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. Registration materials due by Monday, March 25. The conference registration is now closed. 

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.

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 Wednesday, March 27, 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 (part of the registration link) for the following:

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

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.

FULL – Long-Distance Hiking Seminar, Saturday, April 13, 2019

An all-day, 4-session workshop series to deepen your hiking know-how with plenty of advice from the experts. See below, Saturday’s listing for an outline of the day’s events.

If you are interested in ONLY attending this seminar, there is a $50.00 investment for the day which includes lunch.

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 [Download PDF of adventures here]

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, City of Lodi, Ice Age Trail Community

Explore our natural beauty, Gibraltar Rock Segment.

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.


A glimpse of Ennis Lake in John Muir Park.

Cradle of Conservation Tour

Walk the home ground of conservation superstars. 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). Enjoy the Leopold Shack and Center Tour: immerse yourself in the history and philosophy of Aldo Leopold as you walk through the landscapes that inspired his conservation classic, A Sand County Almanac. Consider modern applications of the land ethic as you learn about the energy-efficient design, alternative energy technologies, and local materials incorporated into the LEED-certified Leopold Center.

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. (Box lunch provided for Choose Your Adventure attendees.)

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

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Snack break

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. CONCURRENT SESSIONS

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 12 Ice Age Trail Communities throughout Wisconsin, each with their own identity and special characteristics, but all with the mission to increase awareness for the Ice Age Trail and showcase their community as a hiker destination. 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


Hiking Isle Royale. With more than 150 miles of trails, backcountry campsites, and unparalleled views, Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior is a perfect introduction to backpacking or to stretch your legs after a long winter. Join Chet Anderson and Dave Caliebe as they take you on a tour of the Wilderness Park, providing tips, photos, and stories of Isle Royale. Hiking Isle Royale will be presented 7:00 – 7:45 p.m.

Inspiring Sanctuary. In between jobs, Dane County Chapter member and volunteer Mark Graczykowski, was fortunate to have the experience of a lifetime as a volunteer park ranger at Zion National Park. For eight weeks, he lived in the park, explored its wonders, but most importantly participated in their seminal education program Concrete to Canyons (C2C). C2C’s mission is to bring under-served youth to Zion for a wilderness experience that includes camping, hiking, evening programs, and education experiences, but most importantly fun. While he hopes in some small way he impacted a few 5th graders, he knows that each one of them impacted him forever. Inspiring Sanctuary will be presented 8:00 – 8:45 p.m.

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. Enjoy presentations from Annie Weiss, Jason Pursell, and George and Violet Bane. Thousand-Miler Adventures will be presented at 7:00 – 7:45 and then repeated at 8:00 – 8:45 p.m.

      Green Fire: Join Aldo Leopold Foundation staff for a screening and discussion of Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time. This Emmy-winning film explores Leopold’s extraordinary career and enduring influence, tracing how he shaped the modern conservation movement and continues to inspire projects nationwide that connect people to the land. The movie and discussion will be presented 7:00 – 8:45 p.m.


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 [Download PDF of adventures here]

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).

Enjoy the Ice Age Trail along the Baraboo River during this 4-mile urban hike.

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 Baraboo 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 here for download [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: The Resilience of the Ho-Chunk People

Since time immemorial, the Ho-Chunk People have called what is now known as Wisconsin, their ancestral homelands. The Ho-Chunk hold oral traditional stories that speak about the many changes that have occurred since their first fires were lit in a place they call ‘Moogasuc’. Their stories speak about the constant environmental change, the societies of people that have come and gone, and how their traditions and way of life protect them. These very stories will take you back to the glacial periods that left their indelible marks throughout this region.

Presenters: Jon Greendeer, The Ho Chunk Nation Department of Heritage Preservation Executive Director and Bill Quakenbush, The Ho Chunk Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer

Jon Greendeer, Executive Director of the Ho-Chunk Nation Heritage Preservation

Bill Quackenbush, The Ho-Chunk Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer












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 [Download PDF of adventures here]

FULL – 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.

FULL – “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, moderate terrain, carpooling. LIMIT: 15 attendees. 

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

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 here.

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 Hacks for Completing 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

Grassroots Fundraising. The Alliance’s Collaborative Fundraising program has been up and running for one year. During this time chapter representatives have engaged corporations, individuals, and foundations to help support our collective work of advancing the Trail. Join us as those that have been in the trenches for the past year share what they have learned and help refine the craft of community engagement for community benefit.

Building for the 23rd Century. As early as 1919, young adults carried pick mattocks, shovels, axes and a few days of food into the White Mountain Region to keep hiking trails open and clear for the 20th century recreationist. This year, the Ice Age Trail Alliance will test drive the “Seasonal Trail Crew” idea to help keep remote sections of the ice Age Trail open and passable in the 21st century. Join Tim Malzhan and guests to explore the tradition and role of trail crews and the future of Trail Management on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

Finding Inspiration on your Hike: Paintings and Pictures. Join painter Mike McArdle and photographer Cameron Gillie for a discussion of how they find and use the inspiration they encounter while hiking on the Ice Age Trail. Mike’s art is imbued with bold colors and an emphasis on environmentalism. Painting for him is a way to express the emotions he experiences while hiking. If picking up a paint brush is not your thing, Cameron’s experience with nature photography has led him to believe, that not only does photography enhance your experience outdoors by giving you a creative outlet, it also puts you more in the moment as you hike.

ColdCache: Not Your Average Hiking adventure. Learn from those who have hiked the ColdCache hike and hear their ColdCache experiences along the Ice Age Trail. ColdCache fans will share how to get started, tips for having an enjoyable cache adventure, and why adding this dimension to hiking is a great way to explore the Ice Age Trail.

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Snack Break

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. CONCURRENT SESSIONS

What’s on Tap: 2019 Traillbuilding Season. Resilient; Durable; Designed to inspire, to engage, and built to last, join Tim Malzhan and guests to take a peek behind the curtain and explore what’s on tap for new and existing Trail segments in the year ahead.

Mechanical and Motorized threats to the Trail. Join Mike Wollmer for this round table discussion about mechanical and motorized threats to the Ice Age Trail. 

Finding Inspiration on Your Hike: How to See and How to Write about What you See. Writers don’t just “have a way with words”; we have a way of looking at the world. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to observe while you hike, and we’ll discuss how to write about what you see. Join Kelly Dwyer, author of two novels and currently finishing her third, and this hands on workshop. Bring a writing implement and notebook or a laptop! Kelly also teaches Creative Writing and English at UW-Platteville Baraboo/Sauk County. 

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


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” and Premier of the new Ice Age Trail Alliance video by Dream Lens Media.

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.:  CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE [Download PDF of adventures here]

Photography Field Trip to Riverland Conservancy’s Merrimac Preserve. 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 Riverland Conservancy’s Merrimac Preserve. 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 ride. Attendees will drive themselves. Please bring your equipment along!

LIMIT: 50 attendees.