Honor Your Mother

Photo credit: J. Wildermuth, IAT volunteer

Photo credit: J. Wildermuth, IAT volunteer

Mother’s Day is Sunday. Honor Mother Earth. Honor Mother Nature.

Honor your ever-lovin’ mama who brought you into this world.

Just like your mother, Mother Nature has the power to soothe and comfort, to nurture your soul. She just may be a reserve of enduring, quiet strength. She might also get all whipped up in a thunderous fury. Celebrate that glorious, mercurial wonder that is motherhood with a day immersed in nature.

There are some simply stunning opportunities to move your body, still your mind, and have a quality conversation with your mother along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, a unique footpath which winds its way through Wisconsin.

photo credit: D. Jenkins, IAT volunteer

Along the Lodi Marsh Segment. Photo credit: D. Jenkins, IAT volunteer

Sunday Hikes for Contemplating Beauty:

Ice Age Trail volunteer and beautiful earth-mama, Joanna Kramer-Fanney recommends several hikes outside of Lodi, Wisconsin. Conveniently, two segments of the Ice Age Trail pass through the Lodi Marsh State Wildlife Area which is simply lovely at this time of year as it teems with migrating birds and spring flowers.

Lodi Marsh Segments

One of Joanna’s favorite hikes that she and her family did for years, on Mother’s Day, when her children were young, begins at the Robertson Trail Head on Lodi-Springfield Road. The 3.2 mile trail (one way) ambles along what is known as the Eastern Lodi Marsh Segment right into downtown Lodi where she and her family would eat lunch and grab an ice cream cone. Unless you also park a car in town, you and your mom will be walking off lunch with a hike back to your vehicle. According to Joanna, this segment is absolutely gorgeous right now with blooming apple and plum trees filling the air with a sweet, fragrant scent.

A very gentle and short hike, about 1.6 miles, can be found on the other side of the road on what is known as the Lodi Marsh segment. This segment travels along the edge of a marsh through lowland prairie and passes through a beautifully restored oak savannah.

Gibraltar Rock Segment

View from the Gibraltar Segment. Photo credit: N. Alexander, IAT volunteer

Gibraltar Segment

If your mother is of the vigorous, adventurous nature, she might enjoy a hike along the Gibraltar segment in Columbia County. Rising 1,234 feet above sea level, the 200-foot sheer cliffs of Gibraltar Rock, offers spectacular panoramic views of the Wisconsin River Valley and Lake Wisconsin. Even in the bucolic mid-west, Mother Nature likes to impress.

Other Gorgeous Day Hike Options:

If you and your mother would like a guided hike, Nancy Dorl of the Dane County Chapter of the Ice Age Trail is leading a hike through the Brooklyn Wildlife Area.  It is the perfect time to see and hear migrating and newly returned birds and relish the pleasure of seeing and smelling ephemeral woods wildflowers.  Bring binoculars, field guides and bird call apps if you have them!  Details offered here: Dane Mother’s Day Walk.

What if your mother, like mine, lives beyond the borders of Dane and Columbia counties? Lucky for you, there are simply stellar segments of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail across Wisconsin.  In fact, even luckier is 80% of Wisconsinites live within 20 miles of the trail.  So, go beyond the Mother’s Day Brunch and get outside.  Celebrate your mother and Mother Nature!

Begin planning your Mother’s Day Hike by clicking on this link.

What is your favorite segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to hike on Mother’s Day?

We’d love to know so we can highlight it for next year.  Click here to submit a STORY of your hike, including a photo or two!