Fresh Tread in a Storybook Setting

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Rib Lake Segment MSC, Taylor County
Volunteers work together to maneuver a boulder into place for what will become a set of stone steps. Photo by Patrick Gleissner.

The Ice Age Trail brings all sorts of folks together, and this MSC event was no exception. First-time volunteers, New Vision Wilderness students, a pair of TikTok celebrities (their Instagram handle is “thruhikers”), and a long-distance hiker passing through joined seasoned trailbuilders as they cut fresh tread on the Rib Lake Segment. This confluence of novelty and experience resulted in more than 3,000 feet of completed trail, with a generous head start on another 1,000 feet!

All told, 102 volunteers donated 2,338 hours of their time to complete this chapter in the Rib Lake chronicles. We’ll be back in September to pick up where this tale left off. Once complete, this storybook setting will spill plenty of secrets about Wisconsin’s Northwoods’ geology, geography, and botany.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Rib Lake Segment MSC, Taylor County, trailbuilding
Hovering above a soggy spot is a 28-foot extension volunteers built to an existing structre. A 21-foot extension built on other side, assists hikers in exiting the bridge. Photo by Dave Caliebe.
Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Rib Lake MSC, Taylor County, Trailbuilding
Volunteers shape tread along a co-existing retaining wall. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

For making this project possible, special thanks to:

  • Ann and Bob Rusch for their continued and unwavering dedication to the Ice Age Trail.
  • Butch Clendenning for orchestrating the feeding of 102 volunteers. And for the perfect crunch of homemade canned jalapeños!
  • Camp 28, Java Journey, and Mann Made Pizza and Ice Cream, for catering meals. MSC events attract a hungry crowd, and these local businesses went above and beyond to feed us!
  • Ron Becker for the use of his machinery. No crew can move boulders like a glacier, but give them a skid steer and they get pretty close!
  • New Vision Wilderness Therapy for encouraging the participation of their students.
  • Wisco Stone for providing quarried stone for retaining walls and the grand staircase.
  • Silver Creek Sanitation for providing potta potties and handwashing stations at a generously reduced rate.
  • Jake Walcisak and Joe Sveda from the Taylor County Forestry Department for their continuing support of the Ice Age Trail and providing a picturesque base camp setting.
Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Rib Lake MSC, trailbuilding, Taylor County
A handsome set of steps help hikers navigate the terrain's rise. Photo by Patrick Gleissner.

Up Next:

June 22 – 26, New Hope-Iola Ski Hill Segment, Waupaca and Portage Counties
This 1.5-mile reroute at the Iola Winter Sports Club will create a more enjoyable experience for hikers and skiers. Join us to build brand-new tread through the pines and away from established ski trails. This is a great project to learn the basics of tread construction.

Event details and registration, here.

See our full schedule of upcoming events, here.

Generous Sponsors of the 2022 MSC Trailbuilding Season include: