October 2014 Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance

Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

October 2014

Parade of Colors Fall Hike on the Ice Age Trail This Saturday, Oct. 4

The weather is looking great for this Saturday, Oct. 4 for the annual Parade of Colors Fall Hike on the Ice Age Trail at the Chippewa Moraine. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the trail in glorious fall colors and enjoy the festivities at the Obey Center.

  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 4, Register from 9:00 to 11 AM
  • Where: Obey Interpretive Center at the Chippewa Moraine Ice Age Reserve, 7 miles east of New Auburn (1.9 miles east of Hwy 40) on Co. Highway M. 
    • Here’s a map to get you there. 
    • Parking: free at the Interpretive Center
  • Cost: Free (donations accepted for trail maintenance)
  • Bring: water, repellent, walking shoes (there may be some muddy spots)
  • Don’t forget: your hiking companion(s)! Introduce a friend to the Ice Age Trail

You’ll be greeted by Ice Age Trail Alliance Chapter volunteers who will tailor a hike to fit your interests, time, and abilities. Then volunteers will take you to the appropriate starting point where you (and your new or old friends) can walk at your own pace back to the Interpretive Center.

When you finish your hike, join us for some light refreshments and enjoy the exhibits and kids’ activities at the Interpretive Center, or refuel for another hike on your own!

The last shuttle leaves at 11AM, so be sure to arrive in time to begin by then. 

For more information or questions about the event, look hereemail, or call 715-967-2164.

Volunteer at Parade of Colors

An ample supply of volunteer drivers and others makes the event go smoothly for our guests, so if you can help, it is always appreciated. Please email if you can help with shuttle driving, registration, or serving refreshments. 

Spectacular New Trail Added in Camp Nawakwa Area

Spectacular is not too strong a word to describe the beautiful new segment of trail created and opened at September’s IATA Mobile Skills Crew trailbuilding event. The segment passes by several lakes and ponds and winds up, down, and around stunning terrain, to give awesome views of Picnic Lake and a large tamarack bog and lake. The scene is especially gorgeous right now, as the leaves are so colorful, so don’t hesitate to get out on a sunny day and check out the new trail.

You can start a 2.75 mile hike either at County Highway E (just south of Camp Nawakwa’s entrance road), or at Deer Fly Trail. You can also start at County Highway E and walk about 1.5 miles and return. Off-road parking is available at either trailhead.

In addition to touching up the ½ mile segment built last season, a completely new 1 mile segment was completed. The remaining 1.25 miles was re-blazed to modern trail signage standards.

Addition to Chippewa River Trail Removes Road Walk

Another ½ mile of trail was added to the Chippewa River segment at County Rd. CC in the Krank Nature Preserve and Brunet Island State Park. A highlight of the new trail is the rock crossing constructed to get hikers across a sometimes robust stream that lines the bottom of a dramatic ravine. The new trail segment was improved and added to the existing trail at the IATA Mobile Skills Crew trailbuilding event in September at the same time as the Nawakwa area work was being done.

While not an entirely newly constructed trail (a portion of it served as IAT over 30 years ago!), it connects two existing segments of the Chippewa River trail that previously required a walk along busy County Highway CC. There is still a very short road walk, but the shortened hop potentially opens up the south portion of the 2006 trail addition around Perch Lake to more active use.

The trail is also the first installment on a future trail realignment using the Krank Nature Preserve, recently acquired by our partner, the Chippewa County Land Conservancy. More will be added in the years to come.

To enjoy the new segment, park at the County Rd CC Ice Age Trailhead Parking Area and follow the trail southbound all the way to County Rd Z. Parking is limited at Hwy Z, and suggested only on the south side of the highway across from the trailhead, pulling well off onto the grass. The full segment is relatively short, however, and makes a delightlful 3 mile round trip from the main parking area.

October Trail Improvement Day, Saturday, Oct. 18, To Feature Trail Assessment

We will forego our regular group Trail Improvement Day on Saturday, Oct. 18, in favor of a trail-wide assessment. Instead of meeting together as a group, our goal on this day is to individually or in pairs spread out and hike the various segments of trail in our county, with an eye to being observant and giving the trail a critical look. 

You’ll find full information about the October Trail Assessment here.

Thanks to all who participate in this trail assessment.

Trail Blazing Team Has Begun Re-Signing the Trail

The IATA’s Mobile Skills Crew trailbuilding event at Camp Nawakwa set a high bar for the current state-of-the-art in trail signage. As much of the signage in our county is in the (ahem) “Legacy” category, we are well into a planned project to replace the signage throughout. To achieve this ambitious goal, which will take significant time, Diane Harp has volunteered to be the signage team leader, and she’s assembled a core team of Libby Stupak, JoAnn Parks, and Mary Skalecki. All four have had training and on-the-job experience at trailbuilding events this summer, and participated in re-signing from Deer Fly Trail to Nawakwa in September. Now they’ve dived in and begun work starting at the east end of the trail. Their progress will depend on schedules and weather, but they’re off to a great start.

Regional Rally Planned for Saturday, Nov. 1, at Chippewa Moraine Obey Center

It’s been several years since we hosted an IATA Regional Rally, but our opportunity to involve more of our local members at the annual event will return on Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Obey Center. Mark your calendar for this day of presentation, discussion, and idea-sharing. The full agenda and theme have not been posted yet, but watch the IATA calendar for information and registration in the coming weeks. The event will be from 9 AM to 3:30 PM, lunch is included. If you have questions or ideas, contact Brad Crary at IATA.

Whether you’re a chapter leader or just interested in learning more about the nuts and bolts of making the trail happen, it’s a great opportunity right here at home, and a great local turnout would be, as they say, awesome.

See you on the trail,

Richard Smith

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Chair


The Ice Age Trail

A Walk Through Time

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