Welcome Lisa Szela, our new Volunteer Support Coordinator!

Lisa Szela, the Alliance's new Volunteer Support Coordinator, posing next to an Ice Age Trail sign at the Blue Hills Segments.
Lisa Szela, the Alliance's new Volunteer Support Coordinator, posing next to an Ice Age Trail sign at the Blue Hills Segments.
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is excited to welcome Lisa Szela as its Volunteer Support Coordinator.

Some of you might have already had the pleasure of meeting Lisa. Before her new role, she actively volunteered along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, amassing an expansive repertoire:

  • Trailbuilding at MSC events
  • Leading guided hikes
  • Assisting with the Alliance’s Dane County Chapter’s trail maintenance activities

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16 Hikes During the 9-Day Gun-Deer Season

Looking for an alternative to large gatherings and Black Friday shopping this Thanksgiving holiday? How about a stroll on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail!
Looking for an alternative to large gatherings and Black Friday shopping this Thanksgiving holiday? How about a stroll on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail!
The nine-day gun deer hunting season (November 19 – 27) spans the Thanksgiving holiday, a time when friends and family gather. It’s natural to want to introduce your loved ones to the Ice Age Trail, yet safe hiking options are limited. Keeping this in mind, we have 16 hikes to share with you where deer hunting is not allowed. Most of these options take place in or near Ice Age Trail Communities and are a perfect blend of natural surroundings and urban amenities.

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Hunting Season and Hiking on the Trail

A woman and her dog wear blaze orange on the Ice Age Trail in fall.

Photo by Paulette Walker Smith

There can be a lot of details to navigate when you hike the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin’s fall and winter seasons: hunting season dates, trail closures on private property, and public lands where the Trail is open and hunting is also allowed.

Visit our Hunting Season and the Ice Age Trail page to get a full breakdown of all the things to consider.

Here are the main things you’ll want to remember: Continue reading

It’s Election Season

Tell Candidates the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is Important

November 8 is a big election day. Wisconsin residents will be choosing Federal and State representatives. Since 31 State legislators are retiring, many of those elected in November will be brand new to their roles.

Therefore, it’s now especially important to tell the candidates about the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (and Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funding).

Candidates need to understand the Trail is important to their constituents and to the state of Wisconsin. The Trail is important to you, so it should be important to them.

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Welcome Steve Pence, our new Land Restoration Specialist!

Land Restoration Specialist, Steve Pence.
Land Restoration Specialist, Steve Pence.
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is excited to welcome Steve Pence as its Land Restoration Specialist.

Steve has unintentionally managed to be on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail throughout his life. Whether it is camping and hiking with his wife and dog in the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest or doing habitat restoration work, the Trail has been a quiet constant in his life.

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Enjoy October Hikes, Fall Festivities, and More on the Trail!

Bohn Lake Segment. Photo by: Get Off the Couch Crew.
Bohn Lake Segment. Photo by: Get Off the Couch Crew.
There are lots of upcoming hikes and activities planned for October; making it easy for you to get outside, enjoy glorious fall color, and log your miles as for the Mammoth Hike Challenge.

Get these events on your calendar and enjoy new levels of fun as you achieve 42 miles and visit 3 Trail Communities in 2022!

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Maura Hanley Joins the Alliance as the New AmeriCorps VISTA Member!

Maura Hanley
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is pleased to welcome Maura Hanley as the newest addition to the Alliance marketing and communications team! Maura is joining the Alliance as an AmeriCorps VISTA member through Conservation Legacy’s Stewards Individual Placement Program.

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Welcome Miranda Murphy, our new Field Engagement Intern!

Field Engagement Intern, Miranda Murphy.
Field Engagement Intern, Miranda Murphy.
We are excited to welcome Miranda Murphy to the Alliance as our new Field Engagement Intern.

Miranda recently graduated from UW-Madison, where she majored in Environmental Studies and Psychology. She was introduced to the Ice Age Trail Alliance during her last semester, when she spent a day at Alliance headquarters through a job shadow program with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Growing up in Madison, the Trail has long been a presence in her life, since before she was even aware of it. “I’ve done sections before, but without really thinking about the fact that it was Ice Age Trail, it was just, you know, a trail to hike on.” Continue reading

Preventing Tick-borne Illnesses

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With warm weather enticing hikers into Wisconsin’s wild spaces, it’s a good time to consider how to prevent tick-borne illnesses while recreating outdoors. Tick-borne illnesses typically first cause flu-like symptoms and usually can be treated with antibiotics if caught early. Untreated, they may cause serious health problems, including death in rare cases. Information on tick-borne illnesses and tips to prevent tick exposure can be found below.

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2022 Trail Steward of the Year: Gerald “Jerry” Pfeifer

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Trail Steward of the Year, Jerry Pfeifer, Gerald Pfeifer
Dave Caliebe, Trail Manager for the Ice Age Trail Alliance (right), congratulates Gerald "Jerry" Pfeifer, winner of the Trail Steward of the Year award for 2022. Photo by Cameron Gillie.

The Trail Steward of the Year award recognizes a volunteer whose work contributes in an extraordinary manner to Trail management and development.

