January 2021 Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance
Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

January 2021

Meet Our New Chapter Coordinator!

I’d like to take this time to introduce myself to the members of the Chippewa Moraine Chapter of the Ice Age Trail.  My name is Vicki Christianson.  I have lived in Cornell, Wisconsin for the past 40 years.  I am originally from Brookfield, Wisconsin, and I remember school trips to visit the Kettle Moraine Forest and Horicon Marsh when I was young.  I taught for many years in Cornell, and am now retired.

I began hiking the Ice Age Trail in 2003 and joined the Chippewa Moraine Chapter in 2004.  Over the years, I have participated in local chapter maintenance projects and MSC projects.  In the fall of 2016, I began a concerted effort to complete the entire trail, and have completed about 600 miles of CRs and segments so far.  In 2019, I spearheaded the committee to apply for Trail Community status for Cornell which we achieved in January of 2020.  Covid put a damper on many of the activities we wanted to accomplish, and I look forward to when we will be able to fulfill those goals. 

I’m looking forward to my role as the Chapter Coordinator.  I’d like to thank Richard Smith for all the time he is spending on-line with me to train me in as coordinator.  Hope to see you on the trail.

You can reach me through the chapter email:  chippewamorainechapter@iceagetrail.org.

New Trail Signage Coming Our Way

Richard Erickson, the tech teacher at Cornell HS, is a member of our Trail Community Committee.  He is partnering with our chapter to create new official trailhead signs for each of our segments.  These signs will identify the Ice Age Trail and the segment name.  His students will be routing the lettering on the signs for us this winter.  If Covid allows, they will help us to install the signage in the spring.

Watch for Upcoming Zoom Meeting on Trail Maintenance Safety

Daniel Watson, the IATA Volunteer Coordinator, normally meets with chapters in person in the spring to discuss updates and information regarding the National Park Service (NSP) Volunteer program for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.  Because of Covid, he will be holding those meetings virtually.  The Alliance will be hosting two Zoom meetings:  Wednesday, March 3rd at 6:00 PM and Friday, March 5th at 1:00 PM.  The meetings present the same information, and people are welcome to attend whichever meeting is most convenient for them.  All chapter trail volunteers are welcome and encouraged to attend.  The meeting is expected to last about 1 hour, including a question and answer session.

The Alliance will send out an email closer to the meeting dates with the Zoom link.  They will also send out a formalized agenda of topics that they will cover.  Look for more information in the next newsletter.


Busy Beavers

The beavers of Firth Lake have been busy building a lodge on top of the 500’ boardwalk.  A pathway is being maintained to allow hikers to get past the lodge.  A trail camera has been set up, and so far, has gotten pictures of an otter and a coyote.  The otters have been especially active this week and have left evidence by way of foot prints and belly slides around the lodge.  

County Forest Logging Project

Chippewa County Department of Land Conservation and Forest Management has informed us about their logging harvest plan for the next 10 years.  This project will impact one and a half miles of the Harwood Lakes segment east of Deerfly Trail.  They will be logging by sections in 2021, 2024, 2027, and 2030.  This will include the old Heron Rookery and Kim’s Crossing.  The most impactful project will be the 2021 project which is slated to begin in June 2021.  If you haven’t hiked this segment lately, I suggest that you try to get out there this spring before the logging project begins.  It will alter the look of this segment for many years.  (The map above shows the affected trail.  The west end parking is at Deerfly Trail.  The project covers 1.5 miles of trail and ends at the shared trail with horseback riding.)

Chapter Snowshoe Hike Canceled

The Chapter Snowshoe Hike sponsored by Mayo Clinic has been canceled due to the current Covid conditions.  However, conditions on the trail are good for snowshoeing  for individuals or families to do on their own.  Trail has been cut for snowshoes on the Firth Lake segment from 245th Avenue to Firth Lake boardwalk.

The IATA is hosting a Trailtessa “Be Blissful (On Your Own) Snowshoe Hike” February 20-21.  You can learn more about this event on the IATA website:   https://www.iceagetrail.org/be-blissful-february-2021/

See you on the trail, 

Vicki Christianson
Chippewa Moraine Chapter Coordinator


The Ice Age Trail
A Walk Through Time