The Blue Hills are Calling

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Mobile Skills Crew Event, Blue Hills Rusk County

Photo by Tim Malzhan

The regal silence of the Blue Hills, with its lichen-covered logs and rugged beauty brimming with other worldliness, is interrupted only by bird calls and bubbling streams.

This expansive trail stewardship project attempts to tame a sliver of forest to provide hikers with both the rich rewards of a true north woods experience and a good, hike-able Trail as it winds through Rusk County. Join us outside. The Blue Hills (and slapping of beavers’ tails) are calling.

Mobile Skills Crew Trail Maintenance Event

Blue Hills of Rusk County (northwestern Wisconsin)

June 1st – 3rd, 2017

Click here for a project area overview map

What We’re Doing

Spanning a 15-mile area, the focus of this event is clearing last summer’s storm damage where straight-line winds blew down hundreds of trees.  During the project, small teams of volunteers, working independently, will chainsaw (certified sawyers), mow and trim the trailway, and upgrade trail signage to bring the Trail back into good hiking condition. Volunteers will also help prepare meals for fellow volunteers. No previous experience is necessary and there will be roles for all ages and abilities.

All Talents and Abilities Welcome

As with all Mobile Skills Crew events, no experience is necessary and there’s a role for volunteers of all ages and abilities…bring the whole family! Training is provided by certified volunteer crew leaders and all participants get free meals and (for those working with us for multiple days) a free place to pitch a tent.


To help us plan this event with your needs in mind, please visit our online registration page and register by Monday, May 29th.


Your contribution is welcome for any part of the event or the entire week. Work begins on Thursday, June 1st and concludes Saturday, June 3rd. Trail stewardship activities begin each day around 8:00 a.m. and typically wrap up between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Project Team members will be on site by Wednesday; if you are interested in arriving early, please call Special Projects Coordinator, Brad Crary at 262-370-2995.

Checking In at Base Camp

Volunteers should report each day to Base Camp for registration, assignments and shuttles to the work site. Base Camp (also the location of the camping area for those spending a night with us) is at the day use site of the Murphy Flowage Recreation Area (click here for driving directions).

Watch for yellow “Ice Age Trail Event” signs as you arrive in the area. Morning and evening meals will be served here; lunch will be in the field.


If you’re in need of a ride or have an extra seat or two in your car, please head to our Facebook page and post a note.

What to Bring

– Dress for variable weather — even in June, extra layers for warmth is advised.

– Bring sturdy hiking or work boots (no tennis shoes) and leather work gloves. A long-sleeve shirt and pants are recommended for trail work; mud boots, if you have them, may come in handy.

– Bring a day pack, water bottles, sunscreen and a hat.

– If camping, bring a headlamp, tent, sleeping gear and toiletries. Bring a lawn chair; you’ll appreciate having it to relax around the fire in comfortable clothes at the end of the day.

– Ticks will be numerous so bring your preferred insect and tick repellant.


Please contact Brad Crary (262-370-2995) or the IATA office (800-227-0046).

We hope to see you soon!

Happy Trails,

The Blue Hills MSC Project Team