October 2023 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance
Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

October 2023

Important Volunteer Notice:  

As most of us know, there is an imminent federal government shutdown.  This affects us due to our connection with the National Park Service.  If the shutdown takes place, we cannot perform our volunteer work.  This affects our hikes and our trail work.  

Information from Luke Kloberdanz:

“It appears as though we are headed for a government shutdown.  While we are still hopeful for a solution in Washington DC, we are preparing for a suspension of volunteer activities.  I am working with Superintendent Gabriel regarding how we will be impacted, but two things are clear:

First, volunteer work related to maintenance, new construction, restoration, or any activities involving tools will be suspended.  We are still working on guidance related to volunteer led hikes and chapter meetings.

Second, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail will remain open.  There is never a good time to suspend volunteer activities, but it is especially tough as we head into a fall season full of events.

Should the shutdown occur, you will receive additional guidance on Monday.”

We will proceed as usual for our October events in hopes that things are resolved quickly.  Please volunteer for the hikes and trail work by notifying Jerry Sazama or Vicki Christianson as noted.  That way, we can go forward as planned if things resolve.  If they don’t resolve quickly, we will contact  everyone who registers to volunteer with our alternate plans based on what we are allowed to do during the shutdown.

PARADE OF COLORS HIKE:  Saturday, October 7

Come and join us our Parade of Colors Hike  on SaturdayOctober 7th.   This is the perfect time of year to enjoy hiking our beautiful Chippewa Moraine Segment.  This segment, featuring 21 lakes, is especially beautiful this time of year with its splendor of fall colors which are in full swing.   Hikers should meet at the Obey Center on County M between 9:00am and 11:00am on Saturday, October 7th.  This hike is part of the Mammoth Hiking Challenge, so you can count your miles hike plus bonus miles for attending a Mammoth Event.

If the shutdown happens, the Parade of Colors Hike will still happen.  Hikers may have to choose a hike that doesn’t require a shuttle.  There are several loop trails around the Obey Center (1-4 miles) or hikers can do an in+back to 267th Avenue.

If you plan to attend this hike, please contact Vicki Christianson at chippewamorainechapter@iceagetrail.org to register.  

We are looking for volunteers to help shuttle hikers to their various starting points throughout the segment or work at the check-in booth.  Please contact Vicki Christianson at the above link if you are able to help out.

HIKE AND MEET MONTY:  Saturday, October 14

Come and hike the beautiful Chippewa River Segment in all of its autumnal glory.  Hikers will meet at the County CC Ice Age Trail parking lot at 9:45.  The hike begins at 10:00.  Hike high above the Chippewa River with views of Brunet Island State Park and the Fisher River.  Then cross over County CC to the Krank Preserve where trail travels up and down hills, crosses a creek, and circles around Perch Lake before reaching the trailhead on Cty. Z.  Hikers will then turn around and hike back along the same trail until reaching the Ice Age Trail parking lot.   After the hike, all are welcome to head to the Cornell Visitor’s Center to meet Monty the Mammoth.

If you plan to attend this hike, please contact Vicki Christianson at chippewamorainechapter@iceagetrail.org to register. 

We are looking for volunteers to participate in the hike.  We will stagger the volunteers throughout the line of hikers so that they can answer any questions the hikers might have about hiking the Ice Age Trail.  Please contact Vicki Christianson at the above link if you are able to help out.

Trail Work Day:  Horseshoe Lake reroute  Saturday, October 21

(As  noted in the “ Important Volunteer Notice”, we will not be able to do trail work if the government shutdown takes place.  On the chance that the shutdown is resolved by October 21st, please contact Jerry Sazama now to volunteer for this event.  This way we will be ready to go if the shutdown ends before Oct. 21.)

The Horseshoe Lake Reroute is really shaping up.  I hiked it just the other day, and it is gorgeous with all the fall colors.  The picture above was taken at the scenic bench we have installed.  It faces Horseshoe Lake on the right and an unnamed lake on the left.  Work on the new route continues as we polish up this piece of trail.  

The crew will meet at the trail crossing on Town Line Road (160th St.) at 8:00am on Saturday, October 21st.  Volunteers should wear long pants and long sleeved shirts, sturdy boots, and a hat.  Bring work gloves, plenty of water, and snacks.  Sub sandwiches will be provided for lunch.  BYO lunch beverage.

For more information, or to register for this event, contact Jerry Sazama at:  sazfam@aol.com   People who are registered for this trail work will be kept posted on whether the event is able to take place.

