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.
Special THANKS to:
- To Tom Wise and Dave Lonsdorf for trying on a new hat – that of being Technical Advisors, e.g. itinerant teacher – and wearing it well.
- To Marilyn Chohaney for two days and nights of chopping, planning, and preparing for lunches.
- To Bob Kaspar and Ed Spoon for always-exemplary Crew Leader Manager duty.
- To all Crew Leaders and Sawyers for safely leading the way.
- To Tess Mulrooney for communication hub services.
- To all first-time and all returning Ice Age Trail volunteers – welcome!!
- To Crossroads Coffeehouse for providing delicious hot coffee.
- 72 volunteers donated 827 hours working safely, having fun, and moving us closer to opening a new mile of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
Photo by Rachel Roberts.
Project Specific Funding:
This project was made possible thanks to Dane County Capital Infrastructure grant agreement.
Happy Spring! The next Mobile Skills Crew adventure occurs April 25 – 27 on the reimagined Ringle Segment in Marathon County. We’re building new trail on permanently protected land and we hope to see you there!
Ringle Segment project registration here.
The MSC Ice Age Interpretive Site Project Team
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
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is pleased to announce we are hiring a paid intern position for 2019. This opportunity is based in our Outreach, Engagement & Education Program. The length of employment ranges from 7-8 months. Please read the position description linked below.
Currently, the Ice Age Trail Alliance seeks an intern to work side by side IATA staff and volunteers to introduce new and diverse audiences to the Ice Age Trail. The IATA recognizes and embraces the fact that we must engage new audiences and the next generation to be successful in continuing our mission of creating, supporting and protecting the Ice Age Trail. This intern position will build awareness of the Ice Age Trail and IATA to a diverse population engaging them through hikes, presentations and service learning events. This position will include a mix of field work, community outreach, and administrative duties, such as collecting, tracking and sharing data and stories, grant reporting, and updating various marketing platforms. We ask qualified applicants to apply by Friday, February 8, 2019.
Photo Credit: Jo Ellarson
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
#OptOutside. Get a dose of fresh air and hike off that extra slice of pumpkin pie.
Photo by Dave Caliebe
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is proud to participate in #OptOutside with our partner REI, Inc. In its third year, #OptOutside takes place on Black Friday and encourages people to take a hike! Here in Wisconsin, the day after Thanksgiving is also the heart of deer-gun hunting season. Keeping this in mind, we have set up 12 hikes where deer hunting is not allowed.
All of the following suggested hikes take place in Ice Age Trail Communities. These hikes represent a perfect blend of natural surroundings and urban amenities. Continue reading
How it works:
- Instead of going to Amazon.com, you will need to go to the AmazonSmile page which is: https://smile.amazon.com/;
- Now, log in like you normally do when you log into your Amazon account;
- Right underneath the Amazon search bar you will see small orange text that says “Supporting: Name of the Organization”;
- If you hover the mouse over the “Supporting: Name of Organization” it will bring up the option to change the charity you are currently supporting, or give you the opportunity to select one. (This may also be an option from your account settings.);
- Amazon will offer you a rotating list of their “spotlight charities” and below that a search bar that says “Or pick your own charitable organization” here is where you can type in “Ice Age Trail Alliance”;
- Click on the “Select” button. Now you are all set to start shopping;
- Amazon gives 0.5% of the purchase price, of whatever you order, to the Ice Age Trail Alliance (for example, a $100.00 purchase earns 50 cents for the Alliance);
- Remember: in order for a charity or organization to benefit from any Amazon shopping you do, you must use the AmazonSmile portal.
The EXTRA good news is this: AmazonSmile purchases benefit charities or organizations ALL year long…not just during the holiday season.
The rock work crew proudly gathers at the culmination of their efforts. Photo by Alaina Dedo.
The Mobile Skills Crew 2018 (MSC) season finale was a thundering conclusion to a successful season of Ice Age National Scenic Trail development, construction, and stewardship. The first-ever MSC event in Langlade County generated the most project hours in the history of all IATA events, and the most miles of new Trail opened in one fell swoop since such data has been reliably tracked. Continue reading
Snag a combo pack – Anniversary T-Shirt & Monty – and be a part of the national celebration!
On October 2nd, 1968 the National Trails System was created. This momentous occasion formalized the curation of America’s great hikes and critical points in human history. The National Scenic and Historic Trails were born.
On December 15th, 1958, a group of citizens came together and the Ice Age Trail Alliance was formed to create, support and protect what would become the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
The Alliance has enjoyed a year of celebrating the 50th and 60th anniversaries by building new trail, reaching new groups, and protecting landscapes. We are continuing the celebration by offering reduced pricing on our 60th Anniversary T-Shirt made by Seek Dry Goods. Continue reading
Morning mist rises on one of the many lakes along the re-imagined Old Railroad Segment. Photo by Dave Caliebe.
A grand time of year to be in the north woods is when the sugar maple, oak, and aspen light up in fall colors and, at long last, the mosquitoes, gnats, and flies have had their final say for the season.
Beginning Tuesday, October 9th and continuing through Sunday, October 14th, please join us for the season-finale of the 2018 Mobile Skills Crew “Light the Candles” tour and help create a new, nearly 10-mile long, reroute of Ice Age Trail in Langlade County.
This event is all-hands-on-deck and a HUGE opportunity to elevate the hiker experience in the north woods. Continue reading
Tornado damage along County Highway F just north of the John Muir Segment in Marquette County. Photo by thru-hiker, Jason Pursell.
Trail Condition Highlights
The Parnell Segment near Butler Lake was hit hard during an August 31st storm which produced high winds and tornados and many trees were blown down. While the staff of the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Northern Unit have downplayed the extent of the damage, hiker reports (as recently as 11/02/2018) indicate the route is still extremely treacherous and it is exceedingly easy to get lost. The on-going IATA recommendation is to avoid the Parnell Segment at this point in time.
Firth Lake Segment:
A portion of the Firth Lake Segment in Chippewa County has been closed by a private landowner. In order to bypass that segment, which extends from east of Firth Lake SIATA and Chippewa County Forest to about 1 mile west of Hwy CC, it is necessary to bypass everything between Hwy CC and Firth Lake. Continue reading
Photos by Cameron Gillie of ThePinHoleThing.com
The Ice Age Trail Alliance supporters, staff, and community members had lots to celebrate August 8-12 during our Ice Age Trail Days.
Ice Age Trail Alliance founder, Ray Zillmer.
Beginning with the dream of a single individual, Ray Zillmer who, in 1958, envisioned the Ice Age Trail and established what would become the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Fast forward 60 years and the Ice Age Trail is one of only eleven National Scenic Trails in the United States and the Alliance its strongest advocate. Continue reading
Despite rain and challenging conditions, our third MSC event in 15 months at Walla Hi County Park was a great success. Hardy volunteers, 79 in total, helped create and open for business a new, signature section of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
Over the course of three and a half days and 1,908 volunteer hours, a little over a half-mile of spectacular new trail, one that beguiles the imagination, emerged from within a 15-foot wide trail easement. Slab Hill – the steep pitch that rises 47% over 80 linear feet – will forever be a focal point for trail users. Telling of the skill and dedication of the builders are found in the subtleties – trail drainage dips, well-crafted tread, thoughtful trail signage, and the scores of invasive plants eradicated. Continue reading