Trail News

A Walk Through Time

June 2024

Dam Failure Washes Out Crossing

Trail washout
On Wednesday, May 22nd, when most of Wisconsin was hit with damaging storms, disaster struck the Firth Lake Segment. The creek crossing about a mile west of Firth Lake experienced a flash flood. The creek crossing is normally shallow, and you could cross it with a three rock step-across. At the peak of the flash flood, the creek rose to 6 feet high and it was 100 feet across the narrow creek valley. It stripped away vegetation and toppled numerous trees along the creek. The heavy rains that fell that night breached a beaver dam a distance upstream, and the entire lake emptied into the creek valley with a destructive roar.

Vicki Christianson, acting trail adopter, discovered the damage early Thursday morning. That afternoon, Norm Card and John Stupak headed out to check out the damage and they added more rocks to the step-across to help hikers cross with dry feet. The creek has now returned to its normal path, but it will take some time before nature restores it to its former beauty.

Trailhead Signage Installed on Cornell Segment

Cornell Segment sign 1
Cornell Segment Sign 2

A five person team, with assistance from Dan Osborn (Winery) and his son, installed the Trailhead signage for the Cornell Segment. The trailheads for the segment are at the Mill Yard Park and the Wisconsin Veteran Farm and Winery. Thank you to Dan for drilling the post holes at the winery, and for helping with the installations at the winery and at the Mill Yard Park. Dan is dedicating part of his parking lot for Ice Age Trail Hikers. He recently resurfaced the parking lot, and hikers can park near the trailhead sign. The Cornell City Maintenance crew drilled the post holes at the Mill Yard Park. Besides the trail head signs, we installed a 4x4 post at the start of the newly built paved walking path along the shoreline, and a carsonite post to direct people from the Mill Yard Park to the Old Abe Bike Trail at Thomas Street and Park Road.

New Cornell Segment

map showing new route of IAT through Cornell

New Route Through Mill Yard Park

Cornell is now a segment on the Ice Age Trail. The segment begins at the Mill Yard Park at the entrance by the Visitor Center on Hwy. 64. Stop to check out the historical displays. Along Bridge Street, you will find the sluice that used to allow the mill to float logs under the street to the mill (Look for the metal railings). There is also a State Historical Sign for the Stacker. Stop in at the Visitor’s Center when it is open. Just beyond the Visitor’s Center, you will find a historical sign featuring Jean Brunet and Ezra Cornell at the base of the Stacker.

Cornell has installed a paved walkway along the shoreline all the way to Park Road. There are blazes to guide you. When you reach Park Road, cross