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Trail Layout & Design Training – Blue Hills Segment

May 1 @ 8:00 am - May 7 @ 4:00 pm


2020 Trail Layout & Design Training

Sustainable trail layout and design (TL&D) is the difference between trails that last and those that don’t. This training is for committed trail workers who want to be an ongoing participant in the Ice Age National Scenic Trail’s development and stewardship.

Training outcomes will directly contribute to a proposed 17-mile reroute. Field work entails evaluating physical, biological, recreational and cultural attributes, identifying positive and negative control points, and methodically documenting findings and observations.

Rain or shine, we’ll explore sustainable TL&D concepts in and out of doors.

This event take’s place Friday May 1 through Thursday May 7 in the Blue Hills of Rusk County. A base camp will be at Murphy Flowage Recreation Area, near Birchwood, WI. After a 1-day training session, participants will divide into small crews to assess designated areas up to 5 square miles in area.

Crews will have minimal support while in the field. There is little to no cell reception. The Rusk County Forest is vast with few roads, access points. Terrain is rocky, uneven, and wet.

Participants must be able to commit to one of two training sessions as described below; you are welcome and encouraged to participate in the entirety of the event as well.

o Session 1, May 1-4 (Fri-Monday noon)
o Session 2, May 4-7 (Mon-Thur)

TL&D as a process is strenuous hard work, physically demanding and requires perseverance in the field. A successful candidate for this training will be selected from a list of skill sets to include some of the following:


  • Ability to bushwhack up to 5-7 miles per day, with pack and equipment
  • Ability to use both compass and clinometer effectively
  • Experience reading/interpreting topo maps
  • Backpacking experience is required
  • First Aid/CPR certification is desired
  • A commitment of a minimum 3.5 days is required
  • Extensive trailbuilding experience at Mobile Skills Crew events is a must

Completing “Trail Safe” (link) is required. Trail Safe! consists of eight video lessons, each ranging in length from 18 to 40 minutes long. Viewing the entire eight lesson series will take approximately three hours. Watch them over the course of multiple days, or “binge watch” in three hours—it’s up to you—but please watch them in numeric order from Lesson 1 through Lesson 8.

Applications are accepted until Friday, March 27.

Application Link

See a map of the project area [PDF]




May 1 @ 8:00 am
May 7 @ 4:00 pm
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Brad Crary, IATA Staff


The Murphy Flowage Recreation Area is on Rusk County Hwy “F” eight miles south of Birchwood