Mid June 2018 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance

Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

Mid-June 2018

Photo: Libby Stupak

A New Mudbrook Wetland Bridge And Boardwalk Provide Spectacular Views (And Dry Feet)

The newly constructed Mudbrook bridge midway between Plummer Lake Road and Deer Fly Trail offers a spectacular view of the wetland in the Mudbrook floodplain, and provides a solid and dry passage through the area. It replaces a bridge and rickety boardwalk conglomeration that has traversed the combination of wetland and beaver dams and which was well beyond “end of life”. The main bridge on the old route was a Wisconsin Conservation Corps project built 30-40 years ago. The connecting boardwalk was constructed and reconstructed many times, and was highlighted by sections of boardwalk built on top of older sections as the land sunk or the beavers got more active. The new route in a new location includes boardwalk built 36 inches above the current water level. The total structure is 192 feet long, with a 24-foot bridge span and 168 feet of connecting boardwalk. There’s a handrail on one side, kick plate on the other. A technique used for the first time locally involves resting the legs on steel “pans” resting on solid ground in the bottom of the wetland. 

Although some handrail remains temporary, and not all of the trail is up to usual standards, the route is safe, dry, and ready to welcome hikers. The full route between Plummer Lake Road and Deer Fly Trail is just over 2 miles and is waiting for your inspection. Better yet, plan to join our June 16 Trail Improvement Day (see next item) and help smooth some rough edges. 

We will be removing the remaining portions of the old boardwalk and the old structure itself during the coming weeks.

Thanks to the 47 volunteers from near and far who assembled to make the event happen, several even staying an extra day in order to be able to open the new trail. An astounding 19 local chapter volunteers included Tony Schuster, Pat McKearn, Nancy Schuster, Steve White, Rosemary Kilbridge, Libby Stupak, Diane Harp, Jerry Sazama, Mary Skalecki, Bruce France, Norm Card, Mike Hilger, Dave Rasmussen, JoAnn Parks, Jean Dressel, Carrol Waldenberger, Gary Janssen, Amy Hallstrom, Richard Smith, and additional cookie bakers. Several of our local volunteers worked an additional two or three days prior to the event to transport lumber and equipment over part of the over-1-mile distance from road to worksite along primitive forest trails.

Finish The Mudbrook Trail At June 16 Trail Improvement Day

We have a new bridge across Mudbrook Creek. The MSC team has come and gone, but there is some finish work to complete, and we can finish the new trail section at our June 16 Trail Improvement Day. It will be a great way to brush up on your tread construction skills, and if you’ve never done it, it will be a great way to learn a very useful skill. There will be other odds and ends to attend to as well.

Meet at 9 AM at the Obey Interpretive Center and we’ll proceed to our project area from there. We’ll have a tailgate party at the conclusion, but bring your own water, a snack for mid-morning, and the usual bug repellent and work gloves. Long pants and socks are important to keep ticks at bay. Please register by clicking on the yellow bar below.

Register for June 16 Trail Improvement Day

Blue Hills Regional Trail Maintenance Day Re-Re-Scheduled For Thursday, June 21

We will get another stab at our (now infamous) Blue Hills Trail Improvement Tour on Thursday, June 21. Join the crew that will head north and tackle the Blue Hills Beast and get some trail mowed, trimmed, cleared of trees, and other general maintenance work done. If you’ve been following along, this project has been sidelined twice so far, but this time is sure to please everyone.

Meet at 7:30 AM at the Obey Interpretive Center near New Auburn to organize our car-pooling and make sure we don’t lose anyone. We’ll head to Murphy Flowage from there, arriving at 8:15. Bring a lunch, as we’ll work into the afternoon before returning. Also bring water, snack, insect repellent, work gloves, and be sure to dress appropriately. Please register for this event by clicking on the yellow bar below.

Register for June 21 Blue Hills Tour

Short Detour Between Deer Fly Trail and County Hwy E

In order to keep hikers safe and out of an area of intensive logging, Chippewa County has closed a 0.27-mile section of IAT midway between Deer Fly Trail and County Hwy E. To bridge that gap, a relatively rough route has been brushed and flagged around the work area. This area will be improved in the coming weeks and is already open to hikers. If you will be using this section, please pay special attention to the flags and carefully watch your footing along the way. The section begins 1.5 miles west of County Hwy. E and 1.6 miles east of Deer Fly Trail.

Coming Up In July: Chapter Potluck and Meeting at Obey Center

Mark your calendars for upcoming events in July: 

Chapter Potluck and Meeting, Meet at Obey Interpretive Center at 6 PM. (Chapter meeting follows Potluck.)

Watch your email for ad-hoc workdays.

Where to Find IATA and Chapter Event Information

The go-to place to find current information about all our chapter events and IATA events everywhere is the calendar at the IATA website, www.iceagetrail.org. The Calendar link is in the menu, or bookmark www.iceagetrail.org/events/. To find our chapter-specific events, either choose Chippewa Moraine from the dropdown menu under Event Category and click the “Find Events” button or just bookmark this yellow button: 

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Events

See you on the trail,

Richard Smith

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Chair


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