Trail News

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Horseshoe Lake Bridge Closed - use Reroute

The bridge on the north side of Horseshoe Lake (0.1 mi west of 160th St/Townline Lake Rd) is closed due to flooding. Do not attempt to cross the bridge as it is extremely unsafe.

The trail has been temporarily rerouted north of the existing route on existing logging trails. The temporary route is in the process of being marked and improved. The route includes 100 yards of 160th St, part of which is under relatively shallow water. 

Download: Horseshoe Lake Bridge Reroute Map

Trail Improvement Day, Saturday May 20

There’s room for more a this Saturday’s Trail Improvement Day. We return to the Three Sisters boardwalk for some decking replacement and other nearby projects. See details, and note that the meeting place and timeframe have changed slightly.

May Trail Improvement Day

   Date: Saturday, May 20

   Time: 9 AM - 12 or 12:30

   Meeting Place: Ice Age Trailhead at Deer Fly Trail.

   More detail, location map, calendar widget:

   Registration: Highly desirable. Please use this link to reply online.

   What to bring: Water, snack; mosquito repellant; wear long sleeves and pants, socks; work gloves; rubber boots if you have them.

The ticks have been plentiful, and the first few hungry mosquitos were present on Wednesday. We’ll just work till noonish and then have some refreshments.

Be sure to register. Please email the leader, Jerry Sazama. That way, if there are changes due to weather, etc., we can notify you timely. More here.

Help Plan the Solstice Hike

The new Solstice Family Hike we’ve scheduled in conjunction with Mayo Clinic on Tuesday evening, June 20, will be here soon! We’ve organized a planning party for Wednesday, May 24, at 6 PM, to work out the details, including detailing the types of hikes and kid-friendly activities we will host. Sound interesting? We would value your participation on the committee, especially if you have experience with working with kids in nature. We also need help planning other logistics as well.   

Of course, we will also need help at the event itself, so if you are interested but can’t make it to the planning, let us know that. Greeters, hike leaders, “sweepers”, refreshment hosts, are all needed.

If you want to join the planning party, or want to help at the hike, let us know!

Solstice Hike Planning

   Date: Wednesday, May 24

   Time: 6 PM - 8 PM

   Meeting Place: 5997 167th St, Chippewa Falls WI

   Location map:

   RSVP: Requested. Please use this link to reply online.

   What to bring: Ideas!

Blue Hills Storm Clearance Event

Volunteers are still sought for the Blue Hills storm cleanup project. It’s a small MSC project, just 3 days total. Once you see it, you will be glad you could help. The MSC has planned a cleanup effort on Thursday-Saturday, June 1-3. As usual, all types of help are appreciated, sawyers, general trail maintainers, trail signers, kitchen helpers, registration helpers, just to name a few. This project is close to allow either staying multiple days and camping overnight, or driving up for one or another of the days and back.  

As is usual with MSC events, meals are included and camping provided free if you wish to stay and not commute. The planning team encourages you to register in advance at the IATA site where you can find lots more information.

Trails Day Hike, Saturday, June 3 at 9 AM

Our monthly hike in June will be on Saturday morning instead of Sunday afternoon, and will celebrate National Trails Day. We plan to hike 3.3 miles from Hwy E west toward Deer Fly Trail, though a shorter option is available.

National Trails Day Hike

   Date: Saturday, June 3

   Time: 9 AM - 12

   Meeting Place: Ice Age Trailhead on County Highway E (south of Camp Nawakwa). 25111 County Highway E, New Auburn WI

   More detail, location map, calendar widget:

   Registration: Optional. Please use this link to reply online.

   What to bring: Water, snack; mosquito repellant; long sleeves and pants, & socks are best for ticks and mosquitos.

Solstice Family Hike, Tuesday, June 20 from 7-9 PM

Celebrate the Solstice on the longest evening of the year at a family hike on the Ice Age Trail. Meet at the Obey Interpretive Center at the Chippewa Moraine near New Auburn for a 7 PM hike. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. Bring the kids on this 1.5 hour hike to see what’s in the woods on a warm summer evening! Games for kids, too. Co-supported by Mayo Clinic Health System.

