Photo Credit: Rachel Roberts

Trailtessa* Retreats

*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.

Re-discover YOU with plenty of permission.

BE YOU: Bold. Audacious. Strong. Adventurous.

You get to choose.

Be any way you want to BE.

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

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

Thank you to We Energies Foundation for supporting Trailtessa in 2024.

Trailtessa* Retreats - 2024 Calendar

Photos by: Stephanie Lundeen
Photos by: Stephanie Lundeen


Saturday, February 17, 2024
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Snowshoe Hike
Hartman Creek State Park (Portage/Waupaca Counties)

Cost: $20; girls under 18 FREE

Pure Bliss. Embrace winter by strapping on a pair of snowshoes for a two-mile hike through snow-frosted trees. Enjoy an introduction-to-snowshoeing guided hike led by local experts through a winter wonderland.

Let winter’s brisk air recharge your spirit while you warm your heart, making new friends. Cozy up around a post-hike bonfire and enjoy homemade, locally sourced, yummy treats.

Snowshoes will be provided at no cost if needed.

Photos by: Unknown Photographers
Photos by: Unknown Photographers

Be a Twilight Explorer

Friday, April 26, 2024
7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Experiential Hike
Trail Community: Two Rivers, Woodland Dunes Nature Center (Manitowoc County)

Cost: FREE

Experience twilight’s magic while listening to spring sounds of frogs and other critters. Be on the lookout for timberdoodles performing their courtship display. Explore the Dunes Segment on a short, ½-mile, guided hike along mostly even terrain. If the sky is clear, an astronomer will be on hand with a telescope; view the Big Dipper, and more!

Bring a headlamp/small flashlight. Be prepared for muddy spots on the Trail.

Open to women and girls of all ages. Registration required, space is limited. Email Jess at to sign up.

Photo by: Tracy Amweg
Photo by: Tracy Amweg


Sunday, May 19, 2024
8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Trail Run and Workshop
Badger Prairie County Park, Verona Segment (Dane County) 


  • Workshop only: $20
  • Trail Run only: $20
  • Workshop and Trail Run: $30 

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. It’s your chance to stride out the door and put 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!

Photo by: Unknown Photographer
Photo by: Unknown Photographer


Friday, June 21, 2024
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
An All-Senses, Summer Solstice Hike
Hartland Marsh, Hartland Segment (Waukesha County)

Cost: $20

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

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.

Photo by: Wild Rivers Conservancy
Photo by: Wild Rivers Conservancy


Saturday, July 13, 2024
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Bird Hike and Paddle
Trail Community: St. Croix Falls, Lions Park (Polk County)

Cost: $50 (kayak included)
Age: Women and girls 16 and older (Max: 24 attendees)  

Calling adventurous spirits eager to 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.


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

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

Photo by: Milton Public Library
Photo by: Milton Public Library


Tuesday, August 20, 2024
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Bee a Pollinator Helper Workshop
Trail Community: Milton, Milton Public Library– Story Walk Garden (Rock County)

Cost: FREE
Ages: This event is intended for elementary and middle school aged girls 

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 fundraiser during the festival.

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

Photo by: Kemi M.
Photo by: Kemi M.

Be FIERCE (more details coming soon!)

Dates: TBD
A Backpacking Skills Adventure
Location: TBD

Cost: $150
Age: Women ages 21 and up (Max: 24 attendees) 

Backpacking 101 assets: Strength and self-sufficiency. Carry a gear-filled pack on this multi-day trip, immersing yourself in rugged beauty. Hike along glittering kettle lakes, through mesic forests, and across winding boardwalks. No previous backpacking experience necessary, but expect to hike a total of 25 miles (approximately) during the trip.

Open to women who have NOT participated previous Trailtessa backpacking trips.