Photo Credit: Cameron Gillie, Harrison Hills Segment.
Mammoth Hike Challenge 2021
Hike 41 miles on the Ice Age Trail AND visit three Trail Communities.
Earn a limited-edition patch and certificate!
Take on the Challenge!
Hike, walk, run, or backpack 41 miles on the Ice Age Trail during the month of October 2021 and visit three of our Trail Communities to earn a hiking certificate and a limited-edition patch.
Log your miles over days, weekends, weeks, or one big adventure. You have the entire month of October to do it!
Challenge yourself to:
- Explore new-to-you segments.
- Enjoy vibrant fall colors (see our Fall Colors map!)
- Spend family-time on the Trail.
- Slow down, unplug, and tune in.
- Listen more and talk less.
- Stop at every bench to rest and reflect.
- Laugh, sing, and seek joy.
- Watch a sunrise or sunset while on the Trail.
- Find one or two new ways to enjoy the Trail on your quest towards 41 miles.
All abilities. All ages. All welcome.
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail traverses Wisconsin and showcases its natural beauty and glacial landscapes. The Trail winds its way through 142 communities; 15 of them have chosen to become official Ice Age Trail Communities. It’s a way for them to show their support for the Trail and to recognize Trail users as important players in their local economies. Trail Communities range from small roadside stops to bustling metropolises. They are a vibrant aspect of the Ice Age Trail hiking experience. Come explore them!
Itineraries are available to help you explore the exceptional restaurants, attractions, and historical landmarks in each Trail Community, as well as nearby Trail segments.
Exploring our Trail Communities is an excellent way to dive deep into the Wisconsin experience of supper clubs and the tall tales told at the local watering holes. Grab a coffee and a sweet treat from a local bakery. Or, check out one-of-a-kind treasures only found in small-town shops!
Please mention you are a user of the Trail when you shop or stay overnight. Help confirm the connection between your hike along the Trail and the dollars you spend in a Trail Community.
Answers to Your FAQs!
Click on the + to reveal the answer.
Why Do I Need to Register?
Registration provides you with exclusive access to the StriveON app and Trail Community itineraries (see list above). Plus, to receive your Challenge patch and certificate, you’ll need to fill out the Completion form when finished.
Your registration also helps us track the popularity of the Challenge, which is supported by grant funding through the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.
Registration for the Challenge is free, although donations to the Ice Age Trail Alliance are accepted and appreciated.
Do My 41 Miles Have To Be Unique?
No! Simply make sure the miles you hike (or run, or walk, or backpack) add up to 41. If you hike out and back on a stretch of trail, feel free to count your miles both ways. You may also include mileage from any white-blazed loop trails you find along the way. Miles from suggested connecting road routes count as well. If you’re part of a team, you can combine your mileage.
How Can I Track My Miles?
It’s Scout’s honor when it comes to reporting your mileage. So track your miles any way you want (via paper, using a fitness tracking app, etc.).
Feel free to use the official Mammoth Hike Challenge Hiking Log for tracking the segments and distances you’ve hiked, plus Trail Communities you’ve visited. Download the Hiking Log as an Excel spreadsheet.
The Hiking Log is for you; it does NOT need to be submitted for completion of the Challenge. The Hiking Log is NOT required.
How Many Trail Communities Do I Need to Visit?
You’re encouraged to visit and support three Trail Communities. Tour local museums, book overnight lodging in a hotel or Airbnb, browse charming shops, and savor a meal at a local restaurant. We challenge you to experience these gems – the communities and people shaped by the glacial terrain and surrounding landscape.
If you’re uncomfortable doing so because of the ongoing pandemic, consider visiting and supporting at least one Trail Community. This could be a community that’s nearby or even the one you live in; if that’s the case, consider going beyond just buying gas or groceries. Also order a take-out meal from a local restaurant or store you’ve never visited before.
You’ll be able to share your decision-making on your Completion form.
Are There Itineraries For Each Trail Community?
Yes! Itineraries are available each Ice Age Trail Community to help you experience the best of what each community has to offer. Itineraries showcase exceptional restaurants, attractions, historical landmarks, and Ice Age Trail segments. See the list of Trail Communities just above the FAQ. The itineraries were updated for 2021!
What if I Hike 41 Miles, But Don't Visit Any Trail Communities?
It’s okay to just want to hike! If that’s the case, you’ll receive a certificate for completing the 41-mile requirement (however, you will not receive a patch).
May We Sign Up As A Team?
Yes! Please, do. If you enjoy hiking with a partner, appreciate the accountability, or want to encourage your family, then signing up as a team is for you.
