Mid-July 2011 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

Mid-July 2011

In This Edition:

     Chapter Potluck and July Meeting: Monday, July 18

     Popular Women's Footprint T-Shirts Return

     Sunday Hike Resumes August 7

     Corridor Plans Continue

     Maps, Trees, and Vegetation

Annual July Chapter Meeting and Potluck Supper, Monday, July 18

Our traditional July chapter meeting and potluck supper at the Chippewa Moraine has been a perennial favorite: good food, good friends, good conversation, amidst the spectacular view from the Visitor Center over the hills and lakes of the Chippewa Moraine. We hope you'll join us this year!

We will start promptly at 6 PM, and we don't want to miss whatever you're bringing to share, so please be on time. Also, bring your own beverage, plate, and utensils. 

When the food is gone and we've whetted our appetites for more summer adventures listening to each other, we'll proceed to a light business meeting to cover some chapter affairs. We always appreciate the good ideas and questions from our members and guests at these meetings.

Popular Women's Footprint T-Shirts Are Back

Last fall we test marketed a women's-styled T-shirt in blue at the Visitor Center and they sold out immediately. So we boldly ordered lots more and they are now available at the Chippewa Moraine Visitor Center. 

The shirts carry our famous footprint design, and are available in sky blue and pistachio green. Sizes are M-L-XL. Price is $17 for members and $19 for not-yet-members. 

Check them out when you're next at the Visitor Center. We think you'll like them. Proceeds from sale of all our shirts, sweat shirts, hats, trail guides, and other merchandise help pay our maintenance costs on the trail, so thanks for all your purchases.

Sunday Hike Resumes on August 7

Our popular Sunday Hikes will resume with a hike on Sunday, August 7. Meet at 1 PM at the Chippewa Moraine Visitor Center and plan for a warm hike along the trail, followed by an optional stop for pizza and refreshment at an area resort  overlooking the lake.

Corridor Planning Continues

It probably seems like we've been working on corridor planning forever. It seems like it takes that long, but largely it's by design. Our National Park Service partners have been quietly working over the past year on the various components of the planning process, and our core team recently met with them to share progress and ideas about our next steps. 

Most planning to date has focused on the area from Cornell to Taylor County, and that will continue to be the main focus. We've refined the conceptual corridor map since our last round of open houses several years ago, and we hope to have another round of open houses next spring to meet with landowners and interested citizens in the proposed corridor area. The biggest change in the map is that it has been expanded to include consideration of a route around the north end of Otter Lake as well as the south end.

We have only begun to consider the portion of trail in the Town of Sampson, and so that segment will be "planned" separately, possibly in conjunction with Rusk County planning.

We're grateful for the time our partners from the Wisconsin DNR and Chippewa County have contributed to this process as well as our chapter member participation. And we're especially grateful for the considerable work the National Park Service has invested in leading the project.

Maps, Trees, and Vegetation

While this season's lush vegetation and significant storms appear be keeping one step ahead of us, we can report that our new map boxes have been installed and stocked with revised versions of our chapter's segment maps. We revised the Chippewa Moraine/Harwood Lake map to make it easier to use from the Hwy E trailhead, and the Firth Lake/Chippewa River map reflects the rerouting of trail onto 245th Ave. (Moonridge Trail).

Trails in the Chippewa Moraine Reserve area (from Mudbrook to 267th Ave including the Circle and Dry Lake trails) are exceptionally well maintained, thanks to the efforts of Rod Gont.

While our group workday in June was washed out again, some individual volunteers have worked wonders on removing fallen tree limbs so that the trail is open and passable in all areas. There are some wetter than normal areas, and a large number of trees remain across the trail, but they don't block passage. Mowing is behind schedule, but once beyond the trailheads, the vegetation is somewhat tamer. 

That said, we do continue to need help with maintenance. Thanks to our trail segment "adopters" for their efforts so far, and please keep up the work this summer. If you can find a day to spend in the field, please contact the chapter chair and we can provide tools and possibly make it a small group effort to work on sawing and mowing.  

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Where To Find Information

Here's where to look for IAT and IATA information:

IATA Information: http://iceagetrail.org/home

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Information: www.iatchippewa.org AND http://chippewamoraine.iceagetrail.org/home AND www.twitter.com/iatachippewa (subscribe!)

Calendar of Chapter and Alliance Events: http://chippewamoraine.iceagetrail.org/chapter-events

Chippewa Mammoth Trackers (informal hike announcements): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MammothTracker

Hiking the trail: www.iceagetrail.org (check the options under the "Hike the IAT" tab). For Chippewa County: http://chippewamoraine.iceagetrail.org/hike-the-chapter

National Park Service Information about the Ice Age Trail: www.nps.gov/iatr/index.htm