April 2012 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

April 2012

Sweep The Trail Clean! April 21

Fifteen students from UWEC will join our regular trail volunteers on Saturday, April 21 for "Sweep The Trail Clean!". It's our first organized foray into maintenance for the spring season, and because of the trail marathon the following weekend we want to clean up the east half of the trail for the runners and everyone else. That means branches and trees that have fallen over the winter months and a chance to get ahead of neglected encroaching brush. Because of the group of eager students, we especially need a good crew of volunteers who can lead by example and be sure the students have a good and productive experience.

We'll meet at 9:30 AM at the Chippewa Moraine Interpretive Center (8 miles east of New Auburn on Hwy M), and plan to work till about 3. Bring a lunch and water, and wear long pants and shirt, socks, sturdy work shoes, and work gloves. Also keep in mind the weather. The ticks are out, and as usual, tucking pants into socks is the best defense.

Please RSVP if you plan to make it to this work day as it sure helps with planning. Just send an email: chapter@iatchippewa.org.

Cameron Middle School Students Return on May 4 

One of our more enjoyable spring workdays last year was when 28 students from Cameron Middle School helped sweep clean a section of trail as part of their Community Service Day. Well, they enjoyed it as much as we did, and are coming back this year on Friday, May 4. This time, they are bringing their friends, so we expect double the number as last year. 

Which means, of course, that we have opened up more opportunities for our volunteers to lead these eager kids and help them have a productive, enjoyable, and safe day on the trail.

If you can help, please send an email to chapter@iatchippewa.org. We have a good crew, but can use more hands.

Chippewa 50 Ultra Marathon, April 28

You may enjoy coming to the trail on Saturday, April 28 and have a look at the 200 trail runners who will be running the annual Chippewa 50 Ultra Marathon. The race starts at 8 at the Interpretive Center (8 miles east of New Auburn on Hwy M). You'll have a hard time finding parking there, however, as it serves as race headquarters for most of the day.

The trail course begins at the Interpretive Center, follows the south loop of the Circle Trail, and rejoins the main Ice Age Trail to head east to Hwy E. There the runners turn around and repeat the course, ending at the Interpretive Center. If you are thinking about a quiet hike, you may want to take the opportunity to explore east of Hwy E instead!

Our main chapter contribution to this independently operated race is to get the trail in good running shape prior to the race day, which we will be doing on April 21. However, if you'd like to help the Chippewa County Tourism Council provide water, food, and "comfort" to the runners, your help would be welcome. It's a fun way to see and meet some of them. If you're interested, please email Richard, rbsmith@me.com.

First "Sunday Hike", Sunday, May 6

Our wildly poplular "Sunday Hikes" return on Sunday, May 6. We meet at 1 PM at the Chippewa Moraine Interpretive Center. One of our experienced chapter volunteers serves as the "leader" of the day, carrying the first aid kit and suggestions for an interesting route. Those who assemble consider the options and suggestions and decide which route to take. Moments later, the hike is on its way.

It's hard to make a bad choice at the beginning of May, when flowers and birds and all kids of interesting things to see are in abundance. 

No RSVP necessary for this hike, but if you'd like to volunteer to lead this or other Sunday Hikes, please let Richard know.

It's April, A Perfect Month For Hiking!

April may be the finest hiking month, revealing flowers, buds, spring birds and critters, and reawakening our connection with the trail. The glacial topography is never on better display than it is at this time, adding to the reward. When the weather cooperates, it's unbeatable. Don't let April pass by without checking out your favorite stretch of trail.

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