Mud, Rain, and Slab Hill

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Mobile Skills Crew Project, Walla Hi SegmentDespite rain and challenging conditions, our third MSC event in 15 months at Walla Hi County Park was a great success. Hardy volunteers, 79 in total, helped create and open for business a new, signature section of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

Over the course of three and a half days and 1,908 volunteer hours, a little over a half-mile of spectacular new trail, one that beguiles the imagination, emerged from within a 15-foot wide trail easement. Slab Hill – the steep pitch that rises 47% over 80 linear feet – will forever be a focal point for trail users. Telling of the skill and dedication of the builders are found in the subtleties – trail drainage dips, well-crafted tread, thoughtful trail signage, and the scores of invasive plants eradicated. 

IATA Mobile Skills Crew program logo

Download Project Outcomes Map [PDF]

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Mobile Skills Crew Project, Walla Hi Segment

Passing tools up to the top of the work site, AKA, Slab Hill. Photo by Tim Malzhan.

Special Thanks to:

  • The West Foundation, for a generous gift in support of the project.
  • Kiel Sand & Gravel, for providing critical access to the site, stone materials, heavy equipment use, and tool trailer staging.
  • REI, for generous financial support and comfy T-shirts.
  • Businesses that donated food: Jennie-O Turkey, Natural Ovens, Schreiber Foods, Sitka Salmon, Wilfert Farms, Jones Dairy, and Raleigh’s Hillside Farm.
  • Friday Night Fish Fry courtesy of North East Wisconsin, Great Lakes, Sports Fishermans, Captains Only, Fishing Derby.
  • A fantastic array of desserts: homemade pies by Jim Powers, 3 gallons of Michigan blueberries from Nancy Reschke, and plenty of yummy cookies from a wide range of our famous MSC bakers.
  • Manitowoc County for providing base camp accommodations.
  • Kevin Walvoord for providing and operating his family’s tractor to pull stumps and stones.
  • Project Team Members Jerry Pfeifer (CLM), Dolly McNulty (camp chef), and all Crew Leaders for service above and beyond.
  • Lakeshore Chapter volunteers for critical pre project assistance.
  • Bill Klich, Trail easement land owner, for providing parking and overall support.

Volunteers work together to carefully set a stone in place. Photo by Tim Malzhan.


Sunday forenoon. The will and desire to complete finishing details, cut short by rain and unsafe conditions the day before, was palpable amongst the 20 or so drenched and mud-smeared volunteers who chose to remain. The road-to-road connection IS OPEN for hiking, but stay tuned…there may just be a MSC “Wildcard” event in the near future!

Next Up:

We’ll be building trail in the Cross Plains Conservancy and celebrating the 60th birthday of the Ice Age Trail Alliance. It’s a time to celebrate community and built-to-last camaraderie. Tread, signage, stonework and trail stewardship zones will be the focus of this shindig August 8 – 12, 2018! 


Use the promo code iceage18 and sign up for a share of Sitka’s premium, sustainable seafood harvest at

Sitka will donate $25 to the Ice Age Trail Alliance and they’ll give you $25 off too! Then they’ll deliver your seafood share directly to your door.

Happy Trails,
The Walla Hi Project Team

Generous Sponsors of the 2018 Mobile Skills Crew Season:

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, REI Co-Op, Corporate Partners, Shop local