Trailtessa 2024: Be MINDFUL

Be MINDFUL: An All-Senses, Summer Solstice Sunset Hike

Friday, June 21, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Hartland Marsh, Hartland Segment (Waukesha County)

Cost: $20/attendee; women & girls 16 and older

Be Mindful. Focus on the present moment, letting the light in. Breathe. Expand. Relax. Take advantage of the extended daylight and experience a slow, relaxing hike.

Enjoy a guided hike through the Hartland Marsh, an Alliance-owned preserve, tuning into all five senses as you explore this diverse habitat. See vivid colors. Listen for bird calls. Savor woodland scents. Feel plant textures (safely!). Taste summer.

BONUS: For those who you can stay a little longer, we’ll take a stroll and enjoy the sunset atop the Aldo Leopold Overlook.

 

 

 

Registration fee is non-refundable. If you are unable to attend, we will consider it a donation to the Alliance.

We love dogs, but we ask that you not bring them to Trailtessa events.

Trailtessa [treyl-tes-sah], noun: a woman or girl who gets out on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to experience adventure, freedom and a new way to be. Trailtessa Retreats are events designed by women for women. Re-discover YOU with plenty of permission. Be any way you want to Be. Trailtessa events were created in conjunction with the REI Force of Nature initiative.

Thank you partners:

Trailtessa 2024: Be WILD

Be WILD: A Bird Watching Experience from Land and Water

Saturday, July 13, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Ice Age National Scenic Trail – St. Croix Falls Segment and St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (Polk County)

Cost: $50/attendee; women & girls 16 and older

Be Wild. Experience the land and water habitats of our feathered friends. Kayak along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in the morning. Hike along a section of the St. Croix Segment, in the afternoon. Learn about native birds in northwest Wisconsin and see lots of them (hopefully!) from the water and from the Trail.

This casual birding experience, offered in partnership with the Wild Rivers Conservancy, includes guided kayaking and hiking. All abilities and experiences welcome.

Included:

  • Expert support for first-time birders, kayakers, and hikers
  • Binoculars (or bring your own)
  • Kayak, paddle and safety vests
  • Lunch and refreshments

What to Expect

Meet and check-in at Lions Park in St. Croix Falls. Attendees will be shuttled north and paddle the St. Croix River south back to the park. The paddle will be approximately 2.5 hours. Lunch will be provided at Lions Park, along with information about habitat management practices from the Ice Age Trail Alliance and Wild Rivers Conservancy. Enjoy an out and back hike along the Ice Age Trail – St. Croix Falls segment for approximately 2-miles or 1.5 hours.

Location

Lions Park
809 North Hamilton
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024

 

 

 

Cancellation policy: If you are unable to attend this event, you can receive a refund (minus $10 administration fee) if cancellation is received in writing before June 13. If you cancel after June 13, we will consider your registration fee a donation.

We love dogs, but we ask that you not bring them to Trailtessa events.

Trailtessa [treyl-tes-sah], noun: a woman or girl who gets out on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to experience adventure, freedom and a new way to be. Trailtessa Retreats are events designed by women for women. Re-discover YOU with plenty of permission. Be any way you want to Be. Trailtessa events were created in conjunction with the REI Force of Nature initiative.

Thank you partners:

Trailtessa 2024: Be CREATIVE

Be CREATIVE: Bee a Pollinator Helper Hands-On Workshop

Tuesday, August 20, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Milton Public Library Story Gardens, Milton Segment, Rock County

Cost: FREE

Be Creative. Ignite your artistic abilities to support pollinators. Create little clay stones (something like this) for fairy gardens, terrariums, or house plant decor! Paint a large-scale mural celebrating bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and fireflies – delightful and crucial pollinators.

Local artists will lead this hands-on workshop for elementary and middle school aged girls. The mural will be on display at the library’s Monarch Festival in September, and the decorated clay stones will be sold as a library and Alliance fundraiser during the festival.

All supplies – paint, paint brushes, clay, etc. – will be provided, as well as hearty snacks.

LOCATION

Milton Public Library & Story Gardens
430 E High Street
Milton, WI 53563

Resister directly with Milton Public Library. Registration will open May 1!  