If you are not familiar with the location of this crossing, you can put the GPS coordinates into Google Maps and it will show you the location of the crossing.  

GPS:  45.220809, -91.357151

Volunteer Request from Rod Gont

The Obey Center will be holding presentations for school groups through the month October.  Because of the loss of summer help, Rod Gont is looking for people to volunteer with the classroom groups in October.  School trips are scheduled only on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.  These visits run from 9:00 to 2:00.  Time is allotted for lunch.  Rod needs one volunteer with each school group to work with Jeanette in the Obey Center while he is working with the students outside.

Volunteer work includes:

1. Staffing the front desk:  greeting non-school visitors and answering their questions, selling IATA and park merchandise

2.  Help Jeanette with the Exhibit Search.  Students are divided into small teams.  They receive a worksheet.  They have to travel to different stations within the displays and look for answers to questions.  The volunteer has an Answer Key for the worksheet, and they check the students answers.

3.  A volunteer may be scheduled to lead a hike.

Email or call Dave Hladilek if you are interested in volunteering.  If you volunteer, Rod will contact you to find out when you are available.

Contact Dave Hladilek at Dave.Hladilek@wisconsin.gov  or call him at 715-967-2800.  Dave needs to do a background check because you would be working with school children.  He needs your name, email, and phone#.

Note:  The Obey Center is part of the Wisconsin DNR, and is not affected by the Federal Shutdown.


Have you participated in the Mammoth Hiking Challenge?  The October Hiking Challenge began in 2020 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.  It was so popular that they have continued the challenge every year since.  This year, hikers are challenged to hike 43 miles of the Ice Age Trail and visit 3 trail communities.  It’s getting easier to find a trail community as they keep adding trail communities each year.  Cornell became a trail community in 2020.  The other northern trail communities are St.Croix Falls, Rib Lake, Merrill, and Antigo.  There are 19 trail communities in all.  

There are lots of ways to accumulate your miles and you can read about it here:  https://www.iceagetrail.org/mammoth-hike-challenge/   Be sure to check out the FAQs section.  You can sign up as a team or a family and combine your miles.  Check out the website and register for this great event.   It’s a great way to enjoy the trail and the fall colors!

Mobile Skills Crew 2023 Events -  Next:   Sturgeon Bay Sept. 6-10 and Rib Lake Sept. 26-Oct. 1

Have you thought about getting involved with MSC (Mobile Skills Crew) projects?  The MSC calendar has been set and there are projects going on all over the state in 2023.  Attending an event is a great way to learn about trail building, invasive species removal, and building structures such as boardwalk and bridges.  Experience is not a requirement.  It’s terrific on-the-job training.  Information on the events is available on the Ice Age Trail Website.  Check it out at:  https://www.iceagetrail.org/our-work/trail-building-maintenance/msc-program/      

Oct. 18-22           Cross Plains

Volunteer Agreement Information

All new volunteers need  to have a completed Volunteer Agreement for the National Park Service in order to participate in our trail improvement days or to volunteer at events. They have a new form on the Alliance Website.  

To access the new  Volunteer Agreement, here is the link:  https://www.iceagetrail.org/wp-content/uploads/Packet-Individual-301a-exp-10_2024.pdf   Please fill out the fillable form and email it to Daniel_Watson@nps.gov   Please note the large box at the bottom of the first page of the new Volunteer Agreement.  Dan Watson has provided links and videos for volunteers to look at.

NOTE:  Fill in all the  required boxes.  The fillable boxes are on everything except the signature line.  You can type your name and date in the date box next to the signature line.  Save the document to your computer and then send it to Dan Watson as an attachment.  Or print off your completed document, sign it, and mail it to Dan Watson.   Dan’s address is on the directions page that comes with the form.  

When you send in the Volunteer Agreement to Dan Watson, he will sign it and return it to you.  Please print a copy for yourself or save it in your files.  Email me at chippewamorainechapter@iceagetrail.org to let me know that you have received your new signed Volunteer Agreement.

Chapter Calendar 2023

These are our annual events.  Watch for upcoming events and additions  (in red) to this calendar in the monthly newsletters.  

Oct. - All Month:  Mammoth Hike Challenge

Oct. 7   Parade of Colors Hike - Chippewa Moraine

Oct. 14  Hike and Meet Monty- Chippewa River

Oct. 21  Trail Maintenance Day

Nov. 20  Annual Chapter Meeting

See you on the trail!

Vicki Christianson
Chippewa Moraine Chapter Coordinator


The Ice Age Trail
A Walk Through Time