In an especially trying year, we learned how valuable the work we perform is as countless people discovered adventure near home. Parking lots filled and overflowed. Quiet, little known segments awoke with the footsteps and chatter of newly initiated hikers.
In May, after an unsettling absence, volunteers reconnected with the Ice Age Trail. Your skills and efforts were needed – and appreciated – more than ever. With our productive start to the year in the rearview mirror, we regrouped and accomplished quite a bit – and did it safely. Thank you for everything you did this year, and in the previous decades, to create one of the Midwest’s best hiking trails.
By the Numbers: 2020 Mobile Skills Crew & Reconnect Trailbuilding Season
494 Volunteers Engaged
7,727 Volunteer Hours Logged
1,277 Feet of Boardwalk
1.3 Miles of New Trail
21 Sawyers Trained
Summary of 2020 Trailbuilding Events
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
July 30 – August 2
The first Ice Age Trail Alliance sawyers to receive training from the U.S. Forest Service, 21 volunteers received 202 hours of instruction.
LaBudde Creek Segment
August 20 –23
While adjusting to a more rustic base camp and a bit less coffee in the morning, 64 volunteers enjoyed warm weather and blue skies. They constructed a 248-foot-long boardwalk over a perennially wet section and repainted signage along a mile of trail. A third-of-a-mile of new tread, by-passing a steep hill on Little Elkhart Road, went from a five-year-old flag line to completion in just three days! Let’s not forget the satellite crew that went south to clear storm damage from the Parnell Segment. Crews accomplished a lot in 1,464 hours.
Southern Kewaskum Segment
September 17 – 19
Slated as a four-day project, it ended after just three days due to the rhythm and cohesiveness of the 27 volunteers and their 683 hours of work. Crews built an arrow-straight, 269-foot-long boardwalk across a low swampy area. A small team was dispatched south to the Holy Hill Segment to remove the old, no-longer-needed, 300-foot-long boardwalk. With the help of the Vermeer, they accomplished this task in just half a day. The quick progress overall can also be attributed to local chapter members who helped complete preassembly beforehand.
October 5 – 11
The capstone of the year was a week-long project along the Ringle Segment, which connected the trailbuilding work of the previous two years. A three-mile stretch from Poplar Lane to Hoot Owl Drive is now complete. 71 volunteers gave 1,754 hours to build 51 feet of boardwalk, an eight-step stone staircase, over 100 feet of stone retaining wall, and an impressive 3,800 feet of tread. We were also joined for two days by a four-person Student Conservation Association trail crew hired to work on the segment’s north end. If you missed out, don’t worry, you’ll get to help complete the final miles of this reimagined reroute in 2021.
Thank you to our 2020 Mobile Skills Crew Trailbuilding Season Partners and Sponsors!
A special thank you to our Trail friends of note:
Jay Howell, Paul Held, Don Neuburg, Patricia Suemnicht, Mike and Lisa DeLaney, Dennis Schauer, and Don Patterson
Thank you for joining us for the 2020 Trailbuilding Season!