This captivating section of the Firth Lake Segment in Chippewa County evoked fond memories of the time spend building it. Photo by Ryan Jansen.
Article by thru-hiker, Ryan Jansen
Three weeks or 30 minutes. Both are amounts of time, separated by a year, I spent on the Firth Lake Segment. The two experiences were very different. One occurred while I was a crew member with Wisconsin Conservation Corps (WisCorps) and the other while on my 2018 thru-hike.
Both had the similarity of being experienced through the lens of a unique perception of time. Trail-Time. A meditative, obligation-free state of mind. The senses peak to the point of almost combining. My thoughts felt 3D and immersive, to the point where I struggle to say if I was fully in my head (my brain often was occupied with thoughts to the point of blocking out my surroundings) or out of my mind (my thoughts felt like they left my skull and were in plain sight). Continue reading
Buzz immersed in a good-natured story. Anyone who’s worked with Buzz or accepted a shuttle from him knows he’s a masterful storyteller. Photo by Jo Ellarson.
Article by guest writer, Erika Cannaday
Gerald “Buzz” Meyer’s commitment to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail started with an article in the Star News. One bright morning, in 1990, while paging through the paper, he read about a hike on the Timm’s Hill Trail. While it wasn’t part of the Ice Age Trail, it would become a National Scenic Side Trail. The event was a fundraiser for the High Point Chapter. He decided to participate and set out gathering sponsors, raising somewhere between $50 and $100. After a few years of minimal commitment, he was asked to help out at one of the Chapter’s trail improvement days. Ten years later when Bob Rusch, the Chapter’s volunteer coordinator stepped down, Buzz took on the role he’s now held for nearly twenty years. Continue reading
A father and his sons enjoy an outing along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. This segment, like many others benefited from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program funding. Photo by Nikki Gamble.
The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) voted on the future of the Stewardship Program on Tuesday, June 11th.They adopted Governor Evers’ position of a two-year extension of the program at current funding levels, 33 million each year.
We’re disappointed by this outcome (we were hoping for 10 years reauthorization). However, we recognize the vote could have also cut or eliminated funding, altogether. Continue reading
A father and his sons enjoy a day out on the Ice Age Trail. Photo by Nikki Gamble.
Help Protect More Ice Age Trail!
If you have a favorite segment along the Trail, there’s a good chance Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program funding played a crucial role in its existence.
Time is of the Essence!
The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) is debating the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program THIS week – June 10th.
Please EMAIL or even better, CALL your elected officials. Remind them how important Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program is to the future of Wisconsin. Ask them to call members of the JFC and emphasize how important the Stewardship fund is to their constituents.
With all of us speaking up together, we’ll deliver our message loud and clear: Renew the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program for 10 years at the current funding level of $33 million dollars a year.
Raise your voice in support. In June 2018, a statewide survey by Public Opinion Strategies and FM3 Research showed a staggering 86% of voters supporting continued funding of the program.
Take Action Now!
Please Contact Your State Legislators.
- Request their support for the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund in the soon-to-be released State budget.
- Ask them to CALL and encourage members of the bi-partisan Joint Finance Committee to support a 10-year reauthorization of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship fund at current level of $33M/year as they craft the budget.
- Remind them to prioritize the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
EMAIL Your State Legislators in Three EASY Steps!
Simply click here and do the following:
- Enter your address and zipcode.
- Customize, or not, the automatically generated letter of support. It pops up along with the contact information for your representative.
- Click SEND.
CALL Your State Legislators in Three EASY Steps!
Simply click here and do the following:
- Enter your address and zipcode.
- Above the names and pictures of your representatives, is a phone icon.
- Click the phone icon and the phone numbers will appear.
Thank you for your support of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail!
The Advocacy Team of the Ice Age Trail Alliance.
A volunteer trailbuilding crew uses their “trail eyes” to assess progress on a new section of tread. Photo by Dave Caliebe.
Had the World Trails Network (WTN) existed when Ray Zillmer traveled the state talking with farmers, politicians and the movers and shakers of the day about his vision to create a “Glacial National Park” in Wisconsin, maybe Ray would have borrowed these lines from the WTN Trail Manifesto: “trail is our story…our answers lie not at the end but on the way…every trail makes a life.”
A long-awaited section of new Ice Age Trail is ready to open in Dane County. We just need you! Join us and be part of our trail story. Continue reading
One of the nine boardwalks constructed along the newly opened 1.4 miles of Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Photo by Gail Piotrowski.
For more than 40 years, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail passed through a parcel of private land, squeezing between a shed and a house on the Ringle Segment. Thanks to your help, the Trail is now open; wending through a more scenic setting, bypassing private property, and is permanently protected.
Thanks to the 172 volunteers who contributed 3,124 hours helping to open 1.4 miles of new Trail that includes 9 new boardwalks totaling 514 feet, dozens of painted blazes, well-crafted tread, and durable stonework tossed in for good measure.
