Photo by: Justin Helmkamp

Annual Conference & Membership Meeting 2020

The Annual Conference & Membership Meeting is CANCELLED!

If you’ve already registered you’ll receive instructions regarding next steps. 

We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.

Conference Lodging

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Annual Conference and Membership Meeting 2020

Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center

1001 Amber Avenue, Stevens Point, WI 54482

Rate: 82.00 single occupancy and 109.00 double occupancy

To make a reservation by phone, please call 715-344-0200 and press #3.

Please reference the group name Ice Age Trail Alliance the Group Block Code: ICE.

Your group rate will be available until March 23, 2020 (or until the block is full).

Registration Information

Conference Package

Cost Before March 20

Cost Friday, March 20 - Friday, April 3

Three-Day (Thur, Fri, Sat)

$175

$200

Two-Day (Thur, Fri)

$150

$175

Two-Day (Fri, Sat)

$150

$175

One-Day (Thur or Friday)

$100

$125

One-Day (Sat) includes Awards banquet and Long-Distance Hiking Seminar

$100

$125

Long-Distance Hiking Seminar (Sat) includes lunch

$75

$100

Saturday Evening Dinner and Awards Ceremony Only

$25

$25

Registration ENDS Friday, April 3, 2020

Conference Resources: Handy guides to bring you into the loop!

Please see downloadable PDFs below.

Registration ENDS Friday, April 3, 2020

Registration ENDS Friday, April 3, 2020

Registration ENDS Friday, April 3, 2020

Registration ENDS Friday, April 3, 2020

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Registration: 7:00 am – 4:30 pm

Choose Your Adventure

8:00 am – 12:00 pm: Adventures

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Choose Your Adventure, Annual Conference hike at Skunk and Foster Lakes Segment
A wintery view of one of the lakes along the Skunk and Foster Lakes Segment. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

Skunk and Foster Lakes Segment Hike,
Waupaca County

The scenic Skunk and Foster Lakes State Natural Area contains crystal clear pot hole lakes, large erratics, and mature forest. There is an option for an additional 0.8-mile loop for those who want to further stretch their legs.

Hike: 1.8 miles or 2.6 miles, moderate terrain, 25-minute bus ride.

LIMIT: 50 attendees.

Schmeeckle Reserve, Stevens Point

Schmeeckle Reserve is a 280-acre conservancy area on the campus of UW-Stevens Point, set aside to protect natural communities of central Wisconsin. Visitors enjoy diverse habitats which support numerous wildlife species while they explore five miles of trails and boardwalks and a 24-acre lake.

Hike: 2 to 4 miles, easy to moderate terrain, 10-minute bus ride.

LIMIT: 50 attendees

Thursday Afternoon Sessions

Time

Sessions

Details

1:30 pm – 4:15 pm

Youth Summit

Ice Age Trail Alliance is hosting a Youth Summit for young professionals interested in conservation and outdoor education. Specific details coming soon.

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Creating meaningful experiences for youth with all abilities.

Speaker: Erin Schiltgen, Chief of Schools Officer, Hudson School District

Join Erin as she presents strategies and approaches for including youth of all abilities to ensure safe, meaningful experiences. Information will include response strategies to prevent and respond to crisis situations.

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Integrated Forest Management for the Ice Age Trail

Speaker: Brad Hutnik, Wisconsin DNR Forest Ecologist/Silviculturist

This presentation will examine innovative ways to manage forests along the State Ice Age Trail Areas (SIATA), consistent with its goals and objectives, which prioritize aesthetic and recreational value.

Thursday Evening Trail Mix Sessions

Time

Sessions

Details

7:00 pm – 7:45 pm

Welcome for New Attendees

Join Mike Wollmer, IATA Executive Director/CEO and Amy Lord, IATA Outreach and Education Manager, at this casual reception for first time Annual Conference attendees to meet and mingle with other newbies.

7:00 pm – 7:45 pm

Guess the Trail Segment

Speaker: Dave Caliebe, IATA Trail Program Specialist

The wildly popular game is back with new segments, new visuals, new clues, and new prizes! Bring your friends and knowledge of the Ice Age Trail to Guess to Segment.

7:00 pm – 7:45 pm

Digital Hiker Resources

Speakers: Tiffany Stram, IATA GIS and Technnology Specialist and Brad Crary, IATA Special Projects Coordinator

Join us in exploring all the digital resources to assist you with your journey along the Ice Age Trail. In addition to exploring the interactive Hiker Resource Map, we’ll show you how to learn about and submit new Trail Conditions you may encounter along the Trail. We’ll also give you a tour of the Guthook Guides Ice Age Trail App for mobile devices.

8:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Hiking at a Photographer’s Pace

Speaker: Cameron Gillie, The Pinhole Thing and Around Wisco

Photojournalist Cameron Gillie is backpacking the Ice Age Trail documenting the unique landscapes, communities, and culture of Wisconsin with his camera. Cameron will share his experiences thus far, from along the eastern half of the IAT, through photography and stories. He plans to finish the Trail later this year.

8:00 pm – 8:45 pm

What Makes up the Trail?

Speakers: Dave Caliebe, IATA Trail Program Specialist and Tiffany Stram, IATA GIS & Technology Specialist

The Alliance began a formalized process in 2019 to document the bridges, rock walls, benches, kiosks, parking areas, etc. of the Trail. Get a first look at a portion of the data, how the information helps the Alliance, and how you can assist with data collection.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Registration: 7:00 am – 4:30 pm

Choose Your Adventure

8:00 am – 12:30 pm: Adventures

The newly built boardwalk along the Bohn Lake Segment. Photo by Cameron Gillie.

Bohn Lake Segment Hike,
Waushara County

Explore this newly extended segment through a rock garden and along the bottom a tunnel channel holding Bohn Lake. Enjoy the views of the lake as a new loop circles this body of water.

Hike: 2.2 miles, easy terrain, 40-minute bus ride.

LIMIT: 100 attendees

The Moraines of Eastern Portage County

Put the IAT segments of this region into a broader glacial geology context as this outing follows the west to east retreat of the Late Wisconsin glaciation. Learn about the Arnott, Hancock, and Almond moraines and the Elderon ice margins — their till and outwash deposits, erratics, kettle lakes, tunnel channels — by driving with stops for observations, discussions, photos and rock sampling.

Hike: Miles will vary, easy to moderate terrain, bus tour.

LIMIT: 25 attendees

Shop Stevens Point (on your own)

Take in local shops, antique stores, and cafés around Stevens Point.

Carpooling is recommended, and most stores open at 10:00 am.
Maps and coupons will be provided by the Stevens Point Area Chamber of Commerce.

Plan your stops at stevenspointarea.com/things-to-do/shopping/

Be back by 12:30 pm to join the lunch buffet.

Friday Sessions/Meetings/Activities

Time

Sessions

Details

8:30 am – 11:30 am

Board of Directors’ Meeting

8:30 am – 11:30 am

Chapter Leadership Summit

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.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Annual Membership Meeting & Elections for the Board of Directors

This is a wonderful opportunity to come together as members under the big Ice Age Trail Alliance tent. This meeting is free and open to all members.

Read about the amendment changes to the Bylaws. (Large print version.)

Read about the nominees for the Board of Directors.

4:15 pm – 4:45 pm

Annual Board of Directors’ Meeting

Friday Evening Keynote Presentation: Justin Isherwood, Isherwood Farms, Plover

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Justin Isherwood, photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Grower's Association.
Justin Isherwood, photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Grower's Association.

Justin Isherwood, a potato farmer from Plover, WI, is also an accomplished author. These talents led to an interview on National Public Radio’s quiz show — Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know? Isherwood is passionate about a farmer’s responsibility to the land and people. He notes, “It is, or ought to be, in the bones of every farmer, the will to defend the land’s identity, its power and its mysteries.” When Justin isn’t writing or tending to taters, he’s out tapping maple trees on his family farm near the Buena Vista Marsh.

Learn more about Justin Isherwood here, here, and here.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Registration: 7:00 am – 4:30 pm

Choose Your Adventure

8:00 am – 1:00 pm: Adventures

The Hartman Creek Segment. Photo by Dave Caliebe.
The Hartman Creek Segment. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

Hartman Creek Segment,
Portage and Waupaca County

Enjoy a hike through the rolling oak forests and savannas of Central Wisconsin. There will be two hike options – a 4.5-mile hike and tour of Central Waters Brewing, or an out-and-back hike (one hour and fifteen-minutes one way) with a tour and coffee sampling at Ruby Coffee Roasters.

Long Hike: 4.5 miles, moderate terrain, 30-minute bus ride, tour and box lunch at brewery.

LIMIT: 50 attendees

Short Hike: based on distance covered in an hour and 15-minutes one way, easy terrain, 30-minute bus ride, tour and box lunch at roastery.

LIMIT: 50 attendees

"Listening Session" Small-Group Hike

Eric Sherman, IATA staff, will lead a small-group “listening session” experience. We’ll walk in about a mile, spread out, and sit quietly for a while to listen to what the forest has to offer. NOTE: This hike is 8:00 am – Noon. Attendees will be back for a lunch buffet at the conference center by noon. 