 

Meet the Artists: 

Heather Hanson, Artist and Owner Pottery by Five

Kegane Rynes, Mural artist and face painter

 

     

Trailtessa [treyl-tes-sah], noun: a woman or girl who gets out on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to experience adventure, freedom and a new way to be. Trailtessa Retreats are events designed by women for women. Re-discover YOU with plenty of permission. Be any way you want to Be. Trailtessa events were created in conjunction with the REI Force of Nature initiative.

We love dogs, but we ask that you not bring them to Trailtessa events.

Trailtessa 2024: Be FREE

Be FREE: A Trail Running Workshop and Trail Run Experience

Sunday, May 19, 8:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Badger Prairie County Park, Verona Segment (Dane County)

Be Free! Fly over rocks and roots through a blur of trees and yellow blazes, discovering beauty and an endorphin-fueled rush. Learn the finer points of trail running – a chance to stride out the door, putting yourself first. And that’s a good thing.

Trail running experts will welcome beginners and seasoned runners to a workshop focused on training, gear, and nutrition tips. Guided runs along the Verona Segment will follow, with distances of three-or six-miles and options for different paces.

Enjoy post-run celebratory refreshments. Join us for the workshop, the run, or both.

AGENDA

The workshop will be 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. The run will be 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

LOCATION 

Badger Prairie County Park
6720 Highway 151, Verona, WI 53593
(Meet at the main shelter)

Cost: 

  • Trail Running Workshop (ONLY) $20
  • Trail Run (ONLY) $20
  • Trail Running Workshop AND Trail Run $30

 

 

 

 

Registration fee is non-refundable. If you are unable to attend, we will consider it a donation to the Alliance.

We love dogs, but we ask that you not bring them to Trailtessa events.

Trailtessa [treyl-tes-sah], noun: a woman or girl who gets out on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to experience adventure, freedom and a new way to be. Trailtessa Retreats are events designed by women for women. Re-discover YOU with plenty of permission. Be any way you want to Be. Trailtessa events were created in conjunction with the REI Force of Nature initiative.

Thank you partners:
       

Trailtessa 2024- Be a Twilight Explorer

Be a Twilight Explorer

Friday, April 26

7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Cost: FREE

Dunes Segment, Manitowoc County

Woodland Dunes Nature Center, Two Rivers

 

Be brave! Explore the magical time of twilight with a group of other women and girls.

Be curious! Learn about evening spring sounds, then explore part of the Dunes Segment of the Ice Age Trail for a short, guided twilight walk. Watch the timberdoodles perform their courtship display and listen for frogs and other critters.

If the sky is clear, scope out the night sky with an astronomer. Bring a headlamp/small flashlight and be prepared for some areas of mud on the trail. Trail length will be about ½ mile and is on fairly even ground.

Open to all ages. Registration required, space is limited.

 

Resister directly with Woodland Dunes Nature Center.

Contact Jessica Johnsrud, jessicaj@woodlanddunes.org, or call the Nature Center at 920-793-4007 to register.

Trailtessa [treyl-tes-sah], noun: a woman or girl who gets out on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to experience adventure, freedom and a new way to be. Trailtessa Retreats are events designed by women for women. Re-discover YOU with plenty of permission. Be any way you want to Be. Trailtessa events were created in conjunction with the REI Force of Nature initiative.

We love dogs, but we ask that you not bring them to Trailtessa events.

 

Trailtessa 2024: Be BLISSFUL

Be BLISSFUL

February 17, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Hartman Creek State Park, Waupaca/Portage Counties 

Cost: $20/attendee, Girls under 18 are free

Pure Bliss. Embrace all that winter has to offer! Join the Ice Age Trail Alliance at Hartman Creek State Park for a morning hike. Make new friends, warm your hands at a post-hike bonfire, and enjoy homemade, locally-sourced AMAZING soup and bread from female-owned 13 Chairs in Amhurst.

10:00 am – 1:00 pm Snowshoe Hike (lunch included after the hike)

*2-mile guided snowshoe hike along the Hartman Creek Segment. Snowshoes will be available for attendees to use if needed.

Registration fee is non-refundable. If you are unable to attend, we will consider it a donation to the Alliance. 

 

Trailtessa [treyl-tes-sah], noun: a woman or girl who gets out on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to experience adventure, freedom and a new way to be. Trailtessa Retreats are events designed by women for women. Re-discover YOU with plenty of permission. Be any way you want to Be. Trailtessa events were created in conjunction with the REI Force of Nature initiative.