These contributions include:

  • Strengthening landowner and/or partner relations;
  • Trail layout, design, and construction;
  • Significant trail maintenance and stewardship efforts.
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2022 Spirit Stick Caretaker: Debbie Krogwold

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Spirit Stick Award, Debboe Krogwold
Debbie Krogwold, Portage/Waupaca County Chapter Coordinator, receives the cherished Spirit Stick award; one of the highest honors bestowed by the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Photo by Cameron Gillie.

Debbie Krogwold inspires the entire Ice Age Trail Alliance community with her passion for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Her long-time dedication has encompassed a wide range of activities: Trail maintenance and promotion as well as the nitty-gritty details of chapter administration.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance’s Spirit Stick award symbolizes long-term dedication and service to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and is presented to only one recipient per year. The Spirit Stick nominees must exhibit a passion for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail that has become a way of life; lead by example and inspire those around them; and carry out their service in a spirit of cooperation, optimism, and enthusiasm.

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The Student Conservation Association is hiring an Ice Age Trail work crew!

Photo by Cameron Gillie.
Photo by Cameron Gillie.
A partner organization, the Student Conservation Association (SCA), is hiring an Ice Age Trail work crew for the summer!

This is a great opportunity for those starting out or considering a career in the outdoors.

Crew members will spend their summer with a team of like-minded peers, gaining hands-on training and developing trailbuilding and leadership skills. And they’ll be working in some of the most scenic locations Wisconsin has to offer, right along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

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Farewell to Brad Crary, Special Projects Coordinator

Brad Crary assisting with food prep at an MSC Event. Photo by Cameron Gillie.
Brad Crary assisting with food prep at an MSC Event. Photo by Cameron Gillie.
On Friday, April 1, after 14 years with the Alliance, we say goodbye to Brad Crary. Many of you know Brad from his years coordinating project support for scores of large-scale MSC events. He was a fixture at basecamp, managing logistics big and small: setting up the tent, assisting with food prep, and ensuring coffee was ready first thing in the morning. No matter the hour, he wore his trademark smile.

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Welcome Claire Finucane as our new Property Steward!

Claire Finucane, Property Steward
Property Steward Claire Finucane
I am excited to start my journey as the Property Steward for the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Growing up in the Madison area afforded me countless weekends to enjoy the Ice Age Trail. The Gibraltar Rock Segment is a favorite: I can always count on a beautiful sunset view.

I grew up on a small hobby farm where I raised chickens, goats, and a pony. Our family spent a lot of time hiking, camping, skiing, and days on Rock Lake, immersed in and enjoying Wisconsin’s incredible scenery. You can still find me enjoying all four seasons: hiking, camping, swimming, hammocking, skiing, or kayaking.

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7 Reasons for Newbies to Attend the Ice Age Trail Alliance Annual Conference

Ice Age Trail Alliance
The Ice Age Trail Alliance 2022 Annual Conference and Membership Meeting is Thursday, April 21 – Sunday, April 24, 2022 in Stevens Point, WI.

Are you a recently-joined member of the Alliance? Long-time member who has never attended? Working on a section-hike or thru-hike of the Ice Age Trail? Enthusiastic hiker eager to learn more?

Our conference schedule includes many things you may be interested in: a long-distance hiking seminar, presentations from thousand-milers, special interest sessions ranging from ice age geology to trailbuilding 101, a screening of the documentary about Emily Ford, “Breaking Trail,” guided hikes, and a keynote presentation from record-setting hiker, Jennifer Pharr Davis… to name a few.

Still not sure? Here are a 7 more reasons you may want to attend!

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Welcome Sarah Driscoll as our new Philanthropic Coordinator!

Sarah Driscoll, Philanthropic Coordinator
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I am overjoyed to join the Alliance team as the Philanthropic Coordinator. As an avid hiker, I am grateful to support the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

Like many other nature enthusiasts, I spent much of my childhood outside. Every summer, I camped with my family and explored the nine acres of prairie surrounding my home. As an adult, I enjoy outdoor activities, especially camping and fishing with my husband, Bryce, hiking throughout the state, and simply sitting around campfires with my friends.

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We’re hiring: AmeriCorps VISTA member!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, AmeriCorps VISTA, Stewards Individual Placement Program, Hiring

Position Description

As the 1,200-mile-long Ice Age National Scenic Trail winds through Wisconsin, it travels through remote regions of the state containing low-income counties. Yet, these areas also hold some of the state’s greatest natural beauty.

The AmeriCorps VISTA member will help create a bridge between the Ice Age Trail and the positive societal and economic impacts created when visitors visit and locals embrace the Ice Age Trail.

Activities will vary, but they will include assisting in outreach initiatives and cultivating a strong social media presence promoting the positive impacts the Ice Age Trail can have on local economies.

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Welcome a familiar face, Riley Dupee, as our new Field Operations Specialist!

Riley Dupee, Field Operations Specialist
Left: Riley wearing a hard hat --  important gear for staying safe, and looking cool. Photo by Riley Dupee. Right: Riley doing rockwork on the Trail at a Mobile Skills Crew event. Photo by Lisa Krueger.
Left: Riley wearing a hard hat -- important gear for staying safe, and looking cool. Photo by Riley Dupee. Right: Riley doing rockwork on the Trail at a Mobile Skills Crew event. Photo by Lisa Krueger.
Well Hi, Friends!

After a summer of interning with the Alliance Trail Program, I am officially part of the team as Field Operations Specialist. So, please stop calling and emailing Mike. You did it. I’m hired. Thank you!

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