January 2019 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance
Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

January 2019

Enjoy A Winter Hike Or Snowshoe Outing On The Trail; No Work Allowed!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

The trail is open to enjoy during the holidays. You might enjoy a hike or snowshoe hike on the newly rerouted section through the Krank Preserve, parallel to Hwy CC near Cornell (see next item).


As in prior government shutdowns, you may not perform active trail volunteer activities. This includes activities on the trail or in the shop where you might be at risk for injury, because your medical or liability expenses could not be covered in case an injury occurred. The IATA doesn’t take this lightly, as they don’t have any means to cover this risk in the absence of federal coverage. Therefore, IATA policy is that all activity is suspended until the shutdown ends. Any volunteer activity is at your own risk and personal liability.

Fortunately, we don’t have any trail events planned until February that we need to cancel. That said, the prohibition could drag on, so be alert to the news before venturing out to hike in the capacity of a volunteer doing trail maintenance work. 

Have a well-deserved rest, enjoy winter and this peaceful time of year.

Best wishes for the holidays, and thanks for all you do to support the trail.

Rerouted Trail Now Open Through Krank Preserve Near Hwy CC

We have reopened the trail near Hwy CC on a new route entirely within the Krank Preserve, so there is no longer any road walk between Hwy CC and Firth Lake (and the temporary detour is lifted).

The new route was put together and opened in a series of work days in November and early December by a remarkably willing group of volunteers un-deterred by working in snow and very cold conditions to get it done before more severe weather. Trail design, fallen tree and branch removal, bridge relocation and construction, mowing, and signing were all accomplished over several days before and after deer season.

The new route between Hwy Z and Firth Lake is entirely off the road and even avoids all open fields (including cows and bulls!). The old route, which followed the river to the IAT parking area on Hwy CC still connects with the main trail, but is now a connector trail — albeit a mighty fine and worth-your-time connector trail in its own right. The part of the old trail route that headed west across Hwy CC from the parking lot, is permanently closed. Please do not trespass on this private land.

The distance from the parking area to the trail is 1 mile. From the junction, the distance south to Hwy Z is 0.9 mile, and to Firth Lake parking is 3.6 miles. Some of the new route, especially the northwest corner, has some wet areas that will be further improved next season. Two bridges were relocated from the old route to cross streams, but two wet areas remain. The route has been marked with yellow blazes and temporary white-on-brown directional signs. 

The route is not the long-planned permanent trail, but uses existing trails and is a great route until the permanent one can be built. Interestingly, portions of the new trail served as part of the IAT in the 1970’s and 1980’s before it had to be relocated due to landowner changes. The new route leaves only one 0.3 mile segment among all the current trail segments in Chippewa County that is privately owned and not protected by an easement.

The old trail route, heading west across Hwy CC from the parking lot, is permanently closed. Please do not trespass on this private land.

Additional information can be found here.

Family Snowshoe Hike - Sunday, Feb. 10

We’re teaming up with Mayo Clinic and area Girl Scouts again this winter to present a Family Snowshoe Hike at the Chippewa Moraine on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 from 1-3 PM. There will be a couple of hikes based on the age and experience of the hikers, so come even if you are inexperienced.

After the hike, there will be warm beverages and snacks. Limited snowshoes are available.

See more information here, and please register online by Feb. 5!

Volunteer Hours for October - December are Due

Please send in your volunteer hours for the three months from October to December as soon as you can. This includes any hours for work NOT performed in a group setting, such as a work day or a chapter meeting. If you’ve come across any hours from a prior quarter that you didn’t already send in, please include those as well.

New Chapter Email Address

We have a new email address! Please update your address book and use the following address: chippewamorainechapter@iceagetrail.org. It’s easy to remember, and is consistent with all the other chapters. The old addresses will be forwarded for a bit, but eventually they’ll go nowhere!