Hike: About a mile, moderate (off-trail) terrain, dress warmly, carpooling.

LIMIT: 15 attendees.

Long-Distance Hiking Seminar

Steady as she goes! A hiker watches her step along the Turtle Rock Segment in Lincoln County. Photo by Jo Ellarson.
Steady as she goes! A hiker watches her step along the Turtle Rock Segment in Lincoln County. Photo by Jo Ellarson.

An all-day, four-session, workshop series to get you started on your backpacking or segment hiking journey with plenty of advice from the experts. If you’re considering an Ice Age Trail thru-hike as your next big adventure, or if you’re dreaming and scheming about section hiking the Trail in weekend jaunts, then this seminar is for you.

Time: 10:00 am – 4:15 pm

Cost: $75.00 (includes lunch) if attending the seminar, exclusively. (Otherwise, it is included in the conference registration for Saturday or multi-day packages.)

LIMIT: 90 attendees

NOTE: Register here if you are attending ONLY the seminar on Saturday.

If you are a multiple-day attendee, please sign-up for this seminar in the registration link at the TOP of this web page.

Time

Sessions

Details

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Trip Planning, Logistics, and Navigation

Do you wonder how, exactly, to start planning your thousand-mile journey? If you feel a little confused, you’re not alone. The good news is there is a wealth of resources and IATA staff is eager to demystify them. You’ll learn the ins and outs of the interactive map including Trail conditions, as well as, the helpful details embedded in the Guthook Guides app. You’ll get the inside scoop about how to connect with chapter leaders; how to use the Thousand-Miler spreadsheet; the nitty-gritty of resupply, shuttles, and trail angels; and how to use social media to network with other hikers.

11:15 am – 12:15 pm

What’s Inside Your Pack?

So you have your backpack loaded with all the “necessary” items for your next backpacking trip. Still think you might be carrying too much? Join REI staff and experienced long-distance hikers and learn how to cut weight, carry the essentials, and tailor your gear to best suit your needs. In this hands-on class, bring in your personal pack and gear and we will go through the items you take with you when backpacking and do a group “shake-down” on gear. You will receive the small group attention you need to really perfect your packing system.

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Meal Planning, Trail Injury Fixes, and Leave No Trace

You probably have a Trail Mix of peanuts, raisins and M&Ms in your repertoire of backpacking meals. However, there are other easy-to-carry and easy-to-prepare meals for you to consider. What is the best way to treat a blister or bee sting on the Trail without carrying your medicine cabinet?  Discover answers to these questions and more. This session will also provide an overview of important Leave No Trace principles while you cook, camp, and hike.

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Hikers’ Forum – Wisdom from the Trail

Moderator: Sharon Dziengel

Speakers: 2019 Thousand-Milers

Wondering what the chances are of meeting a bear, what cowboy camping entails, or how people survive heat and ticks on their way to the coveted 1,000-miler status? This session is your chance to hear crazy, make-you-want-to-hike-the-trail stories of those who’ve made the journey. Be inspired, be informed, and be entertained by the stories and fresh perspective of those who most recently completed their Thousand-Mile journey.

Saturday Afternoon Sessions

Time

Sessions

Details

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Volunteer Grit: Where to Find It and How to Keep It!

Speaker: Jami Gebert, Administrator Town of Rome, Adams County

Volunteerism is a time commitment, but also a commitment of strength, resources, patience, and personal values! Let’s take a moment to discuss the generational changes in volunteerism and new methods to attracting and retaining volunteers for the Ice Age Trail Alliance and its chapters.

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

The Agency House at the Portage: Geographic Intersection, Cultural Crossroads

Speaker: Adam Novey, Executive Director and Curator of the Historic Indian Agency House in Portage

The crossing point between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers has been a keystone of travel and migration in Wisconsin ever since post-glacial waters carved their channels. Explore the cultural history of the portage, particularly through the experiences of Juliette Kinzie who chronicled her personal journey from the front-row seat of Portage’s Fort Winnebago Indian Agency.

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Moraines at our Doorstep: Geology of the Ice Age Trail along the West Side of Green Bay Lobe

Speaker: David M. Mickelson, Emeritus Professor of Geoscience, Geological Engineering, and Water Resources Management, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Only 20,000 years ago the ice sheet edge was about three miles east of Stevens Point. Rushing streams, as they flowed into Glacial Lake Wisconsin, deposited the nearly flat sand and gravel plain on which the city now sits. As the glacier melted back, it left hummocky moraines that are an outstanding feature of the Trail in Waushara and Portage counties.

