Fourteen Black Friday Hikes: #OptOutside

#OptOutside. Get a dose of fresh air and hike off that extra slice of pumpkin pie. Photo by Dave Caliebe

#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. #OptOutside takes place on Black Friday (November 29th) and encourages people to take a hike!

Here in Wisconsin, the day after Thanksgiving is also the heart of the nine-day gun deer-hunting season. Keeping this in mind, we have set up 14 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

Hunting Season and Hiking the Ice Age Trail

A woman and her dog wear blaze orange on the Ice Age Trail in fall.

Photo by Paulette Walker Smith

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.

Visit our Hiking During Hunting Seasons page to get a full breakdown of all the things to consider. Here are the main things you’ll want to remember: Continue reading

This Land is Your Land: National Public Lands Day hike with the Walworth/Jefferson County Chapter

In recognition of National Public Lands Day, the Walworth/Jefferson County Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance will sponsor a free 2-5-7-mile guided hike on September 28 as an introduction to Wisconsin’s 1200+ mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Roughly following the southernmost edge of the last glaciation, this narrow primitive trail travels through some of the most dramatic and varied terrain in the state.

Details:

Hike 2, 5, or 7 miles!

Two-mile or Seven-mile Hikers:

  • Meet at 9:00 am at the Esterly Road  Ice Age Trail parking lot for a varied and scenic two-mile hike along the eskers, ending at Highway 12.
  • After a short break (with snacks and water), the two-mile hikers will be shuttled back to the starting point.
  • Those hiking seven miles will continue to the end point at the Oleson cabin where you will be shuttled back to your vehicle.

Five-mile Hikers:

  • Join us at the Highway 12 Ice Age Trail trailhead parking lot by 9:45 am to join those hiking on to the historic Oleson cabin.
  • This section of trail features dramatic long-range views, a lake, and colorful prairies — followed by challenging hills, a pine woods, and a series of ponds and springs.
  • Five-mile hikers and seven-mile hikers who parked at Esterly Road or Highway 12 will be driven back to their cars by chapter volunteers.

Snacks and water will be available both at the Highway 12 lot and at the Oleson cabin.

Family Hikes!

Guided exploration hikes for families with school-age children will leave from the cabin at 10:30, 11:30, and 12:30 to explore a wooded section of the Ice Age Trail about a mile in length.  Long pants and sturdy shoes are strongly recommended.

The historic Oleson cabin will be open to visitors between 10:30 am and 1:30 pm.  Parking is available along Duffin Road.  (Insider’s tip: to avoid roof and hood damage, do not park under the walnut trees!)

Lake La Grange along the Blackhawk Segment offers a scenic moment along the 7-mile hike! Photo by Ellen Davis.

Hiking Maps:

Ice Age Trail Atlas Map pages 78f and 79f [PDF]

Parking Details:

Esterly Road Trailhead: 

View a map of the Esterly Road trailhead here. Click here for Google map directions.

Hwy 12 Parking Lot:

View a map of the Hwy 12 trailhead here. Click here for Google map directions.

Questions?

Contact Ellen Davis at 262-740-1113.

2019 Central Moraines Chapter Hike-A-Thon

Join us for the Central Moraines Chapter’s inaugural Hike-A-Thon!

In celebration of National Trails Day (Saturday, June 8th, 2019), join hikers, friends, family, and colleagues to explore the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Marathon County and raise funds to build, maintain, and protect the Trail.

Participants can choose one of two hikes along the Ice Age Trail:

  • State Road 52 to County Road HH: 2.6 miles
  • Sportsman Drive to County Road HH: 5.7 miles

Supporting the Ice Age Trail

Our goal is to work together to raise more than $3,000 for the Central Moraines Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance. We are asking all participants to make a tax-deductible gift or collect pledges of $20 or more (individuals) or $30 or more (families).

Those who are not currently Alliance members who donate or raise $50 or more have the option to start a one-year Alliance membership.

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.

Event Details

Shuttles and refreshments will be provided.

