Local volunteers developed the first segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Washington County in 1977, but the Washington/Ozaukee County Chapter was not established until 1987. The Chapter currently has approximately 200 members. We are responsible for preserving and protecting the 45-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IANST) corridor in Washington County. Our volunteers build and maintain segments of the IANST between New Fane (on the border of Fond du Lac County) and Monches (on the border of Waukesha County). We regularly sponsor meetings, hikes, & trail improvement days, as well as socials and outreach events.
The Chapter meets at 6:30pm at the West Bend Riverside Park Pavilion on the second Tuesday of the month, with the exceptions of July, August and December. Click here for driving directions. Watch for yellow “Ice Age Trail Event” signs. We offer speakers at some of our meetings and they typically include Thousand-Milers, who have completed the entire IANST, people who have professional knowledge of Wisconsin’s geology or individuals working for environmental organizations. We save some time at the end of the meetings for socializing and an opportunity to get to know our newest volunteers. Our meetings are open to the public.
Guided hikes are one of our favorite events that we sponsor. Some of them include Spring Equinox, Earth Day, National Trails Day and Fall Colors hikes. Other guided hikes that traverse every segment, are offered from March through November, which include two moonlight hikes.
You can find details about our guided hikes on our event calendar.
“Meander the Mid-Moraine” Hiking Award Program
Our “Meander the Mid-Moraine” hiking award program challenges hikers to complete the entire 45-mile IANST corridor through Washington County. Download the program brochure [PDF] to learn how you can join the newly minted Meanderers. You can also view a list of those who have completed the program (Meanderers [PDF]).
Volunteer with Us
Volunteers should always track their hours for quarterly reporting. The volunteer hours should be reported to Jeremy (email@example.com) at the end of March, June, September, and December. Download the individual volunteers hours log [MS Word].
The Chapter Coordinator is the communicator between the Chapter members and volunteers and the Ice Age Trail Alliance staff. This individual is elected and is required to be a member of the Alliance. A few of the responsibilities of the Coordinator include: running meetings, working collaboratively with partners and land owners to create, support and protect the IANST, staying up-to-date on policies and procedures of the organization by attending statewide events when possible.
Hike Coordinators and Leaders
We can always use people who are willing to coordinate and lead hikes. We have seen a steady increase in the number of hiking participants recently, and we are looking for help with organizing hikes, educating people on plant life and geological formations along the Trail, and answering questions that may arise. Two of our most popular hikes, the First Day Hike, on January 1st of every year, and the National Trails Day Hike, which always takes place on the first Saturday in June, are in need of coordinators. If you enjoy exploring the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest area and sharing your knowledge of the great outdoors, please consider becoming a volunteer hike leader. Training will be provided.
Our segment leaders are assigned a couple of miles of the Trail and are asked to walk that area about every 3-4 weeks, to check on the condition of the tread and signage. If you are out on the Trail and you see any issues that need our attention (i.e. downed trees, posts that need replacing, faded signs), please email us. We especially need individuals in the northern part of Washington County near New Fane.
The IANST requires constant maintenance, especially during the Spring, Summer, and Fall months, and some of that work involves mowing and opening up the corridor for hikers. If you think mowing and/or clearing brush, or managing invasive plants is something you would like to do, please contact us. Our posts also need to be replaced and signage updated. Most of these tasks can be done on an individual or group basis at anytime after minimal training. We will supply the tools.
We are working collaboratively with the Volunteer Center of Washington County. You can go to their website to check out other volunteer opportunities.
Our Chapter promotes the IANST by building relationships with a variety of local organizations. If you are interested in becoming a partner of the Washington/Ozaukee County Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance, contact our Chapter Coordinator. We welcome the opportunity to bring our volunteers and promotional materials to any outreach event that is environment or community focused. Please contact us if you have an event you would like us to participate in.
For more information on Chapter activities and/or hiking the IANST in this region, feel free to contact one of our chapter officers or email us.
- Chapter Coordinator — Vacant
- Secretary — Paula Klima
- Treasurer — John O’Neill
- Trail Improvement Coordinator – David Nelsen
- Education & Outreach Coordinator — Leah Bradley
- Equipment Coordinator — Lance Henrickson
- Membership Coordinator — Jeremy Vechinski
- Promotions/Social Media Coordinator — Jane Wester