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

What’s on Tap: 2020 Trail Development, Construction and Stewardship Events

Speaker: Tim Malzhan, IATA Trailway Director

New Eyes and Radiant Spirits – join Tim Malzhan, IATA Trailway Director, and experience how you can be part of the magic that captures “Lightning in a Bottle” on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in 2020 and new decade ahead.

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Think Outside with the Ice Age Trail Alliance

Speakers: Amy Lord, IATA Outreach and Education Manager, and Sarah Pearce, IATA Saunters Project Coordinator

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is an educational trail by nature and the Alliance believes strongly in sharing its natural story with tomorrow’s leaders through hands-on experiences. Think Outside, an expansion of our youth education Saunters program, is working to engage 10,000 fourth graders with the Ice Age Trail. In this session, we will discuss the Think Outside program, share stories from those who have participated, and answer questions about how you can get involved.

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Wisconsin’s Conservation Legacies: Past, Present and Future

Speaker: Eric Olson, Director and Lakes Outreach Specialists for the Extension Lakes Program, UW Stevens Point

Wisconsin has a proud history of thoughtful conservation, establishing numerous “legacies” that are written across its landscape. This presentation will highlight a 40+ year legacy of proactive lake management in Wisconsin.

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Hikers’ Forum – Wisdom from the Trail

Moderator: Sharon Dziengel

Speakers: 2019 Thousand-Milers

Wondering what the chances are of meeting a bear, what cowboy camping entails, or how people survive heat and ticks on their way to the coveted 1,000-miler status? This session is your chance to hear crazy, make-you-want-to-hike-the-trail stories of those who’ve made the journey. Be inspired, be informed, and be entertained by the stories and fresh perspective of those who most recently completed their Thousand-Mile journey.

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Artifacts from Ice Age Peoples

Speaker: Ray Reser, PhD,RPA

Emeritus Professor of Archaeology, Curator of Anthropology

UW Stevens Point Museum of Natural History

This seminar examines evidence of early peoples adapting to post glacial landscapes in Central Wisconsin. Native Americans lived in Wisconsin and the Midwest for at least 14,000 years, following now-extinct species of Ice Age mammals as glaciers made their final advances across the state. Ice-aged faunal specimens are rare and typically found in the southern region of the state, but recent finds of mammoth, stag moose and caribou remains in the central area of Wisconsin suggest such specimens may have occurred further north than previously recorded.

Saturday Evening Awards Banquet & Celebration

5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Spirit Stick Winner 2019
The Ice Age Trail Alliance 2019 Annual Conference & Membership Meeting at the Ho-Chunk Hotel & Convention Center in Baraboo. Cameron Gillie (www.aroundwisco.com)

Schedule of Events

5:30 pm – 6:45 pm Dinner

6:45 pm – 7:15 pm NPS Awards

7:15 pm – 7:30 pm Pictures of NPS award winners

7:30 pm – 8:15 pm Mammoth Achievement Awards

8:15 pm – Silent Auction results announced

8:15 pm – 8:30 pm Pictures of Mammoth Achievement award winners

Thank you, Volunteers!

We’re rolling out the yellow carpet! It’ll be a big night as we celebrate the accomplishments of our tremendously generous volunteers. Come find out who gets a National Park Service vest or jacket. Discover who’ll be the next caretaker of the Spirit Stick and who’ll be the Trail Steward of the Year.

Recent Thousand-Milers are recognized, too!

To see who’s won in past years, go here.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Join us for the last hurrah!

Coffee’s on by 6:30 am

Breakfast buffet opens at 7:00 am

Closing remarks at 8:00 am

The Last Adventure!

9:15 am – Noon

Emmons Creek Segment. Photo by Holly Thompson.
Emmons Creek Segment. Photo by Holly Thompson.

Emmons Creek Segment Photography Field Trip

Join fine art photographer and photojournalist Cameron Gillie, ThePinholeThing.com or Around-Wisco.com, for a photography walk and talk along the Emmons Creek Segment. Cameron will share his approach to taking photos as you practice with your own camera. All skill levels welcome from a novice with a cell phone to an advanced amateur with a professional camera.

Carpool. Bus transportation will not be provided for this hike.

Hike: Approx. 2-miles, moderate terrain, 30-minute drive.

LIMIT: 30 attendees

Cameron Gillie’s diverse photography career began as a staff photographer at daily newspapers in Colorado and Florida. For his latest project, he is backpacking the Ice Age Trail and photographing the culture, communities, and landscapes of Wisconsin along the way. Cameron is also a fine art photographer using pinhole photography and crude plastic vintage cameras. He participates in art festivals around the Midwest and exhibits his work in area galleries. You may find more about his work at  www.AroundWisco.com and www.ThePinHoleThing.com.