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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Meet us at Traveler’s County Park just north of Whitewater. We’ll go from there in search of wildflowers.
Join us to hike the northern portion of the Lapham Peak Segment, a 2+ mile hike. Meet at the Evergreen parking lot at the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest (DNR sticker required). A shuttle will be provided at the Cushing Park end of the hike in Delafield.
Join us for a 3.6-mile spring hike on the Waterville Segment. Meet at the church parking lot at County Highways C and D. A short road walk precedes the hike on the segment. Shuttle will be provided at the end at Waterville Road.
Join us for a 2.5-mile hike on the southern portion of the Scuppernong Segment, from Hwy ZZ to the Hwy 67 parking lot. This is a recently improved short trail section. Meet at the ZZ parking lot near Hwy 67 (DNR sticker required). A shuttle will be provided.
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 south Merrimac Ferry landing (click here for driving directions). Watch for the yellow “Ice Age Trail Event” signs.
Due to the extreme cold predicted for this weekend, this event has been rescheduled to Feb. 28th.
Join us for this very popular candlelight ski on the Ice Age Trail and other trails at Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Over 300 luminaries will light two 0.75-mile trail loops for the evening. Skiers, hikers, and snowshoers share the trails.
Participants can come and go as they please at any time during the course of the event. Meet at the beach area parking lot. We will organize a group hike at 7:00 pm outside of the shelter if people would like to travel as a group. A roaring bonfire will warm the night and refreshments will be served in the shelter.
Members of the Northern Cross Science Foundation will be on hand with their telescopes to guide visitors through the night sky. If there is no snow, a candlelight hike will still be held.
Directions to the beach area parking lot: The beach picnic area is on the west side of Kettle Moraine Road about 1 mile south of the main entrance off of Hwy 60. A state park sticker is required.
This event is co-sponsored by Friends of Pike Lake.
Join us as we celebrate the first day of 2015 throughout the state. We will meet at the beach area parking lot and hike or snowshoe on the Ice Age Trail and other trails at Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.
The hike will be a 4-mile loop from the Beach Picnic Area up to Hwy CC on the Brown Trail and returning on the Ice Age Trail.
First Day Hikes are being promoted throughout the Wisconsin State Park system and at state parks throughout the country as a great way to kick off the New Year outdoors. The naturalist from the Pike Lake Unit will be on hand to provide insight into the park’s geology and ecology.
Directions to the beach area parking lot: The beach picnic area is on the west side of Kettle Moraine Road about 1 mile south of the main entrance off of Hwy 60.
A state park sticker is NOT required for this special event. Look for the yellow Ice Age Trail Event signs.
Join us for a winter hike at Lapham Peak in Delafield (click here for driving directions). Meet at the Homestead Hollow parking lot, about half a mile down the road after entering the park. Watch for yellow Ice Age Trail Event signs. Restrooms are available at this location. A Wisconsin state park sticker is required. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather, bring water, and always wear comfortable hiking boots or snowshoes if there is snow on the ground. Wheel & Sprocket rents snowshoes for all ages, and are located in the red barn near Evergreen Grove Shelter at Lapham Peak.
Families with small children are encouraged to come learn about Wisconsin’s outdoors and experience portions of our treasured Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Everyone is welcome, as this event is not only for families. Each session will begin with a short lesson about a particular natural topic before the group will head out to explore the trails and enjoy time together. Each hike is scheduled to last approximately one hour in length and between 1 – 1.5 miles.
Don’t put away those hiking boots yet! We have one more hike for 2014 and it is going to be on the Cedar Lakes Segment in beautiful Polk Kames. The kames will be especially visible with the leaves having fallen off the trees.
Join us as we hike 4.4 miles roundtrip, including a return on the Kames Loop Trail. Along with kettle ponds, huge maple trees and open fields, get a close up view of one of the best examples of a Kame swarm in the world. This hike is rated “moderate” due to a few hills and the trail’s distance. No Wisconsin state park sticker is required. Meet at the DNR’s Cty NN (Arthur Rd) parking lot, which is 1 mile east of Hwy 144. Watch for yellow and black Ice Age Trail Event signs.
WHAT IS A KAME?
A kame is a conical hill. Composed primarily of water-rounded sand and cobbles, these deposits were left by streams that flowed downward through shafts in the glacial ice. The Kettle Moraine contains the largest and most important kame fields in the world, particularly between Dundee and the Parnell Tower, near Slinger and at Holy Hill. Kames are intriguing because of their shape and the way they were formed, not because of their size. (source: https://www.iceagetrail.org/ice-age-trail-glossary)
Be sure to wear hiking boots and dress appropriately for the weather. Always bring water and a snack with you. Dogs are allowed on this hike, but can not be on a leash longer than 8 feet in length, and must be under the owner’s control at all times when on the Ice Age Trail.
We’ll be hosting a full moon hike at Dorothy Carnes or Carlin Weld County Parks in Jefferson County.
Come check out the late fall views of the forest unit and surrounding countryside in the “no hunting” safety of Pike Lake. We will hike 4.6 miles roundtrip as we explore the various trails that loop throughout the forest unit. Options are available for shorter or longer walks as well.
From the DNR’s parking lot on Powder Hill Road, we will hike down to the beach picnic area then back to the parking lot with a side trip up to the top of the Powder Hill lookout tower. This hike is rated “moderate” due to hills and its distance. Be sure to wear hiking boots and bring along water and a camera if you have one!
Meet at the Powder Hill Road parking lot on the east side of Powder Hill Road, about 1 mile south of Hwy 60 and just north of the campground. A Wisconsin state park sticker is required. Watch for the yellow and black Ice Age Trail Event signs.
Most of the Ice Age Trail in the Kettle Moraine State Forest’s Pike Lake Unit follows the edge of a glacial ridge through heavily forested maple and beach woods. Be sure to check out the Powder Hill spur trail that climbs 0.2 miles to the top of 1,350-foot Powder Hill, one of the larger kames in the area. A lookout tower on top offers spectacular 360-degree views. Pike Lake is a spring-fed kettle with a very popular sandy beach swimming area. The 446-acre Pike Lake Unit offers water, restrooms, picnic areas, camping, and numerous hiking, nature, bike and cross-country ski trails. (source: IATA Companion Guide)
Hike followed by potluck lunch followed by calendar planning. Come for one, two or all. The eating is the best part while planning 2015 calendar of events. New faces and new ideas are welcome. Contact Judy or Gary with ideas if you must miss the meeting.
Join us for a fun night of hiking in the dark, and with a warm bonfire afterwards. We will hike on the Ice Age Trail for approximately 2 miles, before turning around to return to the parking lot. From the shelter, we will head east toward the 45-foot observation tower. This hike has some challenging hills and rocky terrain. It will take place after dark, so bring a headlamp or flashlight. Walking sticks and water are also recommended. Dogs are welcome, but must be leashed and under the owner’s control at all times whenever using the Ice Age Trail. Don’t forget your camp chair for the bonfire afterwards! Everyone is welcome.
Meet at the Evergreen Grove Shelter parking lot located at the Lapham Peak Unit of the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest in Delafield. Watch for yellow and black Ice Age Trail Event signs. A Wisconsin state park sticker is required. Click on the map below to enlarge it. An RSVP is requested, so that we can plan better, and in order to improve communication, should this event need to be cancelled due to weather conditions, etc.