21 Hikes During the 9-Day Gun-Deer Season

An Ice Age Trail trailhead sign with a yellow blaze stands in the forefront of a fall colors backdrop.
Looking for an alternative to large gatherings and Black Friday shopping this Thanksgiving holiday? How about a stroll on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail! Photo by Katie Ryan.
The nine-day gun deer hunting season (November 18 – 26, 2023) spans the Thanksgiving holiday, a time when friends and family gather. It’s natural to want to introduce your loved ones to the Ice Age Trail, yet safe hiking options are limited. Keeping this in mind, we have 21 hikes to share with you where deer hunting is not allowed. Most of these options take place in or near Ice Age Trail Communities and are a perfect blend of natural surroundings and urban amenities.

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Hunting Season and Hiking on the 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 Hunting Season and the Ice Age Trail page to get a full breakdown of all the things to consider.

Here are the main things you’ll want to remember: Continue reading

Respecting Ice Age Trail Closures

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Trail Signage
A variety of signage lines the Ice Age National Scenic Trail route. Yellow blazes mark the Ice Age Trail and important trail closure signs and private property notices inform hikers about Trail accessibility. Photo by David Caliebe.
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail traverses over 1000 miles of forestlands, prairies, wetlands, and roadways throughout Wisconsin. Many of these paths are made possible by partnerships with private landowners and lands owned and managed by municipal, county, state and federal agencies. As such, hikers must be mindful of a regulations on property types, hunting seasons, and trail signage while hiking the Ice Age Trail, especially when crossing private lands. Guidelines for hiking through private lands are found below.

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