Volunteers formed the Washington/Ozaukee County Chapter in 1987, though they had developed the first Washington County segment of the Ice Age Trail ten years prior. The chapter works to permanently protect Ice Age Trail segments in its territory and seeks routes to connect the existing Trail segments. The chapter promotes the Ice Age Trail with local news articles and service club memberships and sponsors regular hikes and trail improvement days. The chapter partners with the Friends of Lapham Peak for National Trails Day and hosts a Grandparents Day Hike, Fall Hike and Moonlight Hikes. The chapter’s “Meander the Mid-Moraine” hiking program recognizes hikers who have walked all 45 miles of the chapter’s Ice Age Trail segments and connecting routes.
The Washington/Ozaukee County chapter currently has about 350 members. We have regular meetings, hikes and trail improvement days. Go to the calendar to see our upcoming events. You can also subscribe to our electronic newsletter to stay up to date.
Trail Route from Monches to New Fane
The Ice Age Trail’s entire route through Washington County is within the margins of the Kettle Moraine. These ridges formed from rock debris deposited where the Green Bay and Lake Michigan lobes butted up against each other, often atop the Niagara Escarpment. To either side of the Kettle Moraine are drumlins and till plains left behind by each of the lobes. Wisconsin’s most distinctive geological landform is the glacier-formed kame. Kames are the result of glacial streams that flowed down through cracks or shafts in the ice sheets that rose thousands of feet above our modern landscape. Several prominent kames, such as Holy Hill, Powder Hill and a cluster known as Polk Kames, dominate this narrow landscape and offer panoramic hilltop views.
The Trail route in Washington County winds through the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Loew Lake Unite (KMSF-LLU) and Pike Lake Unite (KMSF-PLU), with a trek to Holy Hill sandwiched between. Further north the route highlights the village of Slinger, Ridge Run Park, the city of West Bend and Glacial Blue Hills Recreation Area. Toward the northern end of the county the Trail begins its traverse of the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit (KMSF-NU) near the Milwaukee River.
Chapter Trail Segments
- Loew Lake Segment
- Holy Hill Segment
- Pike Lake Segment
- Slinger Segment
- Cedar Lakes Segment
- West Bend Segment
- Kewaskum Segment
- Milwaukee River Segment
Ice Age Trail Communities In Washington County
The Chapter meets at 6:30 pm 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 offered by the chapter about once a month. Some of them include Spring Equinox, Earth Day, National Trails Day and Fall Colors 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
The chapter has a dedicated core of active volunteers, but we can always use more help as we try to maintain existing trail, build new trail, and educate the community about the Ice Age Trail. Below are some volunteer positions that we have available.
Trail Monitors/Segment Leaders Needed
The Ice Age Trail Alliance and National Park Service has trail standards that should be adhered to, so that the hiking experience is enjoyable and memorable. Trail issues (faded signs, tread erosion, downed trees, flooding, broken structures, etc.) should be reported to the Trail Improvement Coordinator. We can use more trail monitors/segment leaders to ensure that this is being done on a regular basis. Please email us.
Hike Coordinators and Leaders Needed
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. 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.
Trail Improvement Leaders Needed
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 any time 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.
Volunteer Hour Reporting
Volunteers should track the time spent on trail work for quarterly reporting. The volunteer hours should be reported to Jeremy Vechinski ([email protected]) at the end of March, June, September, and December. Download the individual volunteers hours log [MS Word]. Volunteer hours are sent to the National Park Service, which issues awards after different milestones are reached.
2021 Volunteer Statistics And Awards
In fiscal year 2021, our chapter had 55 active volunteers who spent almost 3000 hours volunteering with the Ice Age Trail. The following chapter members were recognized with awards for volunteer service in 2021:
- Shana & Steve Stangler – “In The Mud” Award
- Daniel Rambo – 30 Years of Service
- Tom Alberg – 10 Years of Service
- Lance Henrickson – 10 Years of Service
- Rich Propp – 10 Years of Service
- Mark Muellenbach – 500 Hours of Service
- Jeremy Vechinski – 500 Hours of Service
- Tom Route – 100 Hours of Service
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.
If you would like to subscribe to our email newsletter, please click here.
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 the chapter at [email protected].
- Chapter Coordinator — Steve Stangler
- Secretary — Judy Rose
- Treasurer — John O’Neill
- Trail Improvement Coordinator – Tom Alberg
- “Meander the Mid-Moraine” Hiking Program Coordinator — Leah Bradley
- Equipment Coordinator — Lance Henrickson
- Membership & Volunteer Coordinator — Jeremy Vechinski
- Promotions/Social Media Coordinator – Shana Stangler