Persistence, Skill, and Ingenuity!

A volunteer crew who embodies persistence, skill, and ingenuity, smiles despite the rain and mud. Photo by Tim Malzhan.

Nothing comes easily when building new Ice Age Trail in Marathon County. Through persistence, skill, and ingenuity, volunteers overcame all challenges – boulders birthing boulders, remote access to work areas, rain and physical constraints – in what is destined to be a spectacular interpretation of Wisconsin’s glacial landscape.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ringle Segment, Mobile Skills Crew, volunteers, trailbuilding, Marathon CountyInstallment #8 of the Ringle Epic might be summed up by two scenes witnessed Sunday morning:

Under a threatening sky at base camp, volunteers cleaned and stored mud-caked tool after mud-caked tool, while deep in the woods, a crew of eight put the finishing touches on a sinuous 70-foot boardwalk and a new Dispersed Camping Area – the 20th DCA statewide.

Over six days, 115 volunteers gave 3,951 hours as they:

Built 168 feet of stone retaining walls, 251 feet of elevated boardwalks, a 24-foot and 16-foot bridge;

Securely set 21 stone steps;

Shaped 30 trail drainage features;

Spread and packed 50,000 pounds of crushed granite and an equal weight of mineral soil.

Another mile of new, resilient Ice Age National Scenic Trail is now open for use!

Download a Project Outcomes map; gain an understanding of the progress being made for this multi-year project.

View photos of the project here.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ringle Segment, Mobile Skills Crew, volunteers, trailbuilding, Marathon County

One of the elevated board walks built during the Mobile Skills Crew event. Photo by Tim Malzhan.

Special Thanks to:

  • Ted Berry, Sam Picone and David Manteufel for the use and operation of UTV’s and a tractor;
  • Don Patterson for access through his land;
  • Thelma Johnson, Marilyn Chohaney and everyone who pitched in preparing and serving delicious meals 3x daily;
  • Marathon County Solid Waste Department for donating stone aggregate and providing space for staging, storage, and lumber cutting needs;
  • The Central Moraines Chapter for ongoing support and devising a howling-good scavenger hunt;
  • Marathon County Parks Department for base camp assistance;
  • Bob Kaspar and Jerry Sazama for their work as Crew Leader Managers;
  • All Crew Leaders and volunteers for service above and beyond.
  • Jennie-O, and Pine River Pre-Pack for filling our bellies.

Support for this project was provided through REI, Sitka Salmon, the BA and Esther Greenheck Foundation, the Judd S. Alexander Foundation, the National Park Foundation,  the Department of Natural Resources, and Delta Dental.

This event was made possible by a grant from the National Park Foundation through generous support of The Coca-Cola Company.

Next up:

Waushara County is calling with the promise of an early autumn delight! September 18 – 22 we’re building new trail in and around the Bohn Lake Segment, improving access to the Mecan River Segment, and stewarding a portion of the Greenwood Segment. Sign up and join the party!

Generous Sponsors of the 2019 Mobile Skills Crew Trailbuilding Season include:

Sitka Salmon Shares is offering all Ice Age Trail enthusiasts and trailbuilders a $25.00 discount on your purchase of a salmon or seafood share. They’ll donate $25.00 to our award-winning Mobile Skills Crew program.