We love dogs, but we ask that you not bring them to Trailtessa events.

Trailtessa 2023: Be FIERCE 101 Beginner’s Backpacking Trip

Be FIERCE: A Backpacking Skills Adventure

Friday, October 20 – Sunday, October 22
Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit

Backpacking 101 requires strength and self-sufficiency as you carry your gear-filled pack on this multi-day trip. You’ll be immersed in rugged beauty, hiking along glittering kettle lakes, through mesic forests, and across winding boardwalks. No previous backpacking experience necessary but expect to hike a total of approximately 25 miles during the trip. Open to women who have NOT participated previous Trailtessa backpacking trips.

Registration limit: 24 women, ages 21 and up
Cost: $150/attendee 

Thank you for your interest. Registration and waitlist are currently FULL and CLOSED. 

 

 

To make this experience the most enjoyable as possible please note the following requirements:

  • Mandatory pre-trip planning workshop will be held virtually (via Zoom) in August (TBD). Details will be made available to all registered hikers.
  • Women ages 21 and older.
  • Able to walk 12 miles a day (2-mile an hour pace), 3 days in a row.
  • Must have gear or access to gear: tent, backpack, hiking boots, stove, etc.
  • An open mind to learn from our backpacking leaders and each other.
  • A commitment to put the necessary time into pre-trip planning and training.
  • Must sign waiver [PDF]
  • No whining, and there will be wine!

Trailtessa [treyl-tes-sah], noun: a woman or girl who gets out on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to experience adventure, freedom and a new way to be. Trailtessa Retreats are events designed by women for women. Re-discover YOU with plenty of permission. Be any way you want to Be.

Trailtessa 2023: Be CURIOUS

Be CURIOUS: A Habitat Improvement Project

Saturday, September 16, 2:00 – 7:00 pm
Table Bluff Segment, Dane County

Wander through acres of native prairie plants, collecting seeds for future planting projects. Contribute to the on-going maintenance of a biodiversity hotspot in Dane County – a jewel among local habitat restoration efforts – SwampLovers’ Preserve. This 433-acre property perched on the rolling hills of southwestern Wisconsin includes wetland, prairie, and oak savannah habitat hosting a variety of resident and migratory wildlife.

Join us for an afternoon of togetherness and environmental stewardship on Saturday, September 16. Food and drink will be provided.

Be FRIENDLY. Toast to new and long-time friends with refreshments and snacks after seed collecting.

Registration limit: 40 women and girls
Cost: $15/attendee, Girls under 18 are FREE

 

 

 

 

Registration fee is non-refundable. If you are unable to attend, we will consider it a donation to the Alliance.

We love dogs, but we ask that you not bring them to Trailtessa events.

Trailtessa Retreats: super fun events designed by women for women.

Discover YOU with plenty of permission to be. BE YOU: Bold. Audacious. Strong. Adventurous. You get to choose to be any way you want to BE. Our Trailtessa events are open to women and girls of ALL ages and abilities.

 

Photo by Amy Lord.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail, Trailtessa, Be Together, Seed Collection, Seed Collecting

Photo by IATA staff.

Trailtessa 2023: Be BRIGHT

Be BRIGHT: Classic Summer Evening Fun has been CANCELLED.

Saturday, July 15, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Janesville Schools Outdoor Laboratory, Rock County

Let your heart be bright, delighting in a classic summer night: a late-setting sun, cricket songs, and pulsing fire flies. Enjoy a guided hike along arboretum paths through beautiful mature forest, prairie, marsh and wetlands. It’s magical under the light of the moon and around a bonfire. Light refreshments will be available.

Investment: $15/attendee, Girls under 18 are free

 

Event registration is closed. 

 

We love dogs, but we ask that you not bring them to Trailtessa events.

 

Trailtessa [treyl-tes-sah], noun: a woman or girl who gets out on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to experience adventure, freedom and a new way to be. Trailtessa Retreats are events designed by women for women. Re-discover YOU with plenty of permission. Be any way you want to Be.

 

 

Trailtessa 2023: Be BLISSFUL

Be BLISSFUL

February 18, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Hartman Creek State Park, Waupaca/Portage Counties 

Pure Bliss. Embrace all that winter has to offer! Join the Ice Age Trail Alliance at Hartman Creek State Park for a morning hike and/or an afternoon Intro to Winter Camping workshop. Make new friends, warm your hands at a post-hike bonfire, and enjoy homemade, locally-sourced treats from female-owned Gypsy Moon Catering. Registration (non-refundable) fee required for the hike and the workshop.

