Photo by: IATA File photo

Pitch in on the Trail

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is built, supported, and maintained by the Ice Age Trail Alliance (IATA) and hundreds of passionate volunteers. They donate thousands of hours of time every year to care for the Trail, lead hikes and field trips, and connect with communities near the Trail.

In fact, without our volunteers, the Ice Age Trail would just be another line on a map.


Yearly Achievements


Dedicated Volunteers


Volunteer Hours


Mammoth Hike Challenge Participants


Acres Protected


Feet of  Boardwalk Built

Get Involved

Our 19 volunteer chapters are the living, breathing soul of the Ice Age Trail. They build and maintain the Trail across the state throughout the year. They have lots of fun while bringing our organization to a level we would not be able to achieve without them.

Volunteers need to complete the current Volunteer Agreement Forms (OF-301A) on an annual basis. And, if you’re joining us for the first time at an event, please fill one out. Please complete the fillable Individual Volunteer Services Agreement Form (OF-301A) and email it (along with any questions about the form) to Dan Watson, ([email protected]).

Event leaders may find this form helpful: Group Volunteer Form (301B)

Group form instructions from Dan Watson: the group leader should fill out the 301A for themselves (checking the box at the top right that it will be a Group signup), and then the rest of the group fills out their info on an attached Group Roster (301B).

Download one of these Volunteer Individual Hours Logs in Word or Excel.

Record your volunteer activity and the time you spent. Once the form is filled out, at the end of each quarter (i.e. end of June, Sept, Dec, March), you can send the form to your chapter’s leadership. Connect with your chapter leadership to learn to whom you should send your completed log.

Questions? Give our office a call at (800) 227-0046 or email us at [email protected].

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Rice Lake Preserve, Rice Lake MSC, White Cedar Segment
A happy crew worked together to fasten deck boards along an 873-foot-long boardwalk. Photo by Holly Lorentz.

MSC Program

Our MSC Program trains volunteers in advanced trail construction and crew leadership techniques. Then, they lead smaller-scale trail building projects at locations along the Trail.

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.

I have met a wonderful group of zany, honest, “comfortable in their own skin” folks who have become my friends. Some of them focus on building trail and supporting other trail builders. Others direct their energies into hiking. Many have become like a second family to me.

– Gail M. Piotrowski “Gabby Gail” IAT Thousand Miler 2014


We are dedicated to developing and supporting a robust volunteer force that’s prepared to meet the challenge of building and maintaining the Ice Age Trail. We offer an assortment of training opportunities to complement the unique skills volunteers bring to the table

Ice Age Trail University

A wide range of virtual presentations offers both seasoned and newbie volunteers plenty of inspiration and information. From the comfort of your home, join staff or special guests as they share Alliance and Ice Age Trail-related topics.

To view this year’s evolving list of workshops, visit Ice Age Trail University (IAT-U). ►

Wrap-Up & Ramp-Up

We host a virtual Volunteer Wrap-up and Ramp-up event that brings volunteers together to celebrate accomplishments and learn about what’s coming in the new year. This event is held in mid-to-late November.

For dates and locations, please visit the event calendar. ►

Annual Conference & Membership Meeting

Even though the focus of our Annual Conference is celebrating our volunteers’ accomplishments on the Trail, we just can’t help but squeeze in a few training opportunities.

Each year we provide breakout sessions helping volunteers gain understanding and skills in a variety of areas. This could include how to hike with youth or learning what goes into protecting the Wisconsin landscape.

The Annual Conference takes place each April. Learn more about it and register, today. ►

Sawyer and Swamper Training

Chainsaw certified volunteers – sawyers – and the volunteers who directly assist them by removing downed branches and brush – swampers – are uniquely qualified to assist the Ice Age Trail Alliance with Habitat Improvement Program (HIP) events, corridor clearing, storm damage clean up, and more.

Learn what it takes to become a certified sawyer and approved as a swamper.

Volunteer Awards

To show our appreciation and recognize the incredible work of hundreds of volunteers and other friends of the Trail, we give out a series of awards. The following awards recognize the dedication, inspiration and longevity that many volunteers bring to the Ice Age Trail.

View our full list of awards.

Spirit Stick award

The Spirit Stick Award symbolizes long-term dedication and service to the Ice Age Trail. Recipients for this award exhibit a passion for the Trail that has become a way of life. They lead by example, inspire those around them, and carry out their service with a spirit of optimism, cooperation, and enthusiasm. We present this award to only one recipient each year.

The complete list of winners can be viewed here.

Trail Steward of the year

This award recognizes volunteers whose work in any phase of Trail management contributes in an extraordinary manner to the development of new trail, land improvements or facilities such as: trail planning, landowner and/or partner relations, trail layout and design, trail construction, trail maintenance, and stewardship work.

The complete list winners can be viewed here.