Celebrate Spring with a Hike!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Spring Hikes, Chapter-led hikes

Bring your tribe hiking on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.                                                         Photos by: Luke Kloberdanz, James Mills, Cameron Gillie

As the snow melts, trees bud out, and wildflowers begin adding a glimmer of color to the Trail, chapter-led hikes begin populating the Ice Age Trail Alliance calendar in earnest.

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Backpacking Workshop Series

A weekend backpacker pauses to catch his breath and take in the views along the IAT. Photo by Cameron Gillie.

Deepen your backpacking know-how with plenty of advice from backpacking experts. If you’re carefully considering a thru-hike on the Ice Age Trail as your next big adventure, or if you’re dreaming and scheming about how to section-hike the Trail in weekend jaunts, then these sessions are for you!

Join us on Saturday, April 14th at the Blue Harbor Resort in beautiful Sheboygan!

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Trip Planning, Logistics, and Navigation.
Do you wonder how, exactly, to start planning your thousand-mile journey? If you feel a little confused, you’re not alone. The good news is there is a wealth of resources and IATA staff is eager to demystify them. You’ll learn the ins and outs of the interactive map including Trail conditions, as well as, the helpful details embedded in the Mammoth Tracks app. You’ll get the inside scoop about how to connect with chapter leaders; how to use the Thousand-Miler spreadsheet; the nitty-gritty of resupply, shuttles, and trail angels; and how to use social media to network with other hikers. Continue reading

Interactive Hiker Resource Map

Clicking on a feature in the map will bring up more information, such as the name and length of an IAT segment.

The NEW interactive Hiker Resource Map shows all official Ice Age National Scenic Trail segments and (unsigned) connecting routes, and additional features such as camping, parking, water, ColdCache sites, and Ice Age Trail Communities.  The map works on computers and mobile devices.

We like how intuitive it is. Hover over an icon to gain more information. Click on the options offered on the toolbar (see above example) to expand the information available. Continue reading

Be a Nature Princess … At Any Age!

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Force of Nature, Trailtessa Retreats

Be Fanciful. Be a Force of Nature. Be a Nature Princess…at any age! Make a crown, dust off your boots, and come explore the wild kingdom on the Dunes Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Photo by Woodland Dunes Nature Center staff.

Be Adventurous. Do Princesses climb trees and get dirty? Absolutely. This program, inspired by the children’s book, “Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?”, is designed to be a royally good time, packed with opportunities to get out and get messy. Continue reading

Backpacking the Ice Age Trail

We’ve hit our group-size limit for this event. We hope you’ll join us next time!


Join us for a 4-day backpacking trip in one of the most pristine sections of the Ice Age Trail – the Chequamegon National Forest. This outing is a collaboration of the Ice Age Trail Alliance and the Verona Ice Age Trail Community.

Trip Details

Dates: Monday, September 18th – Thursday, September 21, 2017 (departing at 7:30 a.m. from the Old County Road PB park & ride in Verona) Continue reading

Let’s Light Up the Night!

The Hike:

Enjoy the Ice Age Trail by the light of the moon or by the light of your headlamp. Either way you are in for a treat as the beauty of the trail takes on a new dimension – one typically not experienced by those of us who enjoy our walks in sunlight.

This guided hike is approx. 1.5 miles in length.

This is a FREE night time Family Fun Hike hosted by the Waushara County Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance! A limited supply of FREE Glow Bands will be available.

Event Details:

Date & Time: Saturday, August 12th from 8:30PM ~ 9:30PM

Start time: Gather at 7:45pm (to get our glow on) with the hike starting at 8:30pm.

Return time: Approx. 9:30pm.

What to wear: Dress up in your favorite “Glow in  the Dark” Clothing, Bracelets, Necklaces, Light Sabers, Long Pants and enclosed Shoes (NO Flip-Flops!). Flashlights and headlamps are recommended for safe travel use if needed. To dim, red covers will be provided. Don’t forget  ~ Bring a Friend and Bug Spray!

Note: Event will be cancelled due to inclement weather (rain, high winds).

Location Details:

Town of Hancock, in the Greenwood Wildlife Area at the trail crossing on Brown Deer Ct. between Cty Rd “FF” and City Rd “GG”. Watch for event signs.

Google map and directions

An interactive DNR map may be of further assistance.



Contact Randy Lennartz, 920-787-2333 or Jenny Addis, 715-802-3456

Cross Plains Celebrates the Ice Age Trail

The Cross Plains Segment shows off its best summer look. Photo Credit: Lou Ann Novak

In 2017 the Village of Cross Plains became one of eight Ice Age Trail Communities. This designation is more than a sign on the highway and a ribbon cutting. It is an invitation to use the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to celebrate the local culture, history, landscape, and businesses.

This July 14 and 15 the Village, in collaboration with the Cross Plains Chamber of Commerce, and the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s Dane County Chapter, will be taking up the invitation to celebrate! Continue reading

Get Out & Give Back – May 20th & 21st

Trail Happenings!

Photo by Dave Caliebe

GET OUT: Hikes

Boost your happiness; immerse yourself in a healthy dose of nature (vitamin Green!).

Dane County Chapter, Cross Plains Segment: Birding Hike

Early spring mornings are the time to see and hear migrating and newly-arrived birds of the woodlands, savanna and prairie habitats along the loop in the highlands above Cross Plains. Bring binoculars; hike leader will help identify avian friends! Continue reading

A 100 Years Worth Celebrating!

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, NPS Centenniel Celebration, John Muir County Park, Ennis Lake

Photo credit: L. Unruh
Ennis Lake glitters in the distance, surrounded by clouds and prairie.

The spirit of John Muir floated on clouds reflected in his favorite kettle lake. It danced with the Milkweed swaying in the prairie. It whistled while sauntering along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail which now loops through land he dearly loved.

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the Ice Age Trail Alliance, the NPS centenniel

Photo credit: L. Unruh
Yes, there are a 100 candles on that cake!

It was felt in the breeze which kicked up and helped blow out the 100 candles on the National Park Service Centennial Celebration birthday cake. Continue reading

Nature’s Complexity Excites the Curious Adolescent Mind

Education, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Summer Saunter's Program, Milwaukee School District, UW Waukesha Field Station, Bird's Nests, Active Trails

Photo credit: J. Haag
Milwaukee Saunters intently listen about nesting methods at the UW Waukesha Field Station

Musings by Jacob Haag, 2016 Ice Age Trail Alliance Intern

It all started with a hike in the woods.  First as a mentor to fourth graders as part of the Summer Saunters program through Lodi’s school district; now, years later, in my 20’s, as an Intern with the Ice Age Trail Alliance.  It’s the dawning realization of how crucial it was for me, personally, to get outside in nature as a kid, and how important I think it is for others to have a similar experience.  Now, as a group leader, I get to lead bus-loads of kids through a series of stretches and jumping jacks and encourage them to scream at the top of their lungs, “I am a star!”  Why?  Because it’s a fun way to energize bodies and minds after a long bus ride and readying them for their immersion into nature. Continue reading

Explore the Kettle Moraine

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Parnell Segment Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest

Photo credit: B. Bednarek, Parnell Segment, view from Parnell Tower

Did you know, world famous glacial landscape features are within an easy drive from your front door?

This might not seem like such a big deal until you consider that walking across the high ridge of an esker, or peering down into a kettle lake is a bit like time travel, giving you a peek into how the landscape of Wisconsin was formed.

Conveniently, the almost 30,000 acres of the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest contains some of the most stellar glacial remnants of the last Ice Age. In fact, this region was formed as two tongue-shaped ice sheets collided, creating a valley of ice some 10,000 years ago. As these huge sheets of ice melted, the meltwater cascaded into crevasses carrying sand, gravel, and boulders, depositing them along the way. This is what shaped the rolling ridges and deep kettles – large crater-like depressions – that make up the topography of this beautiful forest. Continue reading

Full Moon Hikes

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the Ice Age Trail Alliance, Full Moon Hikes

Photo credit: R. Roberts. A full moon rising above a fine Wisconsin prairie.

Fireflies rising from prairie grasses – little flickers of earth-side starlight; soft, velvety nighttime air freed from the heat of the day; a glowing moon on the rise – a pendant hanging from a chain of stars.