Participants should check in anytime between 9 and noon on the day of the event. Check-in headquarters will be at the Plover River Segment’s County Road HH parking lot (driving directions).

Event Sponsors

Thanks to these local businesses for supporting and sponsoring the 2019 Hike-A-Thon!

Please Note

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.

Pets are welcome but must be on leash at all times.

Online Registration Is Now Closed. Please Register/Donate On-Site.

2019 Dane County Chapter Hike-A-Thon

Popular Hike-A-Thon is back for 2019!

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 – 5 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

Over the last 7 years, the Hike-A-Thon has raised more than $30,000 for the Ice Age Trail Alliance and its Dane County Chapter.

In 2019, our goal is to work together to raise more than $6,000 for the Ice Age Trail Alliance. We are asking all participants to make a tax-deductible gift or collect pledges of $30 or more ($40 after May 24th).

Those who are not currently Alliance members who donate or raise $50 or more have the option to start a one-year Alliance membership.

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.

The first 72 participants to register will receive a pair of Wigwam socks courtesy of Fontana Sports Specialties.

Event Details

Those participating in the 20-mile Hike-a-Thon will meet at 8 a.m. at Badger Prairie County Park, in the parking lot adjacent to 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 provide three (3) water stops with snacks every 3-5 miles. Porta-potties will be available along the route.

Those participating in the 5-mile Prairie-to-Prairie Hike will meet at 12:30 p.m. at Badger Prairie County Park, in the parking lot adjacent to 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 at Shelter #1 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.

Please Note

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. If the cancellation of the event is necessary due to weather, every effort will be made to contact all participants by email on May 31st.

We love dogs, but please leave yours at home for this event.

Thanks to these local businesses for supporting and sponsoring the 2019 Hike-A-Thon!

      Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Fontana Sports, Corporate Partners, Shop Local         

 

Click Here to Register and/or Donate




Name Change and Special Pricing!

Name Change!

Our catchy name for the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s mobile app, Mammoth Tracks, has gone the way of the woolly mammoth! Guthook Guides, the company who created our app decided to switch things up. So, when the glacier melts, well, you go with the flow.

What was formerly Mammoth Tracks is now available as an in-app purchase in the new and improved version of Atlas Guides‘ offerings of Guthook Guides hiking apps. You can find the Ice Age Trail featured near the middle of the page.

Special Spring Pricing!

The deal starts Thursday, April 11th and runs through Sunday, April 14th.  Continue reading

Changes for Mammoth Tracks App for Android Users

 

Update for Android users of the Mammoth Tracks – Ice Age Trail app:

Mammoth Tracks is now available as an in-app purchase for Android in the new and improved version of Atlas Guides’ hiking app called “Guthook Guides: Hike & Bike Offline”.

Here are some common questions and answers about the new app.

Q: I have the Mammoth Tracks – Ice Age Trail app on my Android phone. Can I still use it?

A: Yes, you can still use it, and it will have the same data as the newer app. However, this app will not be updated (other than the data) or supported in the future.

Q: I have the Mammoth Tracks – Ice Age Trail app on my Android phone. Can I transfer my purchase to the new Guthook Guides app? Continue reading

Announcing IATA Photo Contest

Ice Age National Scenic Trail Jerry Lake Segment Taylor County Chippewa Moraine

A glimpse of boardwalk along the Jerry Lake Segment of the Chippewa Moraine in Taylor County.
Photo credit: D. Caliebe

We Need Photographs of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail!

We are on the lookout for photos we can use in our publications. Right now, we have a 2020 edition of Ice Age Trail Guidebook in the works.

What makes the Guidebook so valuable, besides detailed segment-by-segment descriptions and maps, is the high quality, expressive photographs it contains. Most of the pictures were taken, not by professional photographers, but by trail enthusiasts who snapped the shot while out hiking! Each photo wonderfully captures the beauty of the trail experience. Continue reading

Government Shutdown and the IAT

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Government Shutdown, National Park Service, Volunteers in the Park insurance program

Snow covered boardwalk along the Plover River Segment, Marathon County. Photo by Rachel Roberts.

