How to AmazonSmile!

How it works:

  1. Instead of going to Amazon.com, you will need to go to the AmazonSmile page which is: https://smile.amazon.com/;
  2. Now, log in like you normally do when you log into your Amazon account;
  3. Right underneath the Amazon search bar you will see small orange text that says “Supporting: Name of the Organization”;
  4. 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.);
  5. 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”;
  6. Click on the “Select” button. Now you are all set to start shopping;
  7. 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);
  8. 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.

Wanted: Volunteer Field Editors

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Field Editors, Guidebook updates and revisions

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.

Continue reading

Online Shopping Benefits The Trail!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, AmazonSmile, Online ShoppingThe 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!

FIRST:

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!

The Thousand-Miler Map and Checklist is a great incentive for someone just heading out on their 1,000-mile adventure!

The Ice Age Trail custom map featuring the work of artist Lisa Middleton is perfect congratulations for the Thousand-Miler or Thousand-Miler Wannabe in your life.

You may also consider items like coffee mugs, hats, and of course, our Ice Age Trail Guidebook,  Atlas, Databook, all items your favorite hiker may appreciate!

Second:

Please consider supporting the retailers who actively support the Ice Age Trail.

REI handsomely supports the Mobile Skills Crew program each year. In 2017 – 2018, grant monies awarded from REI funded our well-received Trailtessa programs! Shopping at REI ultimately comes back to fund important Trail initiatives.

Fontana Sports is also an AWESOME Ice Age Trail supporter, ear-marking proceeds from two of their wildly popular trail runs specifically for the Trail itself. Besides raising much-needed funds for Trail programs, the events help promote the Trail to new audiences.

Wigwam also warmly supports the Ice Age Trail through it’s generous corporate support and plenty of coupons to keep the feet of our Mobile Skills Crew volunteers warm and dry! They even rolled out an Ice Age Trail sock in three color options, check it out!

Sitka Salmon helped fill the bellies of our hard-working Mobile Skills Crew volunteers during the April – October trailbuilding season. Consider giving the gift of Alaskan, fresh-caught salmon. They have a great Holiday Box option right now, or you can sign-up a loved one for a Sitka Salmon Share. It’s a gift the keeps on giving, arriving monthly!

Third:

For those of you who like to do your shopping online, from the comfort of your recliner, and from Amazon.com, then you may want to take advantage of AmazonSmile where Amazon donates 0.5% of eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice (hopefully, the Ice Age Trail Alliance). For example, for every $100.00 you spend online at AmazonSmile, 50 cents is donated to the Alliance.

Remember: in order for a charity or organization to benefit from any Amazon shopping you do, you must use the AmazonSmile portal and here’s how you can do that.

The EXTRA good news is this:  AmazonSmile purchases benefit charities or organizations ALL year long…not just during the holiday season.

Now, with all your shopping done from the comfort of your living room, we hope to see you out on the Trail!

Happy Holidays!

The Thousand-Miler Smile!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Thousand-Miler, Section Hiking,

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

Twelve Black Friday Hikes: #OptOutside

#OptOutside. Get a dose of fresh air and hike off that extra slice of pumpkin pie. Photo by Dave Caliebe

#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

Celebrate Our Anniversary with New Gear!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, 50th Anniversary of the National Trails Scenic Act, 60th Anniversary of the Ice Age Trail Alliance

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

Trail Conditions

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Volunteer Chapters, Trail Conditions, Storm Damage

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

Parnell Segment: 

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

60 Successful Years!

Ice Age Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Mobile Skills Crew, Cross Plains Segment

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, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Ray Zillmer

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

Ice Age Trail Days

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age Trail DaysIce Age Trail Days 60th Anniversary Party!

Date: Wednesday, August 8 – Sunday, August 12

Location: Village of Cross Plains

Activities:

  • Trailbuilding, August 8 – 12
  • Live music, exhibits, and farm-to-table dinner, August 10
  • Hikes and Workshops, August 11

Download a complete Schedule of Events [PDF]

Ice Age Trail Days event details HERE; grab your ticket for the dinner, hurry…limited seating

Summer Party T-Shirts

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Seek Dry Goods, Corporate Partners

Perfect for festivals and back yard barbecues this line of summer Ts will help you survive a muggy Wisconsin heat wave. They’re also good for showing off your Ice Age Trail Pride. Change into one after a productive Trail Improvement day – know you clean up good. Slip one on before you head out to a summer party. Save the Date – see the list below. 

The Ice Age Trail Alliance partnered with Seek Dry Goods, an up and coming outdoor apparel company who caters to Seekers; people who are passionate and obsessive about the outdoors.

Seek is celebrating one full year in business. We’re celebrating 60 years as an organization. Seems like a good time to host a couple of parties – you’re invited, by-the-way. Continue reading

Wigwam Swag – Socks!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Wigwam, Corporate FriendsWigwam regularly engages with enthusiast fans of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail by giving away socks at Alliance events like the Be FREE Trailtessa trail running workshop, the Annual Conference, National Public Lands Day stewardship event, and by offering a multitude of coupons for Mobile Skills Crew volunteers.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Wigwam, Corporate Friends

Ice Age Trail socks by Wigwam can be found here along with an assortment of color options.

