September 2013 Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

September 2013

Sunday Hike Offers Sneak Preview of Upcoming New Trail

Our September Sunday Hike offers a rare opportunity to see an evolving new section of Ice Age Trail before full-out construction begins on Sept. 11. Come and see the new route, see the progress so far in opening up the corridor and removing obstructions to further construction, and see the route before the full magic occurs in two weeks. 

Some of the route will be easily navigated now that the brush and obstructions have been removed, still others are closer to "bushwhacking" stage. Come prepared for either! We are excited about the new route, the progress to date, and it's your opportunity to be in on the ground floor and see it before the rest of the world sees the finished trail. Perhaps it will whet your appetite for coming on September 11-15 to help with the construction project.

JoAnn Parks leads us on this adventure into the past and future of the Ice Age Trail. Meet us at 1 PM at the Hwy E trailhead. Wear sturdy shoes for this one, bring water and snack, and if you were inclined to bring a walking stick, this would be the hike to bring it on. 



Chapter Members Meet Monday September 16

Chapter volunteers not only build trail and feed trail builders, but we also have to meet around the table to make decisions and plan future activity. Our next meeting time is Monday, Sept. 16, at 6:30 PM in the Chippewa Falls Library. 

Our agenda includes reviewing the previous trail building week's activities, evaluating what worked and what needs work for the next time, and looking at the unfinished business that is left to the chapter to complete. Also, fall events need some focus, and we'll finalize the Parade of Colors, our annual trail "open house" when we introduce new hikers and welcome veterans to the Ice Age Trail at the Chippewa Moraine.

It is just possible that we will also include a toast to celebrate the work completed on the preceeding week's project.

YOU Can Help Build The Ice Age Trail - Pick Mattock Strickly Optional!

We are hosting a major Ice Age Trail trailbuilding event on the trail right here in Chippewa County on September 11-15. Before you look at your calendar, that's just two weeks away! This type of event doesn't come along very often, and when it does, we are thrilled to provide an opportunity for every trail supporter, volunteer, and Alliance member to lend a hand.

The project is at Camp Nawakwa, on Hwy E, east of Cornell. Camp Nawakwa is the Girl Scout Camp for the Chippewa Valley. Free food and camping is provided to all volunteer workers. Trail builders work from 8 to 5, Wednesday - Saturday, and 8 to Noon on Sunday. Learn more.

Whether you lift a pick mattock and build the trail, or help with food, or register the arriving workers, there is a place for you. 

1. Spend a day or more working on actually building the trail. Gentle guides will teach you everything you need to know, and you'll enjoy working alongside your fellow team members who will come from all over the state to make this happen. Just show up, or better yet (and we really do appreciate it) register online in advance:

2. Our volunteer bakers are busy right now baking cookies, desserts, and even meals. Want to help with a batch of cookies? Call Nancy Schuster, 715 723-6114, or If you want to come and work in the kitchen at the camp, you can register for that online:

3. There's a great way for you to help if neither kitchen nor trail work is up your alley: Register workers as they arrive. You can provide an essential piece of the network needed to make a project like this happen with very little strain or pain. We really do need volunteers for this critical role. We break it into two shifts each day, from 7:30 AM to 11 AM, and from 11 AM to 2:30 PM. The days are Wednesday through Saturday, plus Sunday morning. If this interests you, please call Richard at 715-967-2164 or email and tell us which shift or shifts work best for you.

*Note that volunteers under 18 need parent or guardian consent on a form available online at by going to the registration form and following the instructions.

We're thrilled to be hosting Ice Age Trail volunteers from all over the midwest who will build a spectacular new segment of Ice Age Trail for all of us to enjoy for years to come. Come and join the fun, meet the volunteers, and be part of the action! Pick your preferred method of participating (they are ALL critical) and register today.

Strike up the Band on Saturday, October 5 for the Annual Parade of Colors

Our chapter's annual "Open House" for the trail will occur on Saturday morning, Oct. 5 at the Obey Interpretive Center at the Chippewa Moraine Ice Age Reserve near New Auburn. This annual favorite welcomes hikers new and old to experience the Ice Age Trail anew and rediscover what many consider one of the best stretches on the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin.

Whether you choose to come and hike or to be part of the hosting crew that welcomes and transports hikers, there's every reason for you to plan to come to the Chippewa Moraine and celebrate the trail at its most colorful best.

As usual, hikers will begin their hikes between 9:30 and 11, finishing up around noon or into the afternoon. Chapter volunteers provide shuttles to the starting points, and refreshments for their return. Hikers can choose the distance they want to challenge themselves with, from 6 miles down to 1. There's a way for everyone to get outdoors and get a taste of the trail on this special day. Don't miss it!