Download a Project Outcomes map to get a better sense of where the progress is being made for this multi-year project.
Two friends smile in delight after spending the day together hiking the Monches Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Photo by Brad Dagen.
National Trails Day is Saturday, June 1st, 2019 and there’s plenty to celebrate along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
Hikes That Go the Distance:
Explore new territory.
1. Chippewa County, Chippewa Moraine Segment: National Trails Day Hike
Celebrate National Trails Day in Chippewa County. Appreciate the beauty of the North woods as trees and flowers unfurl in late-spring. This hike, led by members of the Chippewa Moraine County Chapter, starts at 9:00 a.m. and is about 4-miles in length. Plan to meet new friends, bring your own water, insect repellent, and to complete the hike by noon. (Chippewa Moraine County Chapter) Continue reading
Do you enjoy your hikes along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail as it ambles through woods and prairies?
Do you wish for more contiguous Ice Age Trail and fewer road walks?
Then ask your State legislators to support the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.
- If you have a favorite segment along the Trail, there’s a good chance Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funding played a crucial role in its existence.
- The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program is a vital source of funding for the Ice Age Trail. Each of the 66 Stewardship purchases by the Ice Age Trail Alliance was leveraged with private, county or other funds, well over $20M since 2000.
- Additionally, the DNR has acquired Ice Age Trail rights on more than 100 properties (87 miles) for the Trail over time – nearly all of these used the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.
Our catchy name for the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s mobile app, Mammoth Tracks, has gone the way of the woolly mammoth! Guthook Guides, the company who created our app decided to switch things up. So, when the glacier melts, well, you go with the flow.
What was formerly Mammoth Tracks is now available as an in-app purchase in the new and improved version of Atlas Guides‘ offerings of Guthook Guides hiking apps. You can find the Ice Age Trail featured near the middle of the page.
Special Spring Pricing!
The deal starts Thursday, April 11th and runs through Sunday, April 14th. Continue reading
Photo by Rachel Roberts.
Saturday afternoon, 4 p.m.: Muscles sore after two days of hauling brush and wielding saws. Pots and pans dirtied from cooking two days’ worth of chili. Leaving the woods, you looked back to see a broad swath, 50-to 100-feet wide, newly cleared of buckthorn, slippery elm, and widow makers; of white and red oak freed of encroaching invaders; and, of yellow pin flags, curving through the woods, awaiting your return.
Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for your generous spirit, your passion, your faith in community and your willingness to embrace the power of teamwork one step, one kerf, one pin flag at a time. Continue reading
In an historic victory for public lands and close-to-home recreation, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was permanently reauthorized yesterday, March 12, 2019, as part of a sweeping public lands package signed into law by President Donald J. Trump.
The legislation, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House (363-62) and the Senate (92-8) last month, was signed yesterday during a ceremony that included LWCF champions. The culmination of a year’s-long effort by Congressional champions on both sides of the aisle and by stakeholders across the country to preserve the unique character of this program. Continue reading
GOOD NEWS! They voted YES!!
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the S .47 Natural Resources Management Act, in a bipartisan vote, 363-62. Continue reading
Fire, ice, and marshmallows; toss in an extra hour of daylight, good company to break the chill of winter with, and the 2019 Trailbuilding Season is officially underway!! Photo by Kevin Thusius.
Ice Age Interpretive Site
March 15 – 16, 2019
(South Central Wisconsin)
Project Area Map [PDF]
Please CALL or EMAIL your House Representative before TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26th at 3:30 p.m.
Voice your SUPPORT for the S. 47 Natural Resources Management Act.
S. 47 is one of the most significant public land packages to enjoy bipartisan support in congress in recent history! It will create more than 1.3 million acres of wilderness out West, add three national park units and expand eight others. Continue reading
Update for Android users of the Mammoth Tracks – Ice Age Trail app:
Mammoth Tracks is now available as an in-app purchase for Android in the new and improved version of Atlas Guides’ hiking app called “Guthook Guides: Hike & Bike Offline”.
Here are some common questions and answers about the new app.
Q: I have the Mammoth Tracks – Ice Age Trail app on my Android phone. Can I still use it?
A: Yes, you can still use it, and it will have the same data as the newer app. However, this app will not be updated (other than the data) or supported in the future.
Q: I have the Mammoth Tracks – Ice Age Trail app on my Android phone. Can I transfer my purchase to the new Guthook Guides app? Continue reading
A glimpse of boardwalk along the Jerry Lake Segment of the Chippewa Moraine in Taylor County.
Photo credit: D. Caliebe
We Need Photographs of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail!
We are on the lookout for photos we can use in our publications. Right now, we have a 2020 edition of Ice Age Trail Guidebook in the works.
What makes the Guidebook so valuable, besides detailed segment-by-segment descriptions and maps, is the high quality, expressive photographs it contains. Most of the pictures were taken, not by professional photographers, but by trail enthusiasts who snapped the shot while out hiking! Each photo wonderfully captures the beauty of the trail experience. Continue reading
We’re jumping for joy! A successful Challenge Match helps make the Ice Age National Scenic Trail a treasure for all generations to enjoy! Photo by Dineo Dowd.
