May, 2020 Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance
Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

May 2020


The IAT Is Open - Enjoy Responsibly

  • The current state of the trail in Chippewa County is quite good, for the most part, and it is getting lots of use.
  • Spring wildflowers are blooming.
  • All trail segments are open and ready to be hiked.
  • There is still high water around Picnic Lake and at the bridge, but by carefully following marked detours and other deviations, you'll get through. There is still water on the bridge, but some temporary stepping items have been added to make it easier to get through without getting too wet.
  • There are branches and trees down across the trail except where a thoughtful hiker has already tossed a branch aside. The few trees left are “step-overs”.
  • There has been a high level of trail use, so you are more likely than normal to encounter other hikers. Remember to be respectful and keep your distance!
  • Ice Age Trail volunteers may not undertake trail maintenance activity at this time. That will continue through Memorial Day, based on the state-wide protocols and other National Park Service and Alliance policies.
  • The Obey Interpretive Center is closed until at least May 26. The trailside campsites near the center are also closed to camping.
  • Dispersed camping remains allowed in the Chippewa County Forest, but not at trailheads (such as Deer Fly Trail).
  • Fires are prohibited generally in northern Chippewa County this spring. However campfires for cooking are allowed but discouraged. 
  • If you are camped at a backpack site (Harwood Lakes or Picnic Lake), please remember that these are intended for multiple parties if there is room. Also, backpack sites are intended as overnight stops for distance hikers. Especially on weekends, please try to limit your stop to one night.

If you’re anxious to get out and go for a hike, see the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s page on all things related to using the trail during these uncertain times. There is a wealth of good information there.

Go directly here if you want more explanation of our organization’s policy, especially on volunteer activity.


Chippewa Moraine Chapter Events and Volunteer Activities

  • Until at least May 26, volunteer trail maintenance is on hold. 
  • All May events, including the May 18 chapter meeting, have been cancelled.
  • The June National Trails Day Hike is also cancelled.
  • The face of trail work and trail activities will be significantly different this summer. Stay tuned.
  • We won’t have our traditional potluck supper at the Obey Center in July, but instead are planning to have a pizza picnic in Cornell. See the item below. 
  • The Alliance is planning an October event in Wausau to celebrate the 40th anniversary of National Scenic Trail status and 60th anniversary of the IAT. It will be in conjunction with the Ringle MSC (Oct 7-11). It will include an indoor catered dinner and the annual awards presentations.

IAT Hikers at the Stacker, Millyard Park, Cornell WI

Celebrate Cornell and Re-Connecting At A Chapter Pizza Party Planned for July (or August)!

Mark your calendars for a special mid-summer pizza picnic in Cornell, which is our newest Ice Age Trail Community. We’ll celebrate our new trail community connection with a pizza dinner, featuring locally made Moon Ridge pizza, in Millyard Park in Cornell (at the Stacker, of course). More details will be forthcoming, but for now, mark your calendars for Wednesday, July 15, and Wednesday, August 19 (as a backup date). The actual date is subject to conditions and gathering size limitations in effect at the time. We’ll welcome special guests from the Cornell Community to celebrate the new special relationship.