a 2-mile loop around Fountain Lake, and explore the Fox River National Wildlife Refuge. Second stop: Aldo Leopold Foundation and Park Island State Wildlife Area (35- minute bus ride from John Muir County Park). Hike: Approx. 3 miles of hiking,easy terrain, 40-minute bus ride. LIMIT: 50 attendees.

12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lunch Buffet for those at Ho-Chunk Convention Center. (Sack lunch provided for hikers.)

2:30 p.m. Hikers arrive back at Ho-Chunk Convention Center

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Snack

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. CONCURRENT SESSIONS (details coming)

Ask the “TECH” Expert. Hands on review of the Mammoth Tracks & Guthook Guides App., along with the Interactive Hiker Map. There will not be a presentation during this drop-in workshop. Stop by anytime and stay for as long or as little as you like to learn more and ask your questions to our Alliance tech experts.

Trail Community Forum. The Ice Age Trail Community program is a symbiotic relationship between the Ice Age Trail Alliance and communities on and near the Trail. There are now 11 Ice Age Trail Communities throughout Wisconsin, each with their own identity and special characteristics, but all with the mission to bring awareness for the Ice Age Trail. Join other Trail Community representatives at the forum to network, brainstorm ideas, and share best practices and lessons learned.

Wisconsin Geology: Focus on Wisconsin Dells and Baraboo Hills. The Ice Age history of south central Wisconsin will be brought to life by David Mickelson, Professor Emeritus, U.W. – Madison Department of Geoscience.

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Social Hour

Meet and mingle with a variety of Ice Age Trail Alliance partners in conservation!

5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Buffet Dinner

7:00 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. TRAIL MIX CONCURRENT SESSIONS (details coming)

Green Fire: Movie and discussion led by an Aldo Leopold Foundation representative.

Thousand-Miler Adventures. One-of-a-kind stories abound as recent Thousand-Milers relive their days on the IAT. Immerse yourself in the tales of amazing kindnesses of Trail Angels and the nitty-gritty details of a life-altering journey.



Friday, April 12, 2019

6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Check-in/Registration/Coffee

7:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m. Breakfast Buffet

8:00 a.m. – Noon: CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE (details coming)

Hike and Winery Tour

We’re taking a page from the Blazing Babes. Let’s enjoy a little hike, and then have a little fun. Attendees will visit the Springfield Hill Segment, along with a tour of Wollersheim Winery just outside of Sauk City.  Hike: 1.7-mile loop, easy/moderate terrain, 35-minute bus ride. LIMIT: 50 attendees. Cost: $12/person to cover the cost of the winery tour (tasting included).

Explore Historic Baraboo

For those who want to get their hike on, enjoy an urban hike through the City of Baraboo. The 4-mile route travels on city streets past parks, the Wisconsin River and Circus World Museum. Hike: 4-miles, easy to moderate terrain, 10-minute bus ride. LIMIT: 50 attendees.

Shop Historic Baraboo

Take in local shops, antique stores and cafes, and the recently restored AL. Ringling Theatre. Carpooling is recommended, and stores open at 10:00 am. Maps and coupons will be provided by the Baraboo Chamber of Commerce.

Board of Director’s Quarterly Meeting (8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

Chapter Leadership Summit (8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

Whether you’re merely curious, or deeply involved in your chapter’s leadership. Come share about the events and activities you and your chapter cohorts have found work well. New ideas, brainstorming, and plenty of discussion keep this session fresh.

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Buffet Lunch

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Annual Membership Meeting and Board of Director Elections

This is a wonderful opportunity to come together as members under the big Ice Age Trail Alliance tent. Alliance leadership will impart crucial information relating to organizational finances, strategic plan, and mission and vision. Board of Director elections will also take place.  Board of Directors Nominee Bios coming soon [PDF]

4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Board of Director’s Meeting

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Social Hour

Test your Trail Knowledge: Guess the Trail Segment (4:30 – 5:15 p.m.)

Head & Tails (5:30 – 5:45 p.m.)

