Chad DuChateau, Director of Trail Operations
Greetings and Happy 2022
It is an honor to be transitioning into the Director of Trail Operations position with the Alliance. As a Wisconsin native, my passion and professional pursuits focused on outdoor recreation. The glacial Chain O’ Lakes of Waupaca provided my early education for what water, woods, and wildlife could do for my soul. Nature also fueled my studies at UW-Madison. Exploring lakeshore paths and Arboretum habitats, ultimately led to my degree in horticulture and natural resource management.
For twenty years now, I have worked primarily in the non-profit world as a trail builder, educator, land manager, and mentor. I recently was with WisCorps, Wisconsin’s very own conservation corps, where I developed partnerships with land managers across the state. I also trained young adults, reconnecting them to the natural world. I taught them to care for the land through restorative practices, which enhanced their internal well-being. These experiences provided a foundation for me to do work I thought worth doing. Joining the Alliance with its commitment to protecting land, expanding the Ice Age Trail off roadways, ensuring development of sustainable trail, and creating meaningful experiences for all trail users is truly a personal and a professional dream come true.
My favorite trail tool is the McLeod, and I enjoy creating sawdust while constructing boardwalks. My preferred trail section is one paralleling moving water. Like a trail, I always wonder what is around the next bend. I believe “the best trails are those that appear to be placed into the landscape, not on top of it.”
I am excited to get to know the great staff and incredible volunteers who care so passionately about the Ice Age Trail. Though La Crosse is where my family currently resides, my wife Kristy, daughter Josie, and I, look forward to relocating to the greater Cross Plains area after the school year.
We look forward to working with Chad to conserve, create, maintain, and promote the Ice Age Trail!