Icy trail conditions like these along the popular Straight Lake Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail call for winter traction devices! Photo by Dave Caliebe.
Don’t put summer fun in jeopardy by taking an otherwise preventable fall on an icy trail.
Many favorite, well-loved, and well-used segments of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail become extremely icy during the late winter and early spring.
Snowy trails, packed down by many feet, turn to ice and become even more dangerous as balmy daytime temperatures lead to thawing and evening temperatures dip back into freezing range.
To be prepared for potentially hazardous hiking, the use of ice cleats and hiking poles (with rubber tip removed) is strongly recommended for safe spring hiking (which in some areas extends well into “Muddy March” and even mid-April). Continue reading →
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!
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 →
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 →
As of October 5, 2017, the Mammoth Tracks App for iOS (iPhone and iPad) has been brought into the Guthook Guides App. This only affects the iOS App. Mammoth Tracks for Android is NOT affected.Continue reading →
Jane and David Le Count stopped by the Ice Age Trail Alliance headquarters to turn in their Thousand-Miler application and celebrate the completion of their amazing adventure. Photo by Lysianne Unruh.
It’s a dark 3:30 a.m., and we are heading down the road toward a designated Ice Age Trail (IAT) segment, one of 37 such trips. For four-plus hours, filling our senses with staticky radio noise, speeding traffic, and rushing sights and sounds. Later, ten minutes into the woods, we encounter another world entirely, one of blissful natural marvels, soft hums and twitters, and being on nature’s relaxed timeline.Continue reading →
In celebration of National Trails Day, join hikers, friends, family, and colleagues on the Ice Age Trail to explore Dane County and raise funds to build, maintain, and protect the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
Participants can choose one of two hikes along the Ice Age Trail:
Prairie-to-Prairie Hike – 6 miles from Prairie Moraine County Park in Verona to Badger Prairie County Park in Verona
Hike-a-Thon – 20 miles from Brooklyn State Wildlife Area to Badger Prairie County Park in Verona
Supporting the Ice Age Trail
As part of our goal to work together to raise more than $8,000 for the Ice Age Trail Alliance, we are asking all participants to make a tax-deductible gift or collect pledges of $30 or more.
Those who are not currently Alliance members who donate or raise $50 or more have the option to start a one-year Alliance membership.
Also…all participants who donate or raise $50 or more will receive a t-shirt courtesy of Fontana Sports Specialties.
To register yourself for the event or to make a gift in support of someone else, please follow the link at the bottom of this page.
Those participating in the 20-mile Hike-a-Thon will meet at 8 a.m. at Badger Prairie County Park, Shelter #1. Park entrance is at 4654 Maple Grove Drive, Verona (driving directions). Buses will leave at 8:30 a.m. to take you to the start at the Brooklyn State Wildlife Area. Bring a lunch and at least 16 ounces of water. We will have water stops with snacks every 3-5 miles. Porta-potties will be available along the route.
Those participating in the 6-mile Prairie-to-Prairie Hike will meet at 12:30 p.m. at Badger Prairie County Park, Shelter #1. Park entrance is at 4654 Maple Grove Drive, Verona (driving directions). Buses will leave at 1 p.m. to take you to the start at Prairie Moraine County Park. Bring at least 16 ounces of water.
We anticipate that participants from both hikes will arrive at the finish line together starting around 3:30 p.m. There will be refreshments, snacks, and a celebration! Please bring a folding chair if you plan to stick around for the party.
In the event of severe or threatening weather, we may need to cancel the Hike-a-Thon at the last minute for safety reasons. If this happens, we will be unable to refund donations.
We love dogs, but please leave yours at home for this event.
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 →
Welcome 2017 with a dose of fresh air. Say good-bye to the holiday cookies and chocolates. Burn a few calories with a fun, relaxed-paced, yet blood-pumping hike on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
Best of all, a walk in the woods, all serene and blanketed with snow, is a perfect way to connect with yourself. Nature, like you, is a white canvas, ready for a fresh set of possibilities. Take a few moments and consider your path forward into this brand new year. Continue reading →
#OptOutside. Get a dose of fresh air and hike off that extra slice of pumpkin pie. Photo by Dave Caliebe
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is proud to participate in #OptOutside with our partner REI, Inc. In its third year, #OptOutside takes place on Black Friday and encourages people to take a hike! Here in Wisconsin, the day after Thanksgiving is also the heart of deer-gun hunting season. Keeping this in mind, we have set up nine hikes where deer hunting is not allowed.
All of the following suggested hikes take place in Ice Age Trail Communities. These hikes represent a perfect blend of natural surroundings and urban amenities. Continue reading →
Photo credit: Dave Caliebe – Wood Lake graced by a Bald Eagle and two Trumpeter swans.
Taylor County, sculpted by the powerful forces of glacial ice, is known for its undulating, hummocky terrain and smooth-as-glass kettle lakes reflecting sky and clouds, is already beautiful, and last week, it just got more attractive.
A 104 volunteers with a shared vision of making the Ice Age Trail the best it can be, accomplished a phenomenal amount of Trail improvements on three of the seven Trail segments in Taylor County over the course of 7 days and 3,100 hours of effort. Continue reading →
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 →
A glimpse of boardwalk along the Jerry Lake Segment of the Chippewa Moraine in Taylor County. Photo credit: D. Caliebe
Have you ever, while hiking along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, found yourself standing in awe, exhaling a huge sigh, your heart filled, and knowing there were simply no words for the beauty you were witness to?
Perhaps, in the next moment, you whipped out your phone, or dug around in your day pack for a camera, sincerely hoping the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words” was true and you could adequately capture the way the sun slants golden across the field; the way the trillium spreads across the forest floor, a delicate white carpet fit for a fairy queen. Perhaps you sought to hold on to the expression of sheer happiness on your hiking partner’s face and his or her wind-tousled hair.
Maybe, you too, have felt the truth of Ansel Adams’ statement, “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
For you, your love affair with life is reflected in the photographs you take while immersed in nature. If you are the one with camera in hand on a hike, then we would love to partner with you.Continue reading →
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 →
There can be a lot of details to navigate when you hike the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin’s fall and winter seasons: hunting season dates, trail closures on private property, and public lands where the Trail is open and hunting is also allowed.