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Buffet Dinner

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Keynote (details coming)


Saturday, April 13th, 2018

6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Check-in/Registration/Coffee

7:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m. Buffet Breakfast

8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.:  CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE (details coming)

Devil’s Lake: Balanced Rock Trail

A strenuous and challenging climb will reward hikers with soaring lake views. Here, it’s easy to fathom the struggle between Water Spirit and Thunderbird, “when the bluffs shook, and the heavens were rocked by thunder and lightning”. On your way to the apex, appreciate the elegance of the newly installed stone steps, efforts courtesy of IATA staff and park partners. Hike: 2-miles, difficult terrain, 20-minute bus ride. LIMIT: 50 attendees.

Devil’s Lake: West Bluff Trail

For those interested in a short, easy hike, choosing Tumbled Rocks Trail, is a good way to go. It’s a fairly flat trail that twists its way through the fallen boulders (Talus fields) along the lake’s western shoreline. For those willing to take on a bit more challenge, hikers can choose the West Bluff Trail which offers amazing views from atop 500 foot cliffs. Hike: 1-mile and 2.4-mile options, easy/moderate terrain, 20-minute bus ride. LIMIT: 75 attendees.

“Listening Session” Small-Group Hike

Eric Sherman, IATA staff, will lead a small-group “listening session” hike at Hulbert Creek Fishery Area. We’ll walk in about a mile, spread out, and sit quietly for a while to listen to what the forest has to offer. Hike: Less than a mile, easy terrain, carpooling. LIMIT: 15 attendees. 

 10:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. Long-Distance Hiking Seminar (details coming)

Deepen your hiking know-how with plenty of advice from the experts. If you’re considering a thru-hike as your next big adventure, you won’t want to miss this series! 

Note: There is special pricing – $50.00 – if you choose to attend only the Long-Distance Hiking Seminar sessions, includes lunch buffet. Register at the above link.

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Session 1: Trip Planning, Logistics, and Navigation.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Session 2: Gear and Packing (including a pack shakedown).

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Buffet Lunch

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Session 3: Thousand-Miler WannaBe’s Wisdom to finishing the Trail .

3:00 – 4:15 p.m. Session 4: Hikers’ Forum-Wisdom From the Trail

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Buffet Lunch

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. CONCURRENT SESSIONS (details coming)

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Snack Break

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. CONCURRENT SESSIONS (details coming)

What’s on Tap: 2019 Traillbuilding Season. Whether it’s crafting boardwalks and bridges, learning and sharing new skills, or meeting new people and seeing new places, the trailbuilding season ahead is representative of our steadfast commitment to creating, supporting, and protecting the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Join Tim Malzhan and learn what’s on tap for new and existing Trail segments in 2019.

Finding Inspiration on your Hike: Photography and Art (Cameron & Letha). Do more than just take some snapshots while hiking. Photography can enhance your experience outdoors by giving you a creative outlet and put you more in the moment as you hike. Photographer Cameron Gillie, The Pinhole Thing, will explain how to take better photos and be creative with your camera in the outdoors. An expensive professional camera is not required to create, even a smartphone camera can capture and share great photos.

Hikers’ Forum – Wisdom from the Trail. Be inspired, be informed, be entertained by the stories and fresh perspective of those who most recently completed their Thousand-Mile journey.

4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Social Hour

5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Awards Banquet and Celebration

  • 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Dinner
  • 6:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. NPS Awards
  • 7:15 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. Entertainment/Pictures
  • 7:45 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Mammoth Achievement Awards


Sunday, April 14th, 2019

6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Check-in/Registration/Coffee

7:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m. Buffet Breakfast

8:00 a.m. Closing Remarks “2018 Set the Stage; Looking Ahead to 2019 and Beyond”

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.:  CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE

Photography Field Trip to Riverland Conservancy. Join fine art photographer and photojournalist Cameron Gillie of ThePinholeThing.com, along with Ice Age Trail Alliance staff, for a hands-on photography walk in the Riverside Conservancy. Learn how an expert lines up a great shot of the Trail and surrounding landscape. Explore your own creativity and discover ways to take better photos with the equipment you own. All skill levels welcome from a novice with a cell phone to an advanced amateur with a professional camera. Hike: 1 to 2-miles, moderate terrain, 30-minute bus ride. LIMIT: 50 attendees.