Trail News

You've come to the place for news, information, background information, and volunteer information for the Chippewa Moraine Chapter, Ice Age Trail Alliance. Don't stop here, though: head to www.iceagetrail.org for even more!

Click here if you are looking for Chapter Newsletters.

Better yet! Click here to SUBSCRIBE to our periodic chapter email newsletter containing news and events updates.

(You can always UNsubscribe later.)

Chapter Picnic at Mill Yard Park on July 18th

642f97cb4d32022e76c6067a1125ab6730327a1b

Our annual Picnic and Chapter Meeting will be held at Mill Yard Park by the pavilion.  This is a great time to get together with others from our chapter.  We will be providing pizza from Moonridge Brew Pub and Pizza in Cornell.  Please bring your own beverages.  Bring camp chairs so we can sit close to the river if the weather is lovely. There will be a very short chapter meeting after supper to share current news.  Feel free to bring your canoe or kayak if you’d like to take a paddle on the Chippewa River after the meeting.   It’s a beautiful spot to watch the sun go down.  

Please contact Vicki Christianson at chippewamorainechapter@iceagetrail.org if you plan to attend.  This will help us with the headcount for how many pizzas to order.

Solstice Hike & Girl Scouts

7f6016ad4ba9c3d45a6d5bf6bf65e777ade87851

Last year’s Solstice Hike was canceled due to severe weather, but this year the weather was beautiful!  The Chippewa Moraine Chapter partnered with the Girl Scouts to hold an evening hike at Camp Nawakwa on June 21st.   The Girl Scout leadership handled the registration and location, while the Chippewa Moraine Chapter provided volunteers to lead the hike around Picnic Lake.  After the hike, the girls got to go swimming at the camp waterfront with Sherry Jasper acting as a lifeguard.  Thank you to Richard Smith, JoAnn Parks, and Barb Flom for serving as hike leaders.

We have also had chapter volunteers leading hikes at the Obey Center as part of Think Outside.  Barb Leetzow led a hike for the Fall Creek 4th graders in early June as part of their visit to the Obey Center. Jerry Sazama led a hike for 7th and 8th Graders at Straight Lake State Park earlier this summer.   Let me know if you have led a hike for 4th graders for the Think Outside program.   

Help for the Homeless Veterans at First Sunday Hike in August

c4e1ab5c14cdef89354ea7b25cee708d46902323
2d8bdeae1e44767d31c1d17f6c7c4d95dcd30edf

For our First Sunday Hike in August, we will be partnering with the Bohemian Lodge on Sunday, August 7th.  The Bohemian Lodge is sponsoring the hike to raise funds for homeless veterans.  Hikers are asked to make a freewill donation to the Bohemian Lodge for their fundraiser.  The hike will be held on the beautiful Chippewa River segment.  Hikers should meet at the CC parking lot by 11:00 a.m.  Wear good hiking shoes or sturdy tennis shoes.  Long pants tucked into your socks are recommended as protection from ticks.  We hope you will join us for this hike to support our local homeless veterans.   

 If you plan to hike with us, contact JoAnn Parks at jjjparks123@gmail.com.  Hope to see you there.


Warrior Expedition Thru-Hikers

ef7b65e77b1fe9a58eb694f3c1fd512a160030be-2

Warrior Expeditions: Warriors Hike Program is a non-profit outdoor therapy program that supports veterans transitioning from their military service by hiking all 1,200 miles of the Ice Age Trail.  The Chippewa Moraine Chapter has been asked to sponsor a group of 3 Veterans as they hike across the state of Wisconsin beginning in June.  Our chapter voted to provide a hotel room and dinner at Dylan’s Dairy.  We will also provide laundry service.  The Cornell American Legion is onboard with us.  They will sponsor the Warrior Hikers with breakfast at Sam’s Place.   We are sponsoring Timothy Amerine (US Army-deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan) from Wrightstown, WI, Michael Bruggink (US Army-deployed to Iraq) from Sheboygan, WI, and Gregory Skyles (US Navy-deployed to Iraq) from Buckley, WA.  They will begin their hike in June at the Western Terminus.  

