September 2015 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance

Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

September 2015

Chapter Meeting, Monday September 21

As thoughts turn to fall hiking and the Parade of Colors, it’s time for a chapter meeting to get it all sorted, along with planning for 2016. We can use all your ideas on how to make 2016 a great year for the trail, so don’t miss the September chapter meeting. We’ll meet at 6:30 PM on Monday, Sept. 21, at the Chippewa Falls library, upstairs meeting room.

Trail Improvement Day, Saturday September 26

The air is cooling, the bugs are mostly gone, and its a glorious time for a trail improvement day. Beyond making sure the trail is ship-shape for Parade of Colors, we’ll tackle a bigger project on our list of “capital improvements”.

We’ll meet at 9:00 at the Obey Interpretive Center at the Chippewa Moraine. Bring your lunch and water, and have gloves, sturdy shoes, long pants, and bug repellant.

If you can join us, please email the chapter so we can plan for a great day.

Parade of Colors, Saturday October 3

Imagine getting out onto the trail on a gorgeous fall day, cool and ideal for hiking, and with fall colors popping out all over. That’s what we have arranged for the Parade of Colors, Fall Hike on the Ice Age Trail, our annual celebration of the trail. It is always a great time for our many returning hikers, but is also the perfect opportunity for first-time Ice Age Trail hikers.

Arrive anytime between 9 and 11 AM on Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Obey Interpretive Center at the Chippewa Moraine. This is not a large group hike, so you can start any time during this period. The Obey Center is located at 13394 County Highway M, New Auburn. It’s 7 miles east of New Auburn and 1.9 miles east of State Highway 40. 

We make it special by hand-designing a hike tailored just to your interests. Whether it’s the two mile giant ground sloth hike, the 4 mile saber-toothed cat hike, or the 6 mile mammoth hike, we have a flavor for whatever level of challenge you want to tackle. Then we’ll transport you to the starting point so you can hike back with your old or new friends at just your pace and return to the Interpretive Center at hike’s end. There, a refreshing snack will await, along with an opportunity to enjoy other activities or exhibits at the center, or even more hiking if you prefer. It’s a great event for families and kids as well. 

This is our grand-daddy event of the year, so don’t miss it! 

Of course, to make this all happen we need lots of volunteer help! If you can help with shuttle driving, registration, or refreshments, please let us know. Please email the chapter so we can plan for a great day. We particularly appreciate shuttle drivers, and cookie and brownie bakers, too!

No Sunday Hike in September, So Go For a Hike in September!

While holiday events caused us to skip our Sunday hike this month, September is one of the greatest months of all for visiting the Ice Age Trail. The bugs are in retreat, late-blooming flowers are appearing, the first fall color is beginning, the frogs and other critters are busy sunning themselves or getting ready for fall, and the fall bird migration has begun. And by the end of the month, the reds of fall are in full display against the green of summer. The trails are in generally great shape, and awaiting your visit, so make September your favorite month on the Ice Age Trail.  

The End Is Near! Gather Your Hours!

Our volunteer accounting year ends on September 30, so it’s not too soon to gather up your hours and make sure you have your records in order so we can submit our report just a few weeks from now. All kinds of volunteer activity are counted and tallied, and serve to help the IATA as well as help you on your way toward a small token of appreciation from the National Park Service. Volunteer service can include working directly on trail maintenance, planning a trail project, purchasing trail supplies, attending training or other meetings to plan trail events and work, staffing an exhibit, and on and on. 

Hours are tallied by the event leader at organized events such as meetings and work days, but when you work on your own or away from a group event, you are usually on your own to record the hours and submit them. You can download a form to record your hours on and send it to the chapter. Download the form in either of two flavors, Word or Excel. You can send in reports periodically throughout the year. Don’t hesitate to send a report now, and follow it with a wrap-up report later or at the end of September. If you prefer, you can always email the chapter each time you earn volunteer hours.

Coming Up

Looking beyond September, please add these dates to your calendars:

Saturday, Oct. 3: Parade of Colors - Fall Hike on the IAT

Saturday, Oct.. 17: Trail Improvement Day

Monday, Nov. 16: Chapter Annual Meeting

See you on the trail,

Richard Smith

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Chair


The Ice Age Trail

A Walk Through Time