Summer Storm Trail Conditions

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Volunteer Chapters, Trail Conditions, Storm Damage

Summer storm damage. The northern tier of Wisconsin was hit by terrible storms with shear winds and tornadic activity, July 19, and July 20. Photo by Jason Pursell.

Summer Storm = Big Damage

Shear winds and tornadic activity ravaged the North and Central regions of Wisconsin this past weekend, July 19, and July 20, 2019. Expect to see a significant number of trees down along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail corridor.

Please exercise caution and common sense if you are considering a hike on any segment north of Highway 10, especially if you are planning to go anytime in the next two weeks. Areas where damage has been reported along the Ice Age Trail include (but are not limited to) the following: Polk, Barron, Langlade, Portage, and Waupaca counties.

Please know our dedicated volunteers, Seasonal Trail Crew, and partner agencies like the County parks and the Department of Natural Resources are busy assessing the damage and are taking the necessary steps to begin the safe removal of fallen trees and other debris.

Please be patient. This damage will not be cleaned up quickly – the damage is simply too extensive and severe – and clean-up efforts will continue through the Fall (and beyond) in the hardest hit areas.

Please note: The Department of Natural Resources has reported damage at the following State Parks which host the Ice Age National Scenic Trail:

Hartman Creek State Park – Portage & Waupaca County (hosts the Hartman Creek Segment)

Note: The family campground is closed at Hartman Creek State Park due to damage and downed trees from severe storms on Saturday, July 20. The family campground will remain closed through Thursday, July 25. Other areas of the park may also be closed due to storm damage, and visitors should use caution. (updated 7/20/19).

Potawatomi State Park – Door County (hosts the Sturgeon Bay Segment)

Straight Lake State Park – Polk County (hosts the Straight Lake Segment)

                Note: Straight Lake State Park is currently closed due to storm damage. (Call 715-483-3747 to learn when services will resume.)

Brunet Island State Park – Chippewa County (hosts the Chippewa River Segment)

Three Items of Note:

ONE: Hike at your own risk when hiking in any of the counties affected by the storm. Expect to see numerous trees blown down onto the Trail. It may not be safe to crawl over or under downed trees. Your hike may take longer and you may get lost. Blazes are likely to be missing. Water sources may be compromised.

TWO: Check our Trail Conditions. As chapter leaders assess the situation and have the time to report the level of damage, the condition reports will continue to offer substance and accuracy regarding the ever-changing conditions of the Ice Age Trail. Check Trail Conditions.

THREE: Call or email Chapter Coordinators of the region where you plan to hike. They will have the best boots-on-the-ground information about conditions on the Ice Age Trail in their county. Be advised, that in the short-term, they may be without phone or email due to the damage their communities may have sustained during the storms. Exercise patience and grace when interacting with these hard-working volunteers who are likely to be busy sawing down the trees covering the Trail. Connect with Chapter Coordinators.

 

Trail Conditions

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Volunteer Chapters, Trail Conditions, Storm Damage

Tornado damage along County Highway F just north of the John Muir Segment in Marquette County. Photo by thru-hiker, Jason Pursell.

Trail Condition Highlights

Parnell Segment: 

The Parnell Segment near Butler Lake was hit hard during an August 31st storm which produced high winds and tornados and many trees were blown down. While the staff of the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Northern Unit have downplayed the extent of the damage, hiker reports (as recently as 11/02/2018) indicate the route is still extremely treacherous and it is exceedingly easy to get lost. The on-going IATA  recommendation is to avoid the Parnell Segment at this point in time.

Firth Lake Segment:

A portion of the Firth Lake Segment in Chippewa County has been closed by a private landowner. In order to bypass that segment, which extends from east of Firth Lake SIATA and Chippewa County Forest to about 1 mile west of Hwy CC, it is necessary to bypass everything between Hwy CC and Firth Lake. Continue reading