10:00 am – 1:00 pm Snowshoe Hike (lunch included after the hike)

*2-mile guided snowshoe hike along the Hartman Creek Segment. Snowshoes will be available for attendees to use if needed.

1:00 – 4:00 pm Introduction to Winter Camping Workshop* (lunch included before the workshop)

*Join the Ice Age Trail Alliance and instructor Chris McCart for this introduction to winter camping. Chris is new to Wisconsin but an old-timer in outdoor adventure education! She started a new job as an Assistant Professor of Interpretation at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point this year. Previously, she coordinated the Outdoor Education Program at Black Hills State University, where she taught a variety of outdoor leadership courses, including backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, fly fishing, LNT Outdoor Ethics, rock climbing, orienteering, cross country skiing, and winter camping. Chris loves introducing folks to outdoor pursuits and helping them achieve their goals, whether that is dabbling or diving in! Attendees will learn about gear and what to pack  (including demos and hands on activities), risk assessment, and lots of time for Q&A.

Register for either the hike or the workshop, or both. Registration fee is non-refundable. If you are unable to attend, we will consider it a donation to the Alliance. 

  • $20.00 Snowshoe Hike Attendee
  • Free Girls under 18: Snowshoe Hike
  • $20.00 Intro to Winter Camping Workshop Attendee
  • $10.00 Girls Under 18: Intro to Winter Camping Workshop
  • $30.00 Snowshoe Hike AND Intro to Winter Camping Workshop Attendee
  • $10.00 Girls Under 18: Snowshoe Hike AND Intro to Winter Camping Workshop

 

 

We love dogs, but we ask that you not bring them to Trailtessa events.

 

Trailtessa [treyl-tes-sah], noun: a woman or girl who gets out on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to experience adventure, freedom and a new way to be. Trailtessa Retreats are events designed by women for women. Re-discover YOU with plenty of permission. Be any way you want to Be. Trailtessa events were created in conjunction with the REI Force of Nature initiative.

Thank you Trailtessa partners:
Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, REI CO-OP corporate partner, Mobile Skills Crew program 2017
       

Be ENOUGH – Trailtessa – Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, REI, Force of Nature, Be Enough

Be Rejuvenated. Breathe in the beautiful view and exhale stress. Recharge with a guided hike and a sea of green along the Kewaskum Segment. Photo by Kathy Kehl.

Be Equal. Women, who spend at least an hour a day outside, on average, are more likely to feel equal to men in academia, in the outdoors, at work, in the boardroom, politics and on the sports field. Continue reading

A Force of Nature Leads the Way

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, A Force of Nature, REI Corporate Partner, Pat Witkowski

A Force of Nature: Pat Witkowski. Photo by Joanne Ellarson.

In August I ran 302 miles. At least half of those miles were on trails, many of them on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Over the 45 hours that I spent on my feet covering ground, strengthening my body and conditioning my mind, my thoughts often wandered toward the very concept of trails. Carved out of the forest and prairies, trails are not static, one-time projects. They are living, breathing entities needing to be maintained and loved, long after they are created. Continue reading

Be LUCKY – Saturday, February 3, 2018

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Trailtessa, Ice Age Trail, Force of Nature, REI Corporate Partner

Be Lucky. You’ll feel like the luckiest woman on earth as you snowshoe through a blanket of sparkling snow (fingers crossed!) along the Straight Lake Segment in Polk County. Photo by Cheryl Whitman.

Be Community. Warm your heart and bring your tribe. Come ready to meet new friends and deepen friendship with those you’ve known a long time. Winter hiking keeps you connected to the simple things in life: health and vigor; home and tribe. Continue reading

Be a Nature Princess … At Any Age!

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Force of Nature, Trailtessa Retreats

Be Fanciful. Be a Force of Nature. Be a Nature Princess…at any age! Make a crown, dust off your boots, and come explore the wild kingdom on the Dunes Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Photo by Woodland Dunes Nature Center staff.

Be Adventurous. Do Princesses climb trees and get dirty? Absolutely. This program, inspired by the children’s book, “Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?”, is designed to be a royally good time, packed with opportunities to get out and get messy. Continue reading