Trail Friends support Friends of the Trail; checkout Wigwam and get yourself a pair of socks.

Friend of the Ice Age Trail Award 2017

Fontana Sports Specialties was the 2017 recipient of the Friends of the Ice Age Trail award. As Luke Kloberdanz, Director of Philanthropy wrote in his nomination of Fontana:

“One fine example of Fontana Sports Specialties’ dedication to being a Friend of the Trail is this: Since 2014 Fontana Sports has hosted two fundraising events annually for the Alliance which focus on putting people directly on the Trail. The first event is an evening trail run called the Headlamp Hustle. The second event is a fall trail run titled Fall Colors Run. While these events benefit the Alliance financially (with a total contribution of well over $10,000), they represent the purest form of engagement found in Alliance work, putting people directly into contact with the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Each event hosts over 100 participants as they enjoy some of the most challenging sections of the Trail to run. Despite the grueling nature of the routes, every participant arrives at the finish line with a sense of appreciation for what the Trail brings to the lives of people and communities across the state.” Continue reading

National Trails Day Hikes!

National Trail Day, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail

The Plover River Segment of the Ice Age Trail. (Photo by Cameron Gillie)

National Trails Day is Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 and there is plenty to celebrate along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

Hikes That Go the Distance:

Explore new territory.

Waushara County, All Waushara County Segments: “Walk the Waush” Challenge 

Beginning June 1 through August 19th, challenge yourself, family, friends, and co-workers to lace up their walking shoes and walk as many miles as you can in 80 days and explore Waushara County’s beautiful parks and trails. (Bonus: become eligible for awards and prizes!) (Waushara County Chapter) Continue reading

New Ice Age Trail Gear Available!

The Ice Age Trail Alliance did something different this year.  We partnered with local outdoor brand, Seek Dry Goods, to offer new products and designs that celebrate and support the Trail. Today, we are thrilled to announce the arrival the first official Ice Age Trail tee shirts and stickers!

All tee shirts from Seek Dry Goods display hand-drawn graphics, are USA made and are responsibly sourced (50% organic cotton / 50% recycled polyester).  The use of responsibly sourced materials requires almost 70% less water and energy to produce than conventional fabric. This means your tee shirt purchases not only support the Trail, but the Earth as well. Continue reading

Celebrate Spring with a Hike!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Spring Hikes, Chapter-led hikes

Bring your tribe hiking on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.                                                         Photos by: Luke Kloberdanz, James Mills, Cameron Gillie

As the snow melts, trees bud out, and wildflowers begin adding a glimmer of color to the Trail, chapter-led hikes begin populating the Ice Age Trail Alliance calendar in earnest.

Continue reading

Be ENOUGH – Trailtessa – Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, REI, Force of Nature, Be Enough

Be Rejuvenated. Breathe in the beautiful view and exhale stress. Recharge with a guided hike and a sea of green along the Kewaskum Segment. Photo by Kathy Kehl.

Be Equal. Women, who spend at least an hour a day outside, on average, are more likely to feel equal to men in academia, in the outdoors, at work, in the boardroom, politics and on the sports field. Continue reading

We are hiring!

Photo Credit: Jo EllarsonThe Ice Age Trail Alliance is pleased to announce we are hiring an intern position for 2018.  This opportunity is based in our Outreach & Education Program. The length of employment ranges from 6 – 8 months. Please read the position description linked below.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance seeks an intern to work side by side IATA staff and volunteers to promote, lead, and report on our Saunters program. Our intern will perform youth-based outreach across Wisconsin to a diverse population engaging them through hikes and service learning events. This position will include a mix of field work, presentations, and administrative duties, such as collecting/sharing data and stories, grant reporting, and updating various marketing platforms. We ask qualified applicants to apply by Friday, March 16.

Photo Credit: Jo Ellarson

Beware of Icy Hiking Conditions!

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Icy Winter Hiking

Icy trail conditions like these along the popular Straight Lake Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail call for winter traction devices! Photo by Dave Caliebe.

Don’t put summer fun in jeopardy by taking an otherwise preventable fall on an icy trail.

Many favorite, well-loved, and well-used segments of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail become extremely icy during the late winter and early spring.

Snowy trails, packed down by many feet, turn to ice and become even more dangerous as balmy daytime temperatures lead to thawing and evening temperatures dip back into freezing range.

To be prepared for potentially hazardous hiking, the use of ice cleats and hiking poles (with rubber tip removed) is strongly recommended for safe spring hiking (which in some areas extends well into “Muddy March” and even mid-April). Continue reading

Backpacking Workshop Series

A weekend backpacker pauses to catch his breath and take in the views along the IAT. Photo by Cameron Gillie.

Deepen your backpacking know-how with plenty of advice from backpacking experts. If you’re carefully considering a thru-hike on the Ice Age Trail as your next big adventure, or if you’re dreaming and scheming about how to section-hike the Trail in weekend jaunts, then these sessions are for you!

