Trail News

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Final Trail Improvement Day of 2019 Planned for Saturday. Oct. 19

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The colors have been gorgeous, and the weather is now improving;  we’ve planned great fall weather for this Saturday, so you will want to get out and help with a grab-bag Trail Improvement event this Saturday, Oct. 19. 

We will meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Obey Interpretive Center. Then its off to the various work locations. We’ll have light refreshments back at the Obey Center at around noon, but bring your own water, possibly a snack for mid-morning, and work gloves. Tools provided. 

Please confirm  your intent to attend the improvement dayso we can plan for you.

Register Now!


Register NOW for Regional Rally, Saturday, Nov. 16

By mid-November most of the trail work has ended and the fall hiking season has tapered off in time for “deer season”. So it must be time to gather for the annual Regional Rally on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Birchwood. The agenda includes a chance to share our successes and hear what our friends in the region have been up to as a source of new ideas for next year. IATA staff always include updates on what’s happening in the Ice Age Trail world, and a peek at what’s in store for 2020. The Birchwood meeting is one of three, and you are welcome at any of the other meetings if they work out better: Nov. 2 in Whitewater, and Nov. 9 in Hatley (Marathon Co.). The Birchwood rally is at the Lakeside Senior Center, 110 Euclid Ave, Birchwood WI 54817, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. No lunch this year, but morning snacks will be provided.

Read the full information at this link, and then go ahead and register for the Birchwood rally here.

Parade of Colors Enjoyed by Chinese Scholars

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The cold, rain, and wind definitely dampened the enthusiasm for hiking at the Parade of Colors, so our attendance would have set an unfortunate record were it not for a group of Chinese scholars from all over China who are currently studying at UW-Eau Claire who braved the weather for a taste of our glacial landscape (and weather). Local International-Student Host Paul Lin has facilitated attendance by the scholars in many prior years, but rarely have they received as warm a welcome as this year. 

Needing fewer drivers than usual, our volunteers jumped on the opportunity to inventory our merchandise and our tool collection, essential tasks made enjoyable by the team working together.

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2019 Annual Calendar Postcard

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The 2019 Annual Calendar postcard is available here for download. A printed version was mailed to all members.

If you print it on two sides, you can trim it to down and attach it to your favorite spot where it will serve as an ongoing reference to planned activities and events in 2019. Of course, things can change, so it’s always best to check the calendar online for any updates. 

A New Mudbrook Wetland Bridge And Boardwalk Provide Spectacular Views (And Dry Feet)

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Photo: Libby Stupak

The newly constructed Mudbrook bridge midway between Plummer Lake Road and Deer Fly Trail offers a spectacular view of the wetland in the Mudbrook floodplain, and provides a solid and dry passage through the area. It replaces a bridge and rickety boardwalk conglomeration that has traversed the combination of wetland and beaver dams and which was well beyond “end of life”. The main bridge on the old route was a Wisconsin Conservation Corps project built 30-40 years ago. The connecting boardwalk was constructed and reconstructed many times, and was highlighted by sections of boardwalk built on top of older sections as the land sunk or the beavers got more active. The new route in a new location includes boardwalk built 36 inches above the current water level. The total structure is 192 feet long, with a 24-foot bridge span and 168 feet of connecting boardwalk. There’s a handrail on one side, kick plate on the other. A technique used for the first time locally involves resting the legs on steel “pans” resting on solid ground in the bottom of the wetland. 

Trail Safe!

A new safety initiative from the National Park Service offers participants online self-study videos that examine the objectives taught in the Park Service Operational Leadership training. It’s an approach that focuses on the mindset needed to work safely, not a cookbook on how to use a tool. Take a look at the NPS IAT website and scroll down to the Trail Safe! feature to find the link. Start at the beginning and complete the Training Verification Roster back at the Trail Safe! home page, and you’ll receive a pin and other info from NPS. Also be sure to keep track of your time spent and report it to the chapter to be sure we capture your volunteer hours. Questions about the series can be directed to Dan Watson.