These are summer evenings in their full grandeur. A perfect way to extend them, luxuriously past dusk, is to head out for a full moon hike. Several Chapters of the Ice Age Trail Alliance are honoring July’s full moon in this manner – happily leading hikes along various segments of the Ice Age Trail. Continue reading

Summertime: Be Playful, Be Curious, Be Inspired

Ice Age Trail Alliance Ice Age National Scenic Trail Active Trails Grant National Park Service

Photo credit: B. Bednarek

Playing in the sprinkler, climbing trees, and catching lightning bugs make for happy childhood memories.

Nostalgic summer days include Tom Sawyer-like activities: expeditions across fields and through woods, splashing in creeks, and catching wily frogs.

These rushed modern times with tight, busy schedules don’t seem to lend themselves to those long hours of exploration and discovery. To address this need for quality time outdoors, the National Parks Foundation has partnered with organizations like the Ice Age Trail Alliance by awarding an Active Trails grant. This financial support sustains Saunters, an IATA program designed to get kids outside and connected to nature in a playful, active, and inspiring way as they hike segments of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Continue reading

Village of Cross Plains Becomes an Ice Age Trail Community and Alliance Open House

Ice Age National Scenic Trail Ice Age Alliance celebrates Trail Community Designation

The Village of Cross Plains is the most recent addition to the Ice Age Trail Community roster.

As the home of the Ice Age Trail Alliance, Cross Plains holds a special place in the hearts of Trail users from far and wide. “The Ice Age Trail Alliance is thrilled to add Cross Plains as a Trail Community,” states Mike Wollmer, Executive Director and CEO. “We are proud members of this community and look forward to increasing our impact and involvement here.”

Event Details:

To celebrate this designation the Alliance, the Village of Cross Plains, and the Chamber of Commerce are teaming up to throw a designation party on Friday, June 10th from 3pm – 7pm.

All activities, including guided hikes and a ribbon-cutting ceremony, will start at the Ice Age Trail Alliance office, 2110 Main Street in Cross Plains.

Refreshments will be served while supplies last. Additional food and beverages will also be available for purchase at area eating establishments, so come out and support this fine Trail Community.

Longtime community champions have stepped up to support the event:

Terry’s Piggly Wiggly is donating food;
Esser’s Cross Plains Brewery is supplying beer;
Crossroads Coffee is organizing and sponsoring the music.

The Alliance is excited to highlight this designation to its 3,600 members, inviting them to experience the vitality and enthusiasm of a Trail Community celebration.

Come out and join the FUN!

Follow the “Ice Age Trail Event” signs and there is ample parking at Kalscheur Dodge-Chrysler near the crossing of Hwy P and Hwy 14.

Schedule of Events:

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: TBD

Guided Hikes:  Hikes start at 3:30 pm from the Alliance parking lot.

Music:  Band TBA, music begins at 6pm in the Alliance parking lot and at Crossroads Coffee.

About the Event:

When complete, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail will cross approximately 132 communities in 31 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. Along the way, the Trail takes users to some of the best glacial features in the world, provides opportunities for personal rejuvenation, is an outdoor classroom, and is an economic resource for communities. These assets make the Ice Age Trail a welcome addition to many communities ranging from small roadside stops to bustling metropolises.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance has established the Ice Age Trail Community program, designed to help communities leverage the Trail as an economic and social engine, while promoting the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to community members and visitors alike. Commitment to this program represents an agreement to cross promote one another, building healthy and vibrant communities.

The Ice Age Trail, one of only eleven National Scenic Trails, is a thousand-mile footpath highlighting Wisconsin’s world-renowned Ice Age heritage and natural resources.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance is a non-profit volunteer and member-based organization established in 1958 that works to create, support, and protect the Ice Age Trail. Visit www.iceagetrail.org for hiking information and volunteer opportunities.

Waushara & Marquette County Chapter National Trails Day Hike

Let’s celebrate National Trails Day!

We’ve joined forces with our neighboring chapter, Marquette County to commemorate National Trails Day.  We will hike and explore the John Muir Segment of the Ice Age National Trail in Marquette County.

Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a little comradery with fellow hikers, prior to the hike, at the park shelter.

The hike will take a scenic route around Lake Ennis, approximately 1.7 miles.  Depending on your pace, the hike could take an hour or less.  Please feel free to start your hike on your own any time after 12pm and hike at your own pace.

The hike starts at the John Muir County Park (8 miles South of Montello on County Hwy F).  Follow the Ice Age Trail Event signs.