Just WOW. Your generous support, and that of 530 Trail users from across the nation, joined together and exceeded the $60,000 Challenge Match. You gave through social media, check, and IRA’s. You shared the Match with friends and family. You generated more than $124,000 for the Alliance and ultimately the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Continue reading
Snow covered boardwalk along the Plover River Segment, Marathon County. Photo by Rachel Roberts.
First the Good News:
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail remains open for hiking, snowshoeing, running, and backpacking. Please continue to enjoy the Ice Age Trail and the activities which get you outside and bring you joy.
Now, for the Not-So Good News:
Even though the Ice Age Trail itself is not closed during the government shutdown, ALL VOLUNTEER-BASED activities are suspended. Continue reading
Snow-covered thistles enliven a winter landscape. Photo by T. Knaack.
The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever.
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is pleased to announce it is applying for renewal of accreditation. A public comment period is now open.
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs. “The rigorous accreditation and renewal process ensures we’ve satisfied a specific set of criteria as a land conservation organization,” said IATA Executive Director Mike Wollmer. “As an accredited organization, the Alliance continues to demonstrate credibility with its current and future donors, partners, and supporters.” Continue reading
A snowy hike along the Chippewa Moraine Segment. Photo by Melinda Hayes.
Start off 2019 strong with a heart-pumping hike and plenty of fresh air!
It’s easy to get your 10,000 steps with a hike on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Let the scenery renew your spirit and the crisp, winter weather invigorate your pace.
Give the gym a break on the weekends and mix up your routine. A whole-body workout is possible during Trail Improvement days. Besides the camaraderie of working alongside other trail enthusiasts, there’s the added bonus of knowing your ‘workout’ showed the Ice Age Trail some love. Continue reading
Tony Schuster (and his wife Nancy) enjoys a fantastic day hiking on the Ice Age Trail as Field Editor for the Harwood Lakes Segment in Chippewa County. Tony and Nancy carefully walked the segment to make sure the reality of the Trail was reflected across all three hiker resources. Photo by Nancy Schuster.
Work has begun to update the Ice Age Trail Guidebook, the Atlas, and the Databook. The goal is updated, published versions by February 2020.
We’re looking for dedicated and enthusiastic hikers and lovers of the outdoors to volunteer as Field Editors. That means YOU!
Field Editors will be asked to:
- Hike a selected segment or connecting route of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail,
- Review and verify existing book info,
- Submit a Field Edit Report providing any updated, corrected, or new information.
Good News for Taxpayers over the age of 70 ½!
Congress voted, in 2015, to make permanent the exclusion from income of up to $100,000 per person, per year, for Individual Retirement Account (IRA) distributions which are given directly to charities. Continue reading
The Holiday Season is in full swing…
For those of you who like to do your shopping online, from the comfort of your recliner, there are THREE ways to benefit the Ice Age Trail Alliance AND get your holiday shopping done!
For those of you who want to spend your money locally, then consider heading over to the Ice Age Trail Alliance store.
Grab a plush Monty the Mammoth for the littlest hiker in your life.
Right now, we’ve got a 60th Anniversary T-Shirts (men’s, women’s, youth) on sale and they are currently paired with their very own Monty the Mammoth. They are also being offered at a stocking stuffer pricing with a 2 for $12.00 deal! Continue reading
The happy, thousand-watt smiles of brand new Thousand-Milers fill the Alliance headquarters. Photo by Jo Ellarson.
Lynn Williamson and Patrice Nicolet recently completed their thousand-mile journey on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Laughing, they remarked, “We’re still friends, too!” Williamson and Nicolet became Thousand-Milers by section hiking the Ice Age Trail. The Thousand-Miler Map and Checklist helped them plan and document their progress as they hiked the Trail in bits and pieces over a period of years.
You too can get started on your very own adventure, solo, or with a friend, or an entire passel of people. Winter is a great time to cozy up to a warm fire and to plan your hike. Will you hike it a segment (or two) or connecting route (or more) at a time? Will you choose to hike the entire Trail in one continuous, multi-day effort? The decision is yours. Continue reading
We could protect DOUBLE the amount of places if LWCF received its promised funding! Instead, it’s only gotten half of its funding over the last 50+ years. Tell Congress that this is why we need full, dedicated funding for LWCF!
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is working tirelessly toward completion of a contiguous Trail through Wisconsin. The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is indispensable to that effort, investing more than $14.5M in permanently protecting the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
If you’ve walked miles on asphalt, as part of a connecting route, then you know nearly HALF of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail remains unprotected. Approximately 540 miles of the 1,200-mile Ice Age Trail is incomplete. These LWCF investments are critical funding to fill in gaps, extend the Trail and protect a continuous corridor. Continue reading