Photo Credit: Cameron Gillie

Youth and Education

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is an educational trail by nature. Its multitude of biomes, created by the receding glaciers, are natural classrooms all throughout Wisconsin. The Ice Age Trail sparks wonder and awe as it takes hikers past world-renowned glacial features and provides a lifetime of learning.

Connecting Youth with the Ice Age Trail

We believe strongly in sharing this natural story with tomorrow’s leaders through immersive, hands-on experiences.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Saunters Program, Summer Saunters, Think Outside, Childhood Obesity, Wisconsin Common Core Curriculum, Summer School, Youth backpacking trips, Service learning

1. Our Saunters Program

Saunters aims to honor Henry David Thoreau’s statement – “It is a great art to saunter” – while infusing core educational concepts into hands-on field experiences on the Ice Age Trail.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Saunters Program, Summer Saunters, Think Outside, Childhood Obesity, Wisconsin Common Core Curriculum, Summer School, Youth backpacking trips, Service learning

2. Our Think Outside Program

Think Outside is designed to provide a bite-sized introduction to the Ice Age Trail for teachers who are curious about how to get beyond four walls and weave in more of nature’s classroom into their curriculum.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Saunters Program, Summer Saunters, Think Outside, Childhood Obesity, Wisconsin Common Core Curriculum, Summer School, Youth backpacking trips, Service learning

3. Resources for Hike Leaders

These resources can provide a classroom teacher or hike leader with some additional tools designed to help elevate the learning before, during, or after a hike.

You can download the Companion Guide for Sauntering – an Ice Age Trail journal [PDF] for students and children to use as they explore the Ice Age Trail.

A collaboration of Alliance staff, Saunters teachers and volunteers developed the guide, which covers core concepts related to the natural environment and includes activities students can complete on the Trail.

All activities are connected to the Common Core and/or Wisconsin Model Academic Standards. A guide for hike leaders that details the connections to Common Core and Wisconsin Model Academic Standards is also available.

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Saunters Program, Summer Saunters, Think Outside, Childhood Obesity, Wisconsin Common Core Curriculum, Summer School, Youth backpacking trips, Service learning

Most hikes also connect with the Alliance’s ColdCache program which is an exciting way to explore and learn about the many natural features along the Ice Age Trail.

If you are looking for a classroom-friendly activity that allows your students to experience the thrill of a treasure hunt, learn important navigational skills and develop an appreciation for Wisconsin’s fascinating Ice Age history, ColdCaching is for you!

Ice Age Trail Alliance ColdCache Program logo.

The following downloadable PDF playsheets were created by Education Outfitters as a result of generous funding for a grant project known as “From the Inside Out”.

Playsheet appropriate for the following age groups:

All Ages:
Leave No Trace
Ice Age Trail Bingo
iNaturalist
Plant Sketches
Rainbow Photo Gallery

Elementary (5-10):
Engage the Senses
Forest Bath

Middle (11-13):
Engage the Senses
Forest Bath
Get Social
Hiker Lingo

High School (14-18):
Glacier Word Search
What Does the Future Hold?
What-3-Words