UPDATE:  Gregory Skyles from WA dropped out of the adventure due to family issues.  The other two hikers started out at the western terminus but ran into problems with blisters early on.  They took a couple of days off to heal up and came to the decision that they would reverse their plans and start from the Eastern terminus instead.  This means that we anticipate them arriving sometime in August.  Look for an update in the August newsletter

Trail Work Day at Blue Hills on Tuesday, July 19

57782980a63c98b6cb2baab3b16ccb5fbd7e5408

For our July Trail Work Day, we will be heading up to Rusk County to help the Blue Hills Chapter with their trail maintenance.  This is an annual project to support our neighboring chapter to the north.  We will be meeting at the Obey Center between 7:00 and 8:00  and will get done about mid-afternoon.  If you are interested in joining us for this trail improvement project, please contact Jerry Sazama at sazfam@aol.com.  We will contact any volunteers who sign up to give them the exact meeting time as soon as that has been set.  Hope to see you there!

If you would like to participate in this project, but do not have a Volunteer Agreement yet, please see the information below to get your Volunteer Agreement.  You don’t need trail work experience to participate.  We usually work in teams of three, and newcomers can be paired with experienced volunteers.  It’s a great opportunity to learn.  Plan to wear sturdy shoes or boots, long pants (tucked into wool socks), long-sleeved shirts, and a hat.  Bring a pair of work gloves.  (If you don’t have any, we have a supply of gloves).  Bring water and some snacks and lunch.  

Volunteers Needed at Rice Lake Preserve MSC Project, July 13-17

a7567537131a2818fbacc58832b75aa2f70c9ad5

Have you ever thought about volunteering on a Mobile Skills Crew Project?  Now is your chance!  Don’t be fooled by the name, this project is not near Rice Lake, WI.  The Rice Lake Preserve is south of Hatley, WI (@20 miles east of Wausau).  The MSC crew will be building a 900-foot boardwalk over a white cedar bog and a DCA (dispersed camping area) on a one-mile segment.  We have 3 DCAs on our list for this fall, and the Firth Lake Boardwalk next year, so this would be a great opportunity to learn how it's done.  

To read more about this MSC project, go to https://www.iceagetrail.org/event/trailbuilding-rice-lake-preserve-marathon-county/    You can select which dates you want to participate.  There is a camping area for camping overnight.

2022 Chapter Calendar of Events (Updated 7/1/22)

IMG 1032

 July:

     18 - Chapter Meeting & Picnic - Millyard Park - Cornell

August:

     7 – First Sunday Hike - 1:00 Chippewa River Segment. (Location Change)

We are partnering with BetterLife Lodge 141 (Bohemian Hall).  They are holding a hike to benefit homeless veterans.

     20 – Trail Maintenance Day

September:

     4 – First Sunday Hike - 1:00 Chippewa Moraine Segment

     17 – Trail Maintenance Day

     19 – Chapter Meeting – 6:30  Pizza Party

October:

     1 – Parade of Colors Hike - 9-11 Chippewa Moraine Segment (with shuttles)

     8 – Mammoth Challenge Hike - 10-12 Chippewa River Segment

     15 - Trail Maintenance Day

November:

     21 – Annual Chapter Meeting  6:30

Notes:

Other hikes may be set up with specific groups such as scouts or school groups

IATA Announces 2022 Statewide Trailbuilding Events

Trailbuilding

Trail crew

  • January 20 – 22, Table Bluff Segment, Dane County
  • February 4 – 6, Cross Plains Segment, Dane County
  • February 17 – 19, Gibraltar Rock Segment, Columbia County
  • May 18 – 22, Rib Lake Segment, Taylor County
  • June 8 – 12, IAT-U: Crew Leader Training, Iola, Waupaca County
  • June 22 – 26, New Hope-Iola Ski Hill Segment, Waupaca and Portage County
  • July 13 – 17, Rice Lake Preserve, Marathon County
  • August 18 – 21, LaBudde Creek Segment, Sheboygan County
  • September 14 – 18, Rib Lake Segment, Taylor County
  • October 6 – 9, Lapham Peak Segment, Waukesha County
  • October 20 – 22, Wildcard


More information:

Season at a Glance: 2022 Trailbuilding and Habitat Management Events

We are on the list pending available funds at the Alliance for replacement of the 600’ Firth Lake boardwalk.  If enough funds are raised, there is the possibility of becoming the Oct. 20-22 Wildcard.  Cross your fingers!