Explore a Trail Segment Near You!

Ice Age National Scenic Trail John Muir County Park

A trail flows through a sea of wildflowers in the John Muir County Park.
Photo credit: K. Mcgwin

Trails do not just magically appear in the woods or along a ridgeline for our hiking pleasure. It might seem like it as we take a stroll down a long, shaded path, with a glimpse of it unfolding ahead of us. Most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how a trail is constructed or the dedicated hours of design and layout (about a 100 hours) involved for every mile of trail, not counting the hours dedicated to the actual building, mile per mile, of trail.

In fact, most of us have a limited knowledge of exactly how many miles of trails exist in our country, not thinking perhaps beyond the trails in our own county or state parks, or the few mountain trails we’ve hiked, in Colorado, perhaps. It turns out, according to the American Hiking Society, there are 200,000 miles of trail throughout the United States. Continue reading

No Sense of Direction?

Ice Age National Scenic Trail Mammoth Tracks App

Do you lack a reliable sense of direction? 

It can be a seriously annoying trait when you’re driving, trying to get somewhere on time. It can induce a panicky feeling when you are out in the woods and there’s only a few hours of daylight left to locate a camp site and pitch your tent.

If you can relate to the cartoon above, then hopefully, you and Siri, are good friends by now and she’s helped you navigate, turn-by-turn, to your various destinations.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance has you covered while you are out and about on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail with our new app, Mammoth Tracks. Continue reading

Team Building: Hard Hats Not Hard Heads

Ice Age National Scenic Trail Mobile Skills Crew Leadership Training

Emerging leaders from the Spring 2016 Crew Leadership Skills class.
Photo credit: D. Caliebe

Did you know a trail, as it winds through the woods or across a grassy field, has an “anatomy”?

The “body parts” of a trail include aspects like a corridor, the bench or tread, drainage features, structures, anchors, edges, and gateways, just to name a few.

This glossary of terms, along with the why and how of sustainable trail design, were the nuanced details of trail building learned by the most recent participants of the Ice Age Trail Alliance Crew Leadership and Skills training. Continue reading

Lodi Valley Chapter Devil’s Lake to Gibraltar Rock Hike

Join the friendly folks from the Lodi Valley Chapter for a 12-mile hike on the Ice Age Trail from Devil’s Lake State Park to Gibraltar Rock.

Please wear appropriate clothing and sturdy shoe for the weather, and, in case of slippery conditions, bring a walking stick. We’ll have some extra for you to use. Leashed, well-behaved ​dogs are welcome.

​We’ll meet at the north Ice Age Trail parking lot off Hwy 113. Watch for the yellow “Ice Age Trail Event” signs.​

Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter Monches Segment Hike

Join us for a 3.1-mile hike on the Monches Segment. Meet at the Ice Age Trail parking lot on Kilbourne Road, west of the railroad underpass. Watch for yellow “Ice Age Trail Event” signs.

Please dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable hiking boots. Dogs are welcome on the Ice Age Trail, but must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet in length, at all times when on the trail in this area. A shuttle will be provided from the county line.

Indianhead Chapter Spring Hike and Picnic

St. Croix Falls, the City of Trails, will be celebrating a Spring Awakening Weekend on May 16 and 17.

Eight miles of one of America’s National Scenic Trails, the Ice Age Trail, are in St.Croix Falls. On Saturday morning, May 16, a guided walk will cover some of the best miles. IATA Indianhead Chapter volunteer Paul Kuhlman will lead hikers through Ray Zillmer Park, down and up Mindy Creek Gorge and over the bluffs, then taking the Trail of Myths to end up at Lions Park.

The hike will conclude with a picnic at Lions Park for all the hikers.

Participants should assemble at Lions Park (directions here) at 9:30 a.m. to shuttle to the starting point.

Lodi Valley Chapter Full-moon Hike

Join the friendly folks from the Lodi Valley Chapter as we explore the Ice Age Trail by moonlight.

Please wear appropriate clothing and sturdy shoe for the weather, and, in case of slippery conditions, bring a walking stick. We’ll have some extra for you to use. Leashed, well-behaved ​dogs are welcome.

​We’ll meet at the Robertson Trailhead on Lodi Springfield Rd. Watch for the yellow “Ice Age Trail Event” signs.​