Solstice Family Hike

   Date: Tuesday, June 20

   Time: 7 PM - 9 PM

   Meeting Place: Chippewa Moraine Ice Age Unit, Obey Interpretive Center, 13394 Co Hwy M, New Auburn WI.

   More Information, map, calendar widget

   Location map:

   Registration: Optional. Please use this link to reply online.

   What to bring: Mosquito & tick defense; long sleeves and pants, & socks are best for ticks and mosquitos; kids; friends

Chapter Members Recognized at IATA Annual Conference

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Chippewa Moraine Chapter produced an impressive number of persons recognized by the National Park Service for volunteer service time. Those present to receive their awards Included (right to left) Steve White, Mary Skalecki, Diane Harp, Nancy Schuster, and Jerry Sazama (who received an especially prestigious award). Also awarded were Libby Stupak and Rosemary Kilbridge (not shown). 

Tony Schuster (“Purple Rain”) was knighted with full MSC honors, and Bruce France was awarded the chapter's “In the Mud” award (in abstentia). 

Congratulations and thanks to all from a grateful trail-user community.

Chapter Event Calendar Postcard

Our annual chapter trail event calendar has been mailed to members. For your reference, or if you are not a member, you can view it or print it out. You’ll find it under the VOLUNTEERS Tab (above).

Cold Cacheing in the Cold!

TRAVEL 414663303

Learn about glaciers by ColdCaching on Wisconsin's spectacular Ice Age Trail

Wisconsin program teaches about glaciers and the outdoors. 

By Jennifer Jeanne Patterson Special to the Star Tribune

FEBRUARY 24, 2017 — 11:02AM


Wisconsin’s ColdCaching program includes a self-guided GPS tour of glacial history for families at Devil’s Lake State Park.

My kids and I stood bundled up in 6-degree weather, wearing facemasks and snow pants while trying to work a handheld GPS along the Wisconsin Ice Age Trail in Devil’s Lake State Park. The land was barren, brown and peaceful — a typical winter landscape.

“I think we’re supposed to go that way,” 10-year-old Caleb said uncertainly, pointing, while 8-year-old Anna shivered beside him. Why didn’t I pay closer attention to the park naturalist’s instructions?

It’s said that the average American child engages in only four to seven minutes a day of unstructured play outdoors. I’ve come to realize that for our children to grow up caring about our planet, I need to fight my urge to hibernate and expose them to a winter wilderness that extends beyond the backyard.

Chapter Election Results

The election results are in, and we have a slight rearrangement of officers for 2017. In case you missed it, here are the results: President, Richard Smith; Vice President, Tony Schuster; Secretary, Diane Harp; and Treasurer, Nancy Schuster. In addition, Jerry Sazama is our Maintenance Chief. 

Heavy Winds Leaves Tree Snarls In Its Wake

Steve White studies snarled trees across Ice Age Trail, Harwood Lake Segment.

Heavy winds early in the morning of July 27 left nearly 100 trees down across the trail or in tangled knots, causing some temporary closures and very difficult hiking in the Harwood Lake segment. The damage was most severe in an area near the Deerfly Trail. Small groups of volunteers were able to wield chainsaws and hand saws and untangle the mess and leave the route generally passable within 10 days. Thanks to a lot of effort, the entire mess was cleaned up over a span of about 3 weeks.

Our recent experience with storm damage has brought to light where you can find trail condition postings on the Ice Age Trail Alliance website, When you want to check the trail status in a particular area, especially if its away from home, go to the interactive map. To open the map, click on “FIND the TRAIL” in a bright yellow box on the right side of the page. When you get to the map, be sure to check the box for Trail Conditions under the map, then zoom into the area of your destination. Or you could bookmark the page: In addition to Trail Conditions, you can choose to highlight Parking areas, Trail Stories, and suggested hike Itineraries. 

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.