June 2012 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

June 2012

Celebrate National Trails Day, Saturday, June 2

Join us in a Celebration of Trails! This year we've planned a unique event: a combination hike, light work activity, and celebratory picnic at our newest and best bridge project!

We plan to open up and make a massive erratic near the trail into the highlight that it deserves to be. We'll be doing some brushing and small tree removal, some tread improvement and other light work so that hikers won't miss this gem of glacial geology. Then we'll check in on the progress of some beavers and do what we have to do to thwart their efforts to thwart ours. Then it's time for a hike on the trail, culiminating in a celebratory picnic lunch (that you bring) at the Kim's Crossing bridge site. 

There's something here for everyone, and if you've never helped out at a trail improvement day, don't miss this opportunity to see what can be done and take a few whacks with the loppers. Warning: it can be habit forming!

Meet at 9:30 AM at the Obey Interpretive Center at the Chippewa Moraine (east of New Auburn on Hwy M). We'll be back in the early afternoon, but it will be relatively easy for you to leave early if you need to.

Be sure to wear appropriate clothing for working and hiking, bring gloves and wear sturdy shoes, and bring insect protection. Don't forget a celebratory picnic lunch and beverage. It's a celebration, after all.

Bad Luck Strikes Twice on Hwy CC!

Last month we told you about a wayward auto that wiped out a chapter-built footbridge along Hwy CC between Hwy Z and the Ice Age Trail Parking area. Now we've had to close the next bridge going south due to structural failure and vandalism. 

The bridge spanning an arm of Perch Lake is in immiment risk of collapse, and the destruction of the hand rail on one side has made it totally unsafe. As a result, chapter leaders and the Brunet Island State Park manager met and agreed jointly to close the bridge to any use. That effectively closes a section of trail from Hwy Z to the bridge, which is adjacent to the Perch Lake Parking area.

It will take several months to reroute a bypass to eliminate the bridge from the trail.

From the Hwy CC Ice Age Trail Parking lot the trail is still in excellent shape and definitely worth the walk south along the river and back to the parking area. The trail from Hwy Z north could also be explored, retracing your steps back to Hwy Z. However, Hwy Z does not offer satisfactory parking opportunities, rendering this section mostly unusable for now.

Chapter Trail Improvement Day Planned for Saturday, June 16

We plan to begin to tackle the large job of rerouting the Chippewa River Segment along Hwy CC at our June trail improvement day. Plan to join us for an interesting day of tread work, route finding, and brush clearing.

We'll meet at 9:30 AM at the Ice Age Trail parking area along Hwy CC. Be sure to wear long sleeves, sturdy shoes, bring gloves, insect protection, your lunch, and water.

Please RSVP by email if you plan to make it to this work day as it sure helps with planning.