September 2011 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

September 2011

In This Edition:

  Enjoy A Sunday Hike on Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 4

  September Trail Improvement Day, Sat. Sept. 17

  Chapter Meets, Monday, Sept. 19

  Parade of Colors Cueing Up in Parade Assembly Area for Oct 1 Event

  Trail Section Reopens after Reroute

  Hats off to Cal (and Tony)

Enjoy A Sunday Hike To Break Up This Holiday Weekend

If you've been waiting for the perfect time for a late summer-season hike, September has to be it. The bugs taper off, the late-season flowers are out, along with interesting frogs, berries, mushrooms, among others. It's still green, so you know it's summer, but you also can feel that there won't be many more of these warm-season hiking opportunities left.

We'll embark on our September Sunday hike at 1 PM this Sunday, Sept. 4, from the Chippewa Moraine Visitor Center near New Auburn. Plan for an afternoon, about 4 miles or so, mosquitoes, and a beautiful day on the trail. Bring your water and snack, as well.

September Trail Improvement Day, Saturday, Sept. 17

You just can't find nicer weather to do light trail maintenance that mid September. In fact, you might confuse it with an outing! We'll clear some downed branches and trees, attack the season's exuberant growth, and generally get at least one portion of trail in tip-top shape for fall. 

Join us at the Chippewa Moraine Visitor Center near New Auburn at 9:30 AM. You need to wear sturdy shoes, long pants, and long sleeves. The bugs will probably still be around. Bring lunch, water, and your favorite work gloves.

It's really important that you let us know that you are planning to come on the day, and for how long. Please send an email to let us know your plans:

Chapter Meets Monday, Sept. 19

There's lots to plan and talk about at the September meeting. The Parade of Colors Hike, the October Moonlight Hike, trail work needing to be planned, just to mention a few. Can you spare a couple of hours on a Monday night?

The chapter meets on Monday, Sept. 19 at 6 PM in the Chippewa Falls Public Library. (We meet every other month.) You'll enjoy the company of trail enthusiasts, contribute your good ideas, and be part of the team. Plus, your ideas will be much appreciated.

Parade of Colors Annual Fall Hike, Saturday, Oct. 1

Every year we renew our fascination with hiking and the Ice Age Trail at the annual Parade of Colors Fall Hike. This year should be especially rewarding, as this summer's abundant rainfall have left ponds and lakes filled and the trees, herbs, and critters in an exuberant state. It's sure to provide us with a splendid fall color hike. 

Whether you enjoy the event as a participant, hiking a distance of your choosing from 1 to 6 miles, or as a volunteer, or both, take note of the day and plan to be at the Chippewa Moraine Visitor Center the morning of Saturday, Oct. 1.

The details are: 

  Register anytime between 9 and 11

  Pick your preferred hike length - from 1 to 6 miles

  Volunteers shuttle you to your starting point, and you hike back one way to the Visitor Center

  Snacks are available for the hike, and upon your return

  Stay and enjoy the things to discover at the Visitor Center, or take a different hike in the afternoon

If you would like to help out in any way, whether it's making treats, driving hikers, putting up posters, marking the route, etc., please let us know via email and or come to the chapter meeting on Monday, Sept. 19.

Trail Section Reopens After Being Rerouted

The rather dramatic removal of a large chunk of trail has been rectified by the team of trail improvement specialists at our August Trail Improvement Day, and the trail was reopened to the public after being "closed" for just one week. The crew identified a route to bypass the washed-out area where a natural rock stepping stone crossing could be constructed on a firm base in the creek. After clearing the new route of a tangle of trees, shrubs, and flood debris, the crew cleverly planted large flat rocks in the stream and constructed the trails to join the new crossing with the existing trail. The project was reminiscent of a Japanese garden when completed.

As the project was wrapping up, two backpackers arrived on the scene. If you've ever worked on the trail, you know that having trail users pass by during a construction project just makes it all worthwhile for the team.

As if for dessert, the crew moved on to a different beaver dam and removed it, offering some hope of dry feet in that location as well.

It apparently was a busy year for beavers, and unfortunately, as a result for us as well.

Thanks to the crew: Jim Brenner, Tony Schuster, JoAnn Parks, Diane Harp, Jerry Sazama, & Richard Smith.

Read the full story with photos on our chapter web site.

Hats off to Cal (and Tony)

Trail mowing artist Cal Kraemer has been off duty this season due to health issues, and we've missed him terribly. It was beginning to look like Cal had laid waste that old adage that no one is irreplaceable. The portion of the trail that Cal had lovingly (and gruelingly) maintained for many years was looking very, very long in the tooth. (That is to say, it was almost impossible to traverse.)

It is with great appreciation that we acknowledge all of Cal's work in the past, and are thrilled to report that even Cal couldn't take it any longer, and as a result he and Tony Schuster pulled the mower out of hibernation and made mincemeat of the vegetation that threatened to make the trail all but a memory. 

Thanks, Cal (and Tony). May you mow many more miles of trail (health permitting!).

Where To Find Information

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

IATA Information:

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Information: AND AND (subscribe!)

Calendar of Chapter and Alliance Events:

Chippewa Mammoth Trackers (informal hike announcements):

Hiking the trail: (check the options under the "Hike the IAT" tab). For Chippewa County:

National Park Service Information about the Ice Age Trail: