Trails do not just magically appear in the woods or along a ridgeline for our hiking pleasure. It might seem like it as we take a stroll down a long, shaded path, with a glimpse of it unfolding ahead of us. Most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how a trail is constructed or the dedicated hours of design and layout (about a 100 hours) involved for every mile of trail, not counting the hours dedicated to the actual building, mile per mile, of trail.
In fact, most of us have a limited knowledge of exactly how many miles of trails exist in our country, not thinking perhaps beyond the trails in our own county or state parks, or the few mountain trails we’ve hiked, in Colorado, perhaps. It turns out, according to the American Hiking Society, there are 200,000 miles of trail throughout the United States.
The magic of following a trail is the access it gives us to the natural world in a way which allows us to play, learn, and explore. In Wisconsin we are particularly fortunate to have a fantastic network of trails weaving their way through state and county-owned land. Walking, hiking, or running trails is a great way to immerse ourselves in the inherent beauty of Wisconsin. One fine feature of our State is the exceeding privilege of having the Ice Age National Scenic Trail coursing its way across eskers, through kettles, and around erratics.
Hiking segments of the Ice Age Trail is a way to fully appreciate jewel-like portions of landscape carved by receding glaciers. A few hours walking through the woods, climbing a bluff, or hiking through prairie grasses, offers us the opportunity to get our hearts pumping, breathe fresh air, unwind, unplug, and rejuvenate either in solitude or in the company of good friends.
The Ice Age Trail Alliance and its Chapters are excited to celebrate National Trails Day® an initiative of the American Hiking Society, on Saturday, June 4th as a way to introduce and highlight the benefits of a day out on the Trail.
National Trails Day® Celebrations Along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail:
There are plenty of place to explore, so get outside and have some fun!