October 2018 Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance
Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

October 2018

Don’t Miss The Annual Parade of Colors on Saturday, Oct. 6

The annual Parade of Colors Fall Hike on the Ice Age Trail returns on Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Obey Interpretive Center at the Chippewa Moraine near New Auburn. The Ice Age Trail is never more stunning than at this time of year, and you shouldn’t miss this chance to enjoy it. Reds and yellows of fall leaves mix with bright blue skies reflected on sparkling kettle lakes to round off the experience. Chapter volunteers will whisk you to your preferred starting point, enabling a hike tailored to your preferred time and distance. 

Plan to begin your hike between 9 and 11 a.m. Afterwards there are refreshments or bring your own picnic lunch. Bring your own water bottle for your hike, and you’ll be good to go. There’s no charge for the event, but contributions are appreciated.

Why not rustle up a few friends to introduce to the trail and bring them along?

We’re always looking for volunteers to make treats, shuttle, or register. If you can volunteer, please go here to sign up. Be one of the volunteers that makes this event special to the participants.

Photo: Libby Stupak

Last-Chance Trail Improvement Day Planned for October 20

We’ll wrap up a very full season of trail improvements at our October Trail Improvement Day on Saturday, Oct. 20. If you’ve been putting off coming out to help, this is your last regular chance for this year. 

We’ll all meet at the Obey Interpretive Center at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, and finish around noon with refreshments. If you plan to come and help, please help us plan by registering. Tools are all provided, but please bring your own work gloves, water, and a mid-morning snack if desired. 

Detoured Trail Segments Have Reopened

We’ve been plagued by two temporary trail detours over the past season, and both trail sections are now officially no-longer-detoured.

Horseshoe Lake, west of Townline Rd: This detour dated back to May 2017, and was caused by high water levels. The detour has been closed and the trail has now reopened. The submerged bridge and boardwalk are now usable.

Logging Detour, between Deer Fly Trail and Hwy E: The detour route is still there, but it has become the new official route after work on it was undertaken late this season. It isn’t fully up to snuff, in fact it is rather rough, but it’s open, marked, and passable. Look for some possible spring help from the MSC to polish it up to our standards.

Photo: Steve White

Mudbrook Boardwalk Enhanced By Commemorative Bench

The spectacular new Mudbrook bridge and boardwalk between Plummer Lake Rd and Deer Fly Trail has been enhanced by a bench midway across where you can rest a spell, fool the mosquitos, and survey the gorgeous marsh and beaver pond backed up next to Mudbrook. 

The bench was constructed to commemorate the life and volunteer work on the trail of a good friend, Cal Kraemer, who died this spring. He would have liked this spot — it wasn’t unusual to happen upon him out on the Firth Lake boardwalk surveying the scene. We’ll install a plaque in the future.

If you’re looking for a spot to ponder the fall splendor, it’s a bit over a mile either from Plummer Lake Rd or from Deer Fly Trail.

Photo: Tony Schuster

Thrivent Bench Provides Gorgeous Overlook And Rest

The first bench to be installed as a result of a project funded by a Thrivent volunteer grant has been installed at a beaver pond between the two 245th Ave trail crossings, east of Hwy E. Long known as a place to sit on the bridge that straddles an impressive beaver dam, the bench makes for an even more comfortable spot to enjoy the view over the rather large pond. The location is occasionally used as a backpack camping site, so the bench should get a lot of attention.

The Thrivent grant came about through the direction of member Marjorie Bunce, who worked with her Thrivent representative to direct the grant our way to buy lumber and build and install the benches. Bruce France studied bench designs and settled on one which was as comfortable, sturdy, and long-lasting as he could find, then led the effort to build and install the bench and others that are in the pipeline with Norm Card and Tony Schuster.

The route makes a nice day hike. Park at 245th Ave, 1 mile east of Hwy E, and walk the trail east to 245th St, then either back along the town road (2 mi circle) or return on the trail (2.8 mi total). Another reason to check out the trail during fall color season.

Coming Up in November

Don’t miss the colors along the trail in November.

 - IATA Regional Rally- Saturday Nov. 3, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., meet at the Obey Center. Share what works, learn what doesn’t, get new ideas.

 - Outdoor Expo - Sunday, Nov. 18, all day in Minneapolis: We’re always looking for new team members to answer trail questions.

Mark your calendars and plan to join one or all of these chapter activities!