Late August 2014 Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

Late August 2014

Improve a Bridge at Trail Improvement Day This Saturday, Aug. 23

Your carpentry skills will be the highlight at this Saturday’s Trail Improvement Day! We have a bridge to repair, and if you like to drill and put in screws, this might be the project for you! If not, come anyway, as we have other trail projects you can help with as well. It’s all happening in the vicinity of the Deerfly Trail crossing, but we will meet first at the Chippewa Moraine Obey Interpretive Center near New Auburn at 9 AM.

As usual, bring a lunch and water, and wear sturdy shoes (water resistent might be a good idea this time around), long pants and sleeves, and work gloves. 

Please let us know you plan to come by email so we can plan the projects accordingly (and let you know if the weather washes us out!).

Full Moon Hike for Ice Age Trail Alliance Members, Volunteers, and Friends

Come join us for a full moon hike during the last of the three super moons. A two mile circle trail will be marked for a self-guided hike, or, there will be two guided hikes (6:30 PM and 7:30 PM) for those who prefer the group experience. There is also a shorter hike for those shorter-legged family members who still want to be out in the deep, dark woods! Please start self-guided hikes no later than 8:00 PM. It’s a great chance to explore a section of the recently-acquired “Old Girl Scout Camp” section of the Chippewa Moraine, and get great views of Hodge Lake in the super-moonlight!

  • Date: Saturday, September 6, 6:00-9:00 PM
  • Where: "Old Girl Scout Camp”, northeast of the Chippewa Moraine Ice Age Visitor’s Center. 
    • Entrance is at 26900 145th Street, ½ mile north of County Highway M.
    • 145th St is 1.5 miles east of the main Chippewa Moraine entrance, and is marked with the Camp Manitou sign. 
    • Watch for yellow “Ice Age Trail Event” signs to guide your way once you get in the area. 
    • Here’s a map to get you there. 
    • Parking: Inside the camp. Follow the signs.
  • Bring: Flashlight, bug spray, and an adventurous spirit! (See if you can get by without using your light, though!)

When you finish your hike, join us for some light refreshments in the Recreation Building. We plan to have a fire and roast marshmallows as well.

This special event is our “Thank You” to all the members and volunteers who make the Ice Age Trail possible, so come, join the fun and celebration.

Reminder: This is at the Chippewa Moraine, NOT at Camp Nawakwa. Be sure to check the map linked above, or plug 26900 145th St into your GPS.

State of the Trail

It’s been a wet and buggy summer with unusually robust vegetation to challenge our use of the Ice Age Trail, but the volunteer trail adopters and maintainers have been busy all summer with mowing, sign updates and staining, etc. It’s been an uphill battle, so if you’ve encountered especially “gnarly” hiking conditions in some segments, others are probably in better shape. As we move toward fall you will have little difficulty enjoying wherever you choose to venture.

Coming Up: Trail Building Returns to Camp Nawakwa, Sept. 16 - 21

If you enjoyed and participated in the Mobile Skills Crew (MSC) Harwood Lakes Project at Camp Nawakwa last year, you have another chance to experience trail building in the beautiful Chippewa County Forest near Picnic Lake this fall. 

The MSC team will return to Camp Nawakwa on September 16-21 and all the volunteers will pick up where they left off to complete the spectacular reroute through a gorgeous steep-sloped forest west of Picnic Lake. In addition, this year a team of volunteers will also work to establish an off-road segment of trail that will eliminate a portion of the road walk along Hwy CC near the Chippewa River.

Come for a day, or for as many days as you can. Plan to camp overnight if you don’t want to commute. Either way, join the volunteers for meals and hang around for the evening entertainment and camaraderie. No experience is necessary. The hallmark of the MSC is their patient, well-trained crew leaders who will guide you with whatever is to be done. It’s a great opportunity to learn some fun and useful skills from the experts, and learn the state-of-the-art in trail building and design. When you’re done, you get the satisfaction of having helped build a new section of Ice Age Trail, that you can be proud of, each time you walk it over the coming years (well-earned bragging rights).

As before, all hands are encouraged to take part in some way, and there are many ways to participate, from cooking to trail building and everything in between. In order to keep tabs on who’s coming when, you are encouraged to register on-line. The full site with information and registration link is here. Registering really helps the crew leaders manage what is going to happen, as well as helps the cooks determine food needs. 

Our own Jerry Sazama will be the event crew leader, so if you have questions about what is involved or are uncertain what you can do, feel free to contact him (email or 715-723-6955).

See you on the trail,

Richard Smith

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Chair