Phenomenal Trailbuilding Accomplished at Dueling Mobile Skills Crew Projects

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Mobile Skills Crew Event 2016

Perfect fall weather created ideal working conditions for #TeamMerrimac and #TeamRibLake. Photo by Joanne Ellarson.

The 2016 Mobile Skills Crew “Stones and Ripples” tour ended in triumph at two project sites. Thanks to the combined efforts of 180 volunteers and a whopping 3,222 volunteer hours, a phenomenal amount of work was accomplished – and finished ahead of schedule.

A sense of community and collaboration formed between the two projects through a good-natured social media duel featuring each team’s creativity and trailbuilding skills.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Mobile Skills Crew

Volunteers of #TeamMerrimac create new tread.  Photo by Lysianne Unruh

Team Merrimac built sustainable 3,600 feet of 4-step tread and unlocked incredible views of the Baraboo Hills by combatting ever-pernicious invasive plants in and around the trail stewardship zone.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Mobile Skills Crew event

Volunteers of #Team Rib Lake carefully set stone to create a retaining wall along the trail. Photo by Dave Caliebe

Team Rib Lake worked diligently (and humorously) to construct 105 feet of rock wall, finish 1,200 feet of tread, build a rock staircase, and complete trail signage elements through a forest well-past peak fall colors. Each morning, volunteers woke to frost on the grass, frost on the tent fly, and a serene sunrise over Wood Lake.

We’d like to extend a special thanks to:


  • Donna & Neal Meier for their efforts in the kitchen to keep the project rolling;
  • Bob Thompson for providing drinking water;
  • Linda Lynch and Riverland Conservancy for base camp;
  • Jerry Pfeifer & Mark Struve for pitching in with Crew Leader Manager work;
  • Bob Funk for stepping up as Team Leader;
  • UW-Hoofers for adding a boost on Saturday;
  • Scout Troop 44 for helping remove invasives;
  • MG21 for bringing the whole class out to work on the Trail.

To see more photos of #TeamMerrimac’s project, go here.

To view a map of the Merrimac project area, go here.

Rib Lake

  • Ivan and Sandy Kauer for providing drinking water;
  • Taylor County Parks for another lovely base camp at Wood Lake.

To see more photos of #TeamRibLake’s project, go here.

To view a map of the Rib Lake project area, go here.

Great teamwork #TeamMerrimac #TeamRibLake!

Next Up: Look for the 2017 MSC calendar in your inbox by early December and join us at the Winter Rendezvous the first weekend of February.