Photo by: IATA File photo

Pitch in on the Trail

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is built, supported, and maintained by the Ice Age Trail Alliance (IATA) and hundreds of passionate volunteers. They donate thousands of hours of time every year to care for the Trail, lead hikes and field trips, and connect with communities near the Trail. In fact, without our volunteers, the Ice Age Trail would just be another line on a map.


Yearly Achievements


Dedicated Volunteers


Volunteer Hours


Mammoth Hike Challenge Completion Certificates


Acres Protected


Feet of  Boardwalk Built

Get Involved

Our 19 volunteer chapters are the living, breathing soul of the Ice Age Trail. They build and maintain the Trail across the state throughout the year. They have lots of fun while bringing our organization to a level we would not be able to achieve without them.

If you’re joining us for the first time at an event or you have not completed an individual form since April 2020, please complete the fillable Individual Volunteer Services Agreement Form and email it (along with any questions) to Dan Watson, ([email protected]).

Event leaders may find this form helpful: Group Volunteer Form (PDF)

Download one of these Volunteer Individual Hours Logs in Word or Excel.

Record your volunteer activity and the time you spent. Once the form is filled out, at the end of each quarter (i.e. end of June, Sept, Dec, March), you can send the form to your chapter’s leadership. Connect with your chapter leadership to learn to whom you should send your completed log.

Questions? Give our office a call at (800) 227-0046 or email us at [email protected].

Mobile Skills Crew Program

Our Mobile Skills Crew Program trains volunteers in advanced trail construction and crew leadership techniques. Then, they lead smaller-scale trail building projects at locations along the Trail.

I have met a wonderful group of zany, honest, “comfortable in their own skin” folks who have become my friends. Some of them focus on building trail and supporting other trail builders. Others direct their energies into hiking. Many have become like a second family to me.

– Gail M. Piotrowski “Gabby Gail” IAT Thousand Miler 2014


We are dedicated to developing and supporting a robust volunteer force that’s prepared to meet the challenge of building and maintaining the Ice Age Trail. We offer an assortment of training opportunities to complement the unique skills volunteers bring to the table

Ice Age Trail University

Ice Age Trail University is our annual multi-day training event. The coursework, which varies from year to year, offers volunteers the opportunity to gain Trail-related skills. Classes range from how to be a Camp Chef to trailbuilding techniques like stonework and constructing boardwalks.

All courses are taught by Alliance staff or experienced volunteers. IAT-U is held in different parts of the state each year and typically takes place in July.

For dates and locations, please visit the event calendar. ►

Regional Rally

We host a series of rallies each fall that take place in different locations across Wisconsin. Each rally is a great way for new volunteers to connect with a local chapter and learn about current volunteer opportunities. Rallies are based on a trail-related theme, such as “Thinking Like a Hiker” or “Building Our Base Through Outreach.”

For dates and locations, please visit the event calendar. ►

IATA Annual Conference

Even though the focus of our Annual Conference is celebrating our volunteers’ accomplishments on the Trail, we just can’t help but squeeze in a few training opportunities.

Each year we provide breakout sessions that help volunteers gain understanding and skills in a variety of areas. This could include how to hike with youth or learning what goes into protecting the Wisconsin landscape.

The Annual Conference takes place each April. For details about the next Annual Conference, please visit the event calendar. ►

Volunteer Awards

To show our appreciation and recognize the incredible work of hundreds of volunteers and other friends of the Trail, we give out a series of awards. The following awards recognize the dedication, inspiration and longevity that many volunteers bring to the Ice Age Trail.

View our full list of awards.

Spirit Stick award

The Spirit Stick Award symbolizes long-term dedication and service to the Ice Age Trail. Nominees for this award exhibit a passion for the Trail that has become a way of life. They lead by example, inspire those around them, and carry out their service with a spirit of optimism, cooperation and enthusiasm. We present this award to only one recipient each year. Full list of year by year winners can be viewed here.

Trail Steward of the year

This award recognizes volunteers whose work in any phase of Trail management contributes in an extraordinary manner to the development of new trail, land improvements or facilities such as: trail planning, landowner and/or partner relations, trail layout and design, trail construction, trail maintenance, stewardship work. Full list of year by year winners can be viewed here.