April 2015 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance
Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

April 2015

Sweep the Trail Clean, Saturday April 18

It’s been a long winter away from trail improvement, and we’re hoping for a robust turnout for our annual “spring cleaning” on Saturday, April 18. The goal will be to clear the trail of downed branches and trees, and other debris that may have arrived with the snow, ice, and winds of winter and spring. The following weekend the trail will host the annual Chippewa 50 Ultramarathon, and there’s nothing like a group of over 100 runners to inspire us to remove any obstacles that might be in their path.

You’ll have a chance to walk a good distance on this clean-up, so think of it as a cross between a workday and a hike! We’d like to cover as much territory as we can.

Please plan to meet at the Obey Interpretive Center at the Chippewa Moraine at 9:00 AM. Dress appropriately for the weather, but bear in mind that it isn’t too early to experience ticks (wear long socks to tuck in your pants).  Sturdy shoes, long pants and shirt, and work gloves are the order of the day. Bring water and lunch if you can stay for the afternoon.

Please let us know if you plan to attend, so we can have adequate tools and plan our logistics, making your time well spent. Just send an email to chapter@iatchippewa.org.

We’ve also penciled in Tuesday, April 21 for a followup day to finish if needed. If you are interested in coming on Tuesday, let us know as well and we’ll keep you updated.

Feed Your Spring Fever at the Outdoor Expo, Sunday April 26

One way to work off some spring fever (when spring seems to be taking its sweet time) is to come to the Outdoor Adventure Expo in Minneapolis. The Ice Age Trail Alliance participates in this silent sports show twice yearly, and our own chapter volunteers staff the booth on the Sunday of the show. The show runs from Friday through Sunday, so stop by anytime you happen to be there. But we’re looking for some enthusiastic IAT volunteers to specifically work on Sunday. It’s great fun, you get to "talk trail" to all who stop by, and even have time to pick up a few cool outdoor gear and clothing essentials, all of which are on sale. The other exhibits are an education in themselves, and meeting other exhibitors is half of the fun.

If you would like to spend the day at the show with us, please contact us soon. Email chapter@iatchippewa.org or call Richard (715-967-2164). 

Chapter Volunteers Will Be Recognized at IATA Annual Conference

Several of our chapter volunteers will be recognized at the IATA Annual Conference, April 23-27. Volunteers receive recognition for achieving hours of service and membership milestones. But each chapter also selects members to specially recognize with the "In The Mud" award, and our honorees this year are Rod Gont and Tom Wile.

Rod is well known to many as the naturalist at the Obey Interpretive Center. But less well known is the amount of time he spends each year maintaining a section of trail in the Chippewa County Forest that he does as a volunteer. Rod’s handled this task for over a decade, and we’re continually grateful that this just gets mowed and cleaned up after every storm and the boardwalks and bridges somehow just get repaired along the way.

Tom Wile began a more active phase of volunteering in 2014 when he “adopted” the segment from Hwy CC to Firth Lake. It’s a long area, prone to a lot of downed branches and trees, and any number of other issues needing attention or reporting. We appreciate his eager and frequent monitoring visits and his thorough reports, and look forward to continuing to benefit from Tom’s expertise and enthusiasm.

We’re thrilled to have Rod and Tom among the super volunteers who keep the trail open and welcoming to hikers. THANKS!

Sunday Hike coming on Sunday, May 3, on Chippewa River Segment

JoAnn Parks will be leading the intrepid Sunday hikers on the first hike of the season on Sunday, May 3. For this hike, we will meet at 1 PM at the Ice Age Trail Parking Lot on County Highway CC, 2 miles north of Cornell. This is meant to be an enjoyable ramble, and will feature views of the Chippewa River, a walk through the new trail in the Krank Nature Preserve, and some of the best wildflowers in the area. Don’t miss this hike! 

You don’t need to register for the hike, but if you plan on coming, drop a note to JoAnn so she knows who to watch for!

Looking for the Events Calendar?

The Ice Age Trail Alliance website has been significantly redesigned, and the old way of linking to our chapter events has changed. Here’s the secret sauce: bookmark the page http://www.iceagetrail.org/events/category/chippewa-moraine-chapter/ and keep it handy, and you’ll be able to quickly check up on our chapter events at any time with just one click. 

You can also find events occurring in other areas near and far, including mobile skills crew events, and programs, hikes, and workdays. If you plan to be spending time in another part of the state, check the events calendar and join a local group on a hike in a new area.

While you’re on the IATA website, explore around and see what else is there. There are interactive maps, informative articles, back issues of Mammoth Tales, and more. Everything you might need to help you plan a hike, pay for your membership, buy IAT gear, and more can be found there. The homepage is at http://www.iceagetrail.org.

Coming Up

Looking ahead to May, please add these dates to your calendars:

Saturday, May 3: Sunday Hike

Saturday, May 16: Trail Improvement Day

Monday, May 18: Chapter Meeting

Sunday, June 7: Sunday Hike