First the Good News:

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail remains open for hiking, snowshoeing, running, and backpacking. Please continue to enjoy the Ice Age Trail and the activities which get you outside and bring you joy.

Now, for the Not-So Good News:

Even though the Ice Age Trail itself is not closed during the government shutdown, ALL VOLUNTEER-BASED activities are suspended. Continue reading

Wanted: Volunteer Field Editors

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Field Editors, Guidebook updates and revisions

Tony Schuster (and his wife Nancy) enjoys a fantastic day hiking on the Ice Age Trail as Field Editor for the Harwood Lakes Segment in Chippewa County. Tony and Nancy carefully walked the segment to make sure the reality of the Trail was reflected across all three hiker resources. Photo by Nancy Schuster.

Work has begun to update the Ice Age Trail Guidebook, the Atlas, and the Databook. The goal is updated, published versions by February 2020.

We’re looking for dedicated and enthusiastic hikers and lovers of the outdoors to volunteer as Field Editors. That means YOU!

Field Editors will be asked to:

  • Hike a selected segment or connecting route of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail,
  • Review and verify existing book info,
  • Submit a Field Edit Report providing any updated, corrected, or new information.

Continue reading

The Thousand-Miler Smile!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Thousand-Miler, Section Hiking,

The happy, thousand-watt smiles of brand new Thousand-Milers fill the Alliance headquarters.      Photo by Jo Ellarson.

Lynn Williamson and Patrice Nicolet recently completed their thousand-mile journey on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Laughing, they remarked, “We’re still friends, too!” Williamson and Nicolet became Thousand-Milers by section hiking the Ice Age Trail. The Thousand-Miler Map and Checklist helped them plan and document their progress as they hiked the Trail in bits and pieces over a period of years.

You too can get started on your very own adventure, solo, or with a friend, or an entire passel of people. Winter is a great time to cozy up to a warm fire and to plan your hike. Will you hike it a segment (or two) or connecting route (or more) at a time? Will you choose to hike the entire Trail in one continuous, multi-day effort? The decision is yours. Continue reading

National Trails Day Hikes!

National Trail Day, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail

The Plover River Segment of the Ice Age Trail. (Photo by Cameron Gillie)

National Trails Day is Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 and there is plenty to celebrate along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

Hikes That Go the Distance:

Explore new territory.

Waushara County, All Waushara County Segments: “Walk the Waush” Challenge 

Beginning June 1 through August 19th, challenge yourself, family, friends, and co-workers to lace up their walking shoes and walk as many miles as you can in 80 days and explore Waushara County’s beautiful parks and trails. (Bonus: become eligible for awards and prizes!) (Waushara County Chapter) Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Beware of Icy Hiking Conditions!

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Icy Winter Hiking

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

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

A Celebration of Life!

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Trail Adventures, Trail Journals, Thousand-Milers, Thru-Hikers

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

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

First Day Hikes

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, First Day Hike

Photo credit: Fred Paasch

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

Working Together, Impressive Results

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Taylor County MSC 2016

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

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

Calling All Creatives! IATA Photo Contest

Ice Age National Scenic Trail Jerry Lake Segment Taylor County Chippewa Moraine

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

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

Kids Fight Invasive Species!

Hartland School of Community Learning Hartland Saunters Marsh Clean up 2016

This is what happiness looks like: sunshine, fresh air, muscles put to good use, and the satisfaction of a job well done!
Photo credit: P. Witkowski

The boundless energy of kids.

We all wish we had a bit more of it ourselves.

Perhaps you’ve even wished you could harness it.

What if you could focus all that energy and unleash it like a super power, in service of a better, brighter world?

Well, the visionaries of Village of Hartland and the Hartland School of Community Learning did just that through a collaborative service event on Friday, May 6th to clean up a section of the Hartland Marsh. Continue reading