The 2017 trailbuilding season starter’s whistle is ready to blow; all that’s missing is you.
The upcoming Ice Age Trail Alliance Annual Conference is scheduled for Thursday, April 27th – Sunday, April 30th at the Avalon Hotel and Conference Center in Chippewa Falls.
We’ll be celebrating you – the hikers, volunteers, members and donors – and all you do to make the Ice Age Trail the treasure that it is.
If you have never attended an Ice Age Trail Alliance Annual Conference before, it is a fantastic way to meet people who are passionate and committed to the Trail. It is super energizing to mingle with and hear the stories about the Trail from folks who are dedicated to building, maintaining, and protecting it.
The 2017 Annual Conference just got more AFFORDABLE!
We are excited to announce we’ve been able to REDUCE the cost of the conference attendance by 30%. Continue reading
The promise of friendship and laughter. The smell of fresh-cut dirt. The sound of iron on rock. The hum and conversations of multi-generational volunteers working arm-in-arm. The satisfaction that comes when contributing to something that’s bigger than us and, when looking back at the end of the day, seeing a job well done.
Excitingly, miles of new Trail and newly imagined Trail experiences pull us through the cold towards a new season of trailbuilding. The Ice Age Trail doesn’t just happen. The Trail needs your special brand of magic to flourish and take root in the hearts and minds and imagination of Wisconsinites. Chippewa, Manitowoc, Marathon, and Kewaunee counties await construction of spectacular tread meandering up and over ice-walled, lake plains and through hiker-friendly towns alike. High-quality trail experiences will be maintained through ambitious stewardship projects, like the ones planned for Rusk, Waukesha, Lincoln, Walworth, and Taylor counties. Whether it’s crafting boardwalks and bridges, learning and sharing new skills, or meeting new people and seeing new places, the season ahead is representative of our steadfast commitment to creating, supporting, and protecting the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Continue reading
We will augment the work today of Ed Spoon’s trail corridor clearing crew, but we will not limit our clearing of invasive brush and trees to the trail corridor proper. Besides hand tool work, there will be work for trained and equipped chain sawyers, as well as power brush cutter operators. Contact leader in advance for details. Meet at the Twin Pines lot on Lodi/Springfield Rd. (map/directions).
What to do when the best laid plans hit a snag? As all seasoned volunteers know…with eyes forward, you shift on a dime and give it all you’ve got!
The planned Storrs Lake project in Rock County is on hold for 2016, regrettably. This change of plans, therefore, enables us to finish what we’ve started, which we strive to do. This mindset led us to organize two Mobile Skills Crew events which will run concurrently from Thursday, October 20 through Sunday, October 23.
The Sauk County event (Merrimac Segment) will build 3,600 feet of tread that was corridor cleared at the August event. The Taylor County event (Rib Lake Segment) will focus on finishing up work began in May on the Timm’s Hill Trail Connector. (The Sauk County project will be the larger of the two events.) Continue reading
The goal of every Mobile Skills Crew event and local Trail improvement effort is to create and maintain a sustainable footpath that fosters new discoveries and broadens our collective connection to the outdoors. Over the course of five rainy, and sometimes stormy days, at last week’s Polk County MSC event, we did that, and more.
Thanks to the efforts of 119 volunteers, over the course of 3,268 hours, an amazing amount got accomplished:
The cook shanty was kept warm by the efforts of the crew who prepared three square meals a day. In addition, 11 sawyers attended a chainsaw certification course.
Perhaps, what best exemplifies the impassioned enthusiasm, of those striving for Trail excellence, is this snapshot. Picture a thousand feet of wide, muddy, rutted forest road, beat up after many trips moving materials and tools with an ATV and UTV. Now picture six tired volunteers, at the end of a very long week, mustering the energy to wield McLeod’s, with the purpose of reshaping the holes and ruts, in order to return the road to a like-new condition.
Special Thanks to:
To gain a larger sense of the work accomplished during the MSC project, you may click here for more photos.
To gain a better sense of the areas where the numerous projects took place last weekend, click here for a map.
Thank you, volunteers!
We appreciate you!
Do you like to be recognized for the time and energy you spend on a project? If so, then you know how good it feels to bask in someone’s appreciation and words of praise (even if it feels as little embarrassing or awkward).
Now is your opportunity to turn the tables and heap a little admiration on someone else who has stepped up in a significant way in support of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Continue reading
August is prime time for community festivals big and small, celebrating the heart of each locale. Last week’s MSC event in Sauk and Columbia Counties rolled out the big top, anchored by four heavyweights of the Ice Age Trail – stonework, trailbuilding, woodworking, and most importantly, learning. These four anchors held the big top sturdy through high winds and downpours. These four anchors play a key part, every day, along the Ice Age Trail, expanding the big top to include more volunteers and hikers. Continue reading
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
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
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail inspires an intensity of passion and purpose that is pure and rare. If you could bottle it up, you could sell it for a fortune.
This enthusiastic dedication was unleashed in a whirlwind of focused activity when 77 volunteers pitched in for 2,794 hours to maintain and upgrade an astonishing 20+ miles of Trail, spanning three counties, and five Ice Age Trail segments. Continue reading
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
Despite the frozen landscape of February, the first stone placed of the 2016 MSC tour rippled forth with refreshing change from the Treehaven education, conference and research center during the Winter Rendezvous. Trail folk from around the state celebrated the 2015 season, renewed fellowship with trail friends and looked ahead to the coming trailbuilding season. Amid snowshoe races, jigsaw puzzles and reminiscing about trailbuilding events of the past, a fire was lit in the very core of the Mobile Skills Crew spirit that will burn bright all season long.
Don’t worry if you missed the Rendezvous, the 2016 MSC Stones and Ripples tour is coming to an Ice Age Trail Segment near you. Next stop is in Rock County, April 27 – May 1 for Crew Leadership and Skills Training. If becoming a Crew Leader is not your fancy, join us at any of the other trailbuilding events. Check the schedule and register today. We look forward to making memories in 2016 that will kindle the fires of next year’s Winter Rendezvous.