Please note the Ice Age Trail University Crew Leader Training taking place in Iola on June 8-12.  Watch future Alliance news for information on these events.

Meet Our Chapter Leadership Team!

IMG 0856

Elections were held at the November 15th Chippewa Moraine Chapter Annual Meeting.  

  • Chapter Chair/Coordinator: Vicki Christianson
  • Vice Chair: Serena Stipek
  • Vice Chair-Maintenance: Jerry Sazama
  • Secretary: Mary Skalecki
  • Treasurer: Tom Kolb


Vicki has been a member of the chapter since 2004.  She is active with work days, shuttles, and headed up the project to establish Cornell as a Trail Community. She recently developed the local resources for the Mammoth 40 Challenge. She’s been working for several years at hiking the entire Ice Age Trail, and lives in Cornell.  This will be Vicki’s second year as Chapter Coordinator.  She is very grateful to Richard Smith for all of his training and advice during her first year in this role.  He was instrumental in her success.

Jerry needs no introduction as he has been active in many aspects of chapter leadership for many years. Jerry manages the maintenance program, devoting countless hours to it. 

Mary has been an active member of the chapter since 2004.    This will be her second year to  serve as Secretary. 

Tom is another long-time chapter volunteer.   This will be his second year serving as Secretary.

Report of 2021 Activities

IMG 4346

Thank you to all for putting your trust in me to take over from Richard’s capable hands.  A huge thank you to Richard Smith for all his help in training me in on all the tasks of a chapter coordinator.  He got me all set up with the various programs and taught me how to use them.  He was always happy to answer my questions whenever I called which was often.  Thank you very much, Richard.

In December, Jerry Sazama and I met with Matt Hanson,  the County Forester, and we walked Harwood Lakes to discuss the upcoming logging project which is scheduled for 2021, 2024, 2027, and 2030.  The greatest effect to the trail took place in the summer of 2021.  Logging took place from east of the heron rookery to the start of the horse trail.  This included the 2021 logging plus a corridor along the trail through the 2024 logging.  This will create a visual barrier for the clear cut in 2024.  The logging was completed and the logging road was graded by the county afterwards.  There was also a select cut of hardwoods near the horse trail.  Lots of shuttles took place in the spring and early summer as people came to hike Harwood Lakes prior to the logging project.

2021 Trail Maintenance Report

IMG 2527

2021 Trail Maintenance:

1.  Regular Mowing, blazing and clearing.

2.  Kiosk constructed at the new Otter Lake parking area.  Also GPS marking of possible trail extensions to the Otter Lake Esker.

3.  Flagged the possible move of the current trail head at County Z.

4.  GPS the possible extension of the trail from the south side of County Z to the area of the Blue Bridge.

5.  Located and roughed in the trails to two DCA sites to the east of Firth Lake.

6.  Tread leveling to the east of Firth Lake.   Exposed roots had made mowing the area very difficult.

7.  Switch trail reroute from 250th heading south from blue (temporary) to yellow (permanent).

8.  Annual upkeep maintenance on the Firth Lake boardwalk.

9.  Corridor clearing to the northwest of Firth Lake crossing.

10.  New Leopold Bench on the northwest shore of Firth Lake. Removal of old Leopold bench.  Water crossing installed on spur trail to Firth Lake parking area.

11.  Flag and rough in to a proposed DCA site north of 245th.

12.  Straightening and stabilization of two boardwalks to the north of 245th.

Trailside Section Maps Available

New trailside section maps have been published for 2020 and will be available in mapboxes along the trail in coming weeks. The new maps are updated using the 2020 trail base map.

You can download and print your own copies here: 

Map 15f - Chippewa Moraine and Harwood Lakes segments - 267th Ave to Co Hwy E

May 16f - Firth Lake and Chippewa River segments - Co Hwy E to Cornell