You can register multiple participants under one registration—and your miles can be cumulative. Upon completion, you will indicate how many certificates and patches are needed for your team members.
Someone in your group needs to be designated the Team Captain. The Captain is responsible for filling out the completion form and will be sent the certificates and patches to distribute accordingly.
Can Children Earn Certificates and Patches?
Yes! Absolutely. If your household signs up as a “team” you will be able to indicate how many certificates and patches are desired when filling out the completion form.
Do You have Some Ideas On How To Get Kids Excited About Hiking?
We get it, some kid’s enthusiasm for hiking doesn’t match their parents. This is one of the reasons we created Ice Age Trail Explorer Backpacks. They contain everything you need to keep your kids engaged and excited while hiking the Ice Age Trail. Backpacks are available for FREE checkout at public libraries in our Trail Communities.
You could also try ColdCaching. It’s fun activity that combines treasure hunting with navigation and ice age history.
And for the stuffed animal lovers out there, perhaps a little incentive like Monty the Mammoth will do the trick.
Tell Me About the StriveON app!
Seek, Discover, Explore!
StriveON is a mobile phone application that helps you interact with the people, places, and things around you. It uses location-based software to share stories and content about the Ice Age Trail segments and Trail Communities you come across while you explore. Use it to find restaurants, accommodations, attractions, and Ice Age Trail segments in Our Trail Communities during the Mammoth Hike Challenge!
We’ll post lots of updates and host exclusive giveaways for our StriveON users. To be in the loop and enjoy the interactive features of the app, here are some tips and tricks to get you started:
To download the app, scan this QR code using your phone:
Instructions for how to scan a QR code with either an iphone or Android phone are found here.
What Does the Mammoth Hike Challenge Patch Look Like?
We think you’ll love it! This year’s patch is destined to be a collector’s item!
Can I Get More Patches If I Hike More Than 41 Miles?
Your overachieving spirit is impressive. But, there’s only one patch to earn per person with the Mammoth Hike Challenge.
However, a number of our chapters offer a patch if you hike all of the segments within their area. Learn more here.
How Can I Maximize My Wisconsin Fall Color Experience?
May I Send Some of My Ice Age Trail Hiking Photos to You?
Yes, please! We love seeing photos of people’s Ice Age Trail adventures. You will have the opportunity to upload up to seven of your best photos when you fill out the Completion form.
Your photos may be used on social media, in Mammoth Tales, or other publications. We’ll be sure to give you credit if they’re used.
What Should I Be Aware of As a Hiker During the Hunting Season?
Broadly stated, hunting seasons in Wisconsin range from September through May. For this reason, you are encouraged to wear “Blaze Orange” or other brightly colored clothing when you (or your pet) head out for a hike during these months. This includes during October and the Mammoth Hike Challenge.
Hunting seasons differ depending region of the state and what is being hunted. So, it’s good to know the types of hunting allowed where you’re planning to hike and season dates. Check out our Hunting Season and the Ice Age Trail page for more information!
Some seasons require hikers to exercise more caution than others. For example, it’s safer to hike during archery and crossbow season than during gun deer season. A bullet travels farther than an arrow.
The good news is this: During October, just about all segments of the Ice Age Trail that cross public lands remain open for hiking during the hunting seasons of various game species, including the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, state and county forests, and state parks.
As a general rule, hikers can feel pretty safe on the Trail; however, it’s good to follow these suggestions:
1. KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Hunting Season Dates set by the Wisconsin DNR; Closures along the Ice Age Trail, during gun deer season, where the Trail crosses private land; and Ice Age Trail Alliance properties where hunting is allowed. You may want to purchase the Ice Age Trail Guidebook. Its segment-by-segment information also highlights which sections or segments are closed for hunting season.
2. WEAR “BLAZE ORANGE” or other highly visible clothing.
3. IF YOU HIKE WITH A DOG, it should wear a blaze orange vest and be on a leash at all times.
4.USE EXTRA CAUTION AT DAWN and DUSK. Hunting activity may increase at dawn and dusk when animals are feeding. Please wear reflective vests if you hike during these times of low visibility. Using a headlamp is a good idea, too.
5. AVOID HUNTER INTERFERENCE. It is prohibited by Wisconsin law to interfere with people engaged in lawful hunting, fishing, or trapping (WI Statutes 29.083).
6. BE HEARD. Make sure you are heard, by whistling, singing, or talking while you hike.
Thanks to Duluth Trading Company for sponsoring the Mammoth Challenge 2021 and for the generous support from Travel Wisconsin.