In Case You Were Wondering… (updated 5/10/2020)

Unless you just completed a 6-week through-hike, a few things should be obvious; but to be clear, we’ll restate them here.

  1. Spring has arrived, water in the ponds and lakes is very high, and the spring wildlife is proceeding as if nothing is peculiar with the world. All very reassuring, to be sure.
  2. Except for the high water around Picnic Lake, there are no unusual problems on the trail other than a branch or tree to step over (practice trail yoga and feel free to toss aside any branches you find on the trail).
  3. Despite high water in ponds and lakes, there is a fire ban. Campfires for cooking, while permitted, are discouraged until “green-up”.
  4. Chippewa County is prohibiting overnight camping at trailheads in the county forest (such as Deer Fly Trail), though dispersed camping is still permitted throughout the forest.
  5. The Ice Age Trail Alliance has resumed priority volunteer activity except on state land. Our chapter has not yet resumed regular meetings, hikes, or public workdays.
  6. Our volunteers have been asked to not undertake any volunteer activity on the land. Stay at home.
  7. The general public is taking advantage of the trail as a way to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air and extreme social distancing. That includes some of our volunteers, who have been hiking and taking notes or photos of work to be done in the future. But if you go to hike, don’t be surprised to find more downed trees or other minor issues (along with the usual high water and muddy sections of trail).
  8. The Obey Interpretive Center is not open.


If you’re anxious to get out and go for a hike, see the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s page on all things related to using the trail during these uncertain times. There is a wealth of good information there.

Go directly here if you want more explanation of our organization’s policy, especially on volunteer activity.

Be sure to check this page for updated information at the Ice Age Trail main website.

Other Opportunities

If you are a trail volunteer and find your mind wandering to the trail, seize the opportunity to brush up on trail safety by taking the online Trail Safe! course. We highly endorse these videos for our trail maintenance volunteers. If you haven’t taken the course, this is a great opportunity.