Old Railroad Segment, Langlade County. BEFORE and AFTER. More clean-up efforts to yet to come. This initial work (by a dedicated volunteer and certified sawyer) is a great start to getting the Trail back into shape.
Shear winds and tornadic activity ravaged the North and Central regions of Wisconsin on July 19 and July 20, 2019.
The areas hit the hardest by the storm were Polk, Langlade, and Waupaca counties. Hundreds of trees are down all along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail corridor. In a conservative estimate, well over 127 miles of Ice Age Trail was drastically affected by the storm. Continue reading
Summer storm damage. The northern tier of Wisconsin was hit by terrible storms with shear winds and tornadic activity, July 19, and July 20. Photo by Jason Pursell.
Summer Storm = Big Damage
Shear winds and tornadic activity ravaged the North and Central regions of Wisconsin this past weekend, July 19, and July 20, 2019. Expect to see a significant number of trees down along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail corridor.
Please exercise caution and common sense if you are considering a hike on any segment north of Highway 10, especially if you are planning to go anytime in the next two weeks. Areas where damage has been reported along the Ice Age Trail include (but are not limited to) the following: Polk, Barron, Langlade, Portage, and Waupaca counties.
Please know our dedicated volunteers, Seasonal Trail Crew, and partner agencies like the County parks and the Department of Natural Resources are busy assessing the damage and are taking the necessary steps to begin the safe removal of fallen trees and other debris. Continue reading
The green and blue of July are highlighted along the Emmons Creek Segment of the Ice Age Trail. (Photo by Cameron Gillie)
June is gone with the wind, and with the solstice behind us summer in Wisconsin is in full swing. From St. Croix Falls to Potawatomi State Park, wildflowers are in bloom and green blankets the glaciated landscapes along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. July is a time for growing and cultivating, only to reap what we’ve sowed in weeks to come.
You’re invited to participate in Ice Age Trail University, a four-day educational event (July 18 – 21) filled with knowledge, inspiration, and solutions to challenges we face on the Trail.
Grow and cultivate new skills to carry with you and share with others for the rest of your seasons on the Ice Age Trail. Community, dedication, and hands on experience is what keeps our shared vision of the Ice Age National Scenic vision alive and well.
Join us at IAT-U to learn from seasoned and committed volunteers and staff what makes the Ice Age Trail what it is – and what it can be. Continue reading
A volunteer helps build a brand new portion of the Ice Age Trail on the Cross Plains Ice Age Interpretive Site Thursday on the second day of the five-day Mobile Skills Crew event. (Photo by Cameron Gillie-www.aroundwisco.com)
165 volunteers over the course of 3,751 hours helped create audacious, sustainable, inspiring results!
The physical highlights – sandstone outcrops, windswept views for miles, a glacial story carved in stone, timber retaining walls, a 48-ft Bridge, two elevated boardwalks, and thousands of feet of artfully crafted trail wending harmoniously with and across the landscape – will surely be appreciated for generations to come.
Less apparent are the quiet keys to success; your dedication, your selfless teamwork, and the way in which you cheerfully stuck with what must have felt, at times, like thankless, but no less important, tasks.
Thank you! We are grateful for all you did to create a masterful new section of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail!
As we head into the July 4th weekend, there is much to celebrate! Bring your friends and family out to this new section of Trail and show them what a force for good and a collaborative spirit can create!
Download a Project Outcomes map to get a better sense of where the progress is being made for this multi-year project.
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. Continue reading
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
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