Join us on Saturday, April 14th at the Blue Harbor Resort in beautiful Sheboygan!

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 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 Mammoth Tracks 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. Continue reading

Interactive Hiker Resource Map

Clicking on a feature in the map will bring up more information, such as the name and length of an IAT segment.

The NEW interactive Hiker Resource Map shows all official Ice Age National Scenic Trail segments and (unsigned) connecting routes, and additional features such as camping, parking, water, ColdCache sites, and Ice Age Trail Communities.  The map works on computers and mobile devices.

We like how intuitive it is. Hover over an icon to gain more information. Click on the options offered on the toolbar (see above example) to expand the information available. Continue reading

First Day Hikes on the IAT

Snow on thistles. Verona Segment, Dane County. Photo by T. Knaack

The crunch of snow underfoot breaks the silence of a stark, white winter landscape. Cold air enters lungs and puffs of warm breath rise like smoke. A First Day Hike on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a good way to test your resolve to get outside in the New Year.

Blue Spring Lake Segment, Walworth County. Photo by Chris Munz.

The good news is you can ease into your resolutions by joining like-minded folks who are also choosing to celebrate a new day and a new start with a blood-pumping, welcome-to-2018-hike!

Three First Day Hikes Near You:

Gibraltar Rock Segment, Columbia County, hosted by the Lodi Valley Chapter

Pike Lake Segment, Washington County, hosted by the Washington/Ozaukee County Chapter

Lapham Peak Segment, Waukesha County, hosted by the Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter

There are 17 First Day Hikes hosted by Wisconsin State Parks.

First Day Hikes is an initiative begun by America’s State Parks as an effort to get more people outdoors and enjoying their state land for exercise and recreation.

Be LUCKY – Saturday, February 3, 2018

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Trailtessa, Ice Age Trail, Force of Nature, REI Corporate Partner

Be Lucky. You’ll feel like the luckiest woman on earth as you snowshoe through a blanket of sparkling snow (fingers crossed!) along the Straight Lake Segment in Polk County. Photo by Cheryl Whitman.

Be Community. Warm your heart and bring your tribe. Come ready to meet new friends and deepen friendship with those you’ve known a long time. Winter hiking keeps you connected to the simple things in life: health and vigor; home and tribe.

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Be Lucky, Trailtessa, Force of Nature, REI, Corporate Partner

Be Curious. Local botanist and Ice Age Trail enthusiast, Barbara Delaney, will highlight the intricacies of winter ecology. Discover more about the world below the layer of snow. Photo by Rachel Roberts.

Be Delighted. You’ll be enchanted by the gregarious beauty old-growth oak trees with their gnarled and elegant limbs stretched wide, welcoming. The Straight Lake State Park is an absolute Wisconsin gem, you won’t want to miss seeing it in winter, too!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Force of Nature, Trailtessa, Be Lucky, REI Corporate partner

Be Awed. You’ll appreciate the hush of frozen Straight Lake. You’ll marvel at the inviting curve of a boardwalk as it winds through the woods. Photo by Rachel Roberts.

Be Resilient. A winter’s day hike encourages health and resilience as you take care of your body with fresh-air time outdoors, even during the cold days of the year.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Be Lucky, Force of Nature, Trailtessa, REI corporate partner

Be Inspired. A guided hike (snowshoes if weather accommodates) will be led by Stephanie Lundeen, owner of Café Wren, and members of the Indianhead Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance

Be Lucky Schedule:

Saturday, February 3, 2018, Polk County, Straight Lake Segment

10:00 a.m. Meet at the Straight Lake State Park parking lot at 120th St./270th Ave. (adjacent Rainbow Lake).

10:15 a.m. Board bus to the start of the hike (280th Ave.) for a 2-mile hike. (The opportunity to extend this distance exists at the end of the hike.) Hike at a leisurely pace and enjoy the wisdom of a local botanist, Barbara Delaney.

11:30 a.m. Arrive back to parking lot at Rainbow Lake. (You may extend your hike at this point.) Enjoy a bonfire, warm yourself from your heart to your toes with Swedish Glogg, a strong mulled wine best enjoyed outdoors, and refuel with homemade soup and bread.

1:00 p.m. Depart.

Snowshoes provided for anyone who needs a pair. The hike will happen with or without sufficient snow for snowshoeing.

Limit: 40 women ages 15 and above.

Investment: $10.00 non-refundable fee

Resources:

Straight Lake State Park, 2017-2019 Ice Age Trail Guidebook description

Straight Lake State Park, 2017-2019 Ice Age Trail Atlas Map

We APPRECIATE the support of our GENEROUS sponsor for this Be LUCKY event – Thank You!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, REI Co-Op, Corporate Partners, Shop local

Ice Age Trail, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Trailtessa, REI corporate partner

Outdoor co-op REI today launched a comprehensive effort to advance gender equity in the outdoors, encouraging millions of its members to embrace the outdoors as “the world’s largest level playing field.