August 2013 Ice Age Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

August 2013

Sunday Hike at Chippewa Moraine This Sunday, August 4

We pick up the series of Sunday Hikes with a hike this Sunday afternoon, meeting at 1 PM at the Chippewa Moraine Intepretive Center. 

Thousand-miler JoAnn Parks will lead the hike. The mild weather should give us an opportunity to see lots of mid summer critters such as toads and frogs, as well as pick a blackberry or two. Don't forget your repellent strategy of choice.

If there is interest, a visit to a nearby lakeside pub will give a chance to cool down and even enjoy a pizza.

The weather looks sterling for an August hike, so don't miss this beautiful opportunity to catch a great hike in the woods on the trail.

Trail Workday, Saturday August 24

We offer the opportunity to enjoy a morning or day of trail maintenance on Saturday, Aug. 24. This is a great way to get out into the woods, accomplish something useful, and get some valuable outdoor exercise.

We'll have lots to do, including continuing to prepare the route at Nawakwa for the big trail build on September 11-15. The more we get done before the big week means the more chance we have to fully open all or part of the new trail. We anticipate clearing the route for the trail will be continuing at this workday, removing downed branches and trees, pulling vegetation, and removing everything that would interfere with the earth-shaping process that will be done at the main event.

Meet at 9:30 AM at the Hwy E trailhead for this workday, just south of the Camp Nawakwa entrance. Bring lunch, water, repellent, sturdy work shoes, and work gloves.

So we can keep in touch with last minute changes, it is very important that you let us know you plan to come, so please send an email to if you plan to attend.

Special Trail Work Opportunities on Thursdays During August

Because of the amount of trail clearing that needs to be done to get ready for the trail build in September, we are planning some mid-week work parties during August for those available and interested in joining the fun. It may be one or two people, or several, but we'll chip away at the task. 

We will meet at the Hwy E trailhead every Thursday in August at 9:30 AM and take it from there. The dates are August 8, 15, 22, and 29. If you can join us, we'd love to have you along for any day or all. Come and stay as long as you wish, but we'll likely wind down in mid afternoon.

In order to have tools on hand and be able to let you know if there is a change, please send an email to chapter@iatchippewa a day or two in advance if you plan to help out.

Corridor Open Houses Completed Successfully

Our two Corridor Planning Open Houses were held in Cornell and Stanley on Saturday, July 27 and Thursday, Aug. 1. Presentations by NPS Planner Mary Tano and Chippewa Moraine Naturalist Rod Gont highlighted the open house, which also included ample time for individuals to meet with NPS, DNR, and IATA representatives to learn about the trail options and share their knowledge of the area.

Rod's presentation discussed how some of the local glacial features were created, and where on the landscape these types of features could be found. Mary discussed the planning process and the landowner's role. All were invited to participate by filling out questionnaires on paper or online. The comment period is open through September.

Several chapter volunteers played important roles in hosting the event, including setting up and taking down, serving refreshments, greeting and registering, welcoming the attendees, and answering questions. Thanks!

The open houses were well attended, with nearly 30 at Cornell and more at Stanley. The participants had lots of questions, especially at Stanley. 

After the comment period closes, the comments will be analyzed and organized for the committee to study and work towards a selection of one of the proposed corridors.

Student Group Kicks off Trail Clearing

A group of five students and their leaders joined with chapter volunteers to kick off the project of clearing the trail at Camp Nawakwa on July 26. The students are all involved with the Bohemian Hall, north of Cadott, and ranged in age from 8 to 18. They were participating in a youth leadership program called YELL. They were a great group to work with, and they enjoyed their day of getting their hands dirty and helping to build the Ice Age Trail. We really appreciated their help. 

And that's something to YELL home about.

Firth Lake Boardwalk Transformed!

An emergency group of our volunteers responded to the call and spent a day restoring the Firth Lake boardwalk to health on July 22. The structure had heaved and in one place actually had come apart, leaving one section in an especially hazardous state. We constructed two support structures to repair the badly damaged section of boardwalk and put it on a solid foundation. In additon, we replaced numerous deteriorated deck boards and leveled several other sections of the structure. In the end, all were amazed at the extent to which the structure had been restored. Along the way, we learned a lot about how it was constructed, what future work was needed, and began our planning on renewing it to give it another 25 years of life.