Photo Credit: Cameron Gillie, Harrison Hills Segment.
Mammoth Hike Challenge
Earn a limited-edition patch and certificate!
Hike 40 miles on the Ice Age Trail AND visit three Trail Communities.
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail Turns 40!
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Ice Age Trail becoming a National Scenic Trail (the official signing took place on October 3, 1980) by joining us for the Mammoth Hike Challenge!
Hike 40 miles on the Ice Age Trail during the month of October 2020 and visit three of our Trail Communities to earn a hiking certificate and a limited-edition patch celebrating the 40th anniversary.
You may hike, walk, run, or backpack – whatever suits your lifestyle – and log your miles over days, weekends, weeks, or one big adventure.
You have the entire month of October to do it!
All abilities. All ages. All welcome.
FAQs: We've Got Answers!
Click on the + to reveal the answer.
Do my 40 miles have to be unique?
No! We want this to be as accessible to all hikers as possible. Simply make sure the miles you hike add up to 40.
To complete the Challenge, you will need to track 40 miles of activity – hiking, walking, running, or backpacking – on the Ice Age Trail. These miles can be your favorite segment, one you hike or run multiple times a week. These miles may also include any of the white-blazed loop trails you find along the way. You may count the miles accumulated both ways if you choose to hike out and back on a stretch of Trail. You can even add miles together if you are part of a team.
Why do I need to register?
When you register you will receive exclusive resources, like access to the StriveON app and the itineraries. Your registration helps us track the interest and success of this initiative which is supported by grant funding through the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.
Don’t forget, to receive the patch and certificate, you also must fill out the Completion form when finished!
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 will be able to register multiple participants under one registration where miles can be cumulative. Upon completion, you will be able to indicate how many certificates and patches are needed for your team members.
Please designate either yourself, or someone else in your group (or family), to be the Team Captain. The captain will be responsible for filling out the completion form. He/she/they will be sent the certificates and patches to distribute among team/family members.
How can I track my miles?
We created an official Mammoth Hike 40 Challenge Hiking Log for tracking the segments you’ve hiked, the distances you’ve gone, and the Trail Communities you’ve visited. You may download it here (Excel spreadsheet).
The Hiking Log is for you; we won’t need to see it. Yup, Scout’s honor when it comes to reporting your mileage.
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 friends. If you’d like to be in the loop and enjoy the interactive features of the app, here are some tips and tricks to get you started:
Scan this QR code using your phone to download the app!
Instructions for how to scan a QR code with either an iphone or Android phone are found here.
Are there itineraries for each Trail Community?
Yes! We want you to experience the best of each Ice Age Trail Community. We created itineraries to showcase their exceptional restaurants, attractions, historical landmarks, and Ice Age Trail segments. Click on the links below to view each itinerary:
- St. Croix Falls
- Cross Plains
- West Bend
- Manitowoc-Two Rivers
How many Trail Communities do I need to visit?
Ideally, you will visit three Trail Communities, however, we understand that during the coronavirus pandemic, folks may feel uncomfortable traveling too far outside their immediate area.
At the most basic level, we ask you visit and support at least one Ice Age Trail Community for this challenge. For example, if you live in or near the Village of Cross Plains, please consider going beyond buying gas or groceries, and consider purchasing a take-out meal (or patio dining) from a local restaurant or visiting a local store you’ve never explored before. (We encourage you to wear a mask inside an establishment and wash your hands or use sanitizer after exiting a business.)
You will be able to share your decision-making with us on the Completion form.
What if I'm uncomfortable visiting Trail Communities during a pandemic?
We understand everyone’s comfort level right now is different, and we respect your choice, and see our answers to the related questions above and below this one.
What if I hike 40 miles but I don't visit any Trail Communities?
We get it, sometimes you just want to hike. If that’s the case, we’ll send you a certificate for completing the 40-mile requirement, however, you will not receive a patch.
September through May is hunting season. What should I be aware of as a hiker?
There can be a lot of details to navigate when you hike the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin’s fall and winter seasons: hunting season dates, trail closures on private property, and public lands where the Trail is open and hunting is also allowed.
Check out our Hunting Season and the Ice Age Trail page for more information!
Broadly stated, the various hunting seasons range from September through May. For this reason, we encourage you to wear “Blaze Orange” or other brightly colored clothing when you (or your pet) head out for a hike.
Hunting seasons for various game species don’t happen simultaneously. Nor do they take place in all regions of the state, which is why it’s good to know the types of hunting allowed and their season dates. 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: 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. Hunting, allowed in most state parks and State Ice Age Trail Areas (SIATAs), is limited to November 15 through December 15 and April 1 to the Tuesday nearest May 3.
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.
What does the Mammoth Hike Challenge patch look like?
We think you’ll love it! We do! This year’s patch honors the 40th anniversary of the Ice Age Trail becoming a National Scenic Trail.
Can I get more patches if I hike more than 40 miles?
You impress us with your overachieving spirit, however, there is only one patch to earn, at least 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.
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.
I like to take photos while I hike. May I send some to you?
Yes, please! We love it when people share photos from their Ice Age Trail adventures with us. You will have the opportunity to upload up to seven of your best photos when you fill out the Completion form.
We like to give our photographers credit for the photos we use on social media, in Mammoth Tales, and in many other publications.
The Ice Age Trail traverses the entire state of Wisconsin and showcases its natural beauty and glacial landscapes. The Trail winds its way through 142 communities; 13 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!
We created itineraries to help you explore the exceptional restaurants, attractions, historical landmarks, and Ice Age Trail segments in each Trail Community. Click on the links to view each itinerary: St. Croix Falls, Cornell, Lodi, Cross Plains, Verona, Janesville, Milton, Whitewater, Delafield, Hartland, Slinger, West Bend, Manitowoc-Two Rivers.
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 and 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.
Thanks to Travel Wisconsin for their generous support of our Mammoth Hike Challenge!