Mudbrook Bridge Ready for Summer Hiking

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Harwood Lakes Mobile Skills Crew event, MSC

Volunteers working on the Harwood Lakes Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail make phenomenal progress as they build a new bridge across the marsh. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

Sometimes the best person to summarize a project’s outcome is the boots-on-the-ground chapter leader who was involved with every aspect. Richard Smith offers this recap of the Harwood Lakes MSC event:

“The newly constructed Mudbrook bridge midway between Plummer Lake Road and Deer Fly Trail offers a spectacular view of the wetland in the Mudbrook floodplain, and provides a solid and dry passage through the area. It replaces a bridge and rickety boardwalk conglomeration that has traversed the combination of wetland and beaver dams and which was well beyond “end of life.”

Although some handrail remains temporary, and not all of the Trail is up to usual standards, the route is safe, dry, and ready to welcome hikers. The full route between Plummer Lake Road and Deer Fly Trail is just over 2-miles and is waiting for your inspection.

Thanks to the 47 volunteers, including 19 Chippewa Moraine chapter members and folks who traveled from near and far, who gave over 1,700 hours – and still counting – who helped achieve project success. Without the pre-event work locally to transport lumber and equipment over part of the over-1-mile distance from road to work site along primitive forest trails, and those who stayed until late Sunday afternoon to button up loose ends, hikers would not be able to enjoy the brand new boardwalk now in existence.”

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Harwood Lakes Mobile Skills Crew, MSC

Volunteers brave the muddy working conditions. Photo by Bob Kaspar.

Special Thanks:

Jerry Sazama, Steve White, Tony Schuster, Diane Harp, Richard Smith, and all the Chippewa Moraine chapter members who did their part to make this project a success.
Bruce France for his immense help with prep work and use of his ATV and trailer to haul tools and all of the lumber.
Dolly McNulty for doing a great job stepping into the Project Support Coordinator role.
Thelma Johnson and Barb Unger for keeping the kitchen pumping out food and keeping everyone well fed.
Richard Smith and Pat McKearn for providing water, kitchen help, and many other behind the scenes tasks.
Dave Hladilek of the DNR for providing a tranquil base camp setting – and baking a couple dozen cookies!
Valkyrie Brewing for donating two cases of beer.

Curious? View the PROJECT OUTCOMES map.


Ice Age Trail University, taking place June 28 – July 1 in Dane County, is currently accepting students for courses in signage, rigging, tread construction, trail maintenance & stewardship, stonework, and more!

Check out the full list of course offerings and sign up today.

Happy Trails,
The Harwood Lakes Project Team

The 2018 Mobile Skills Crew Program is generously sponsored by these corporate Friends of the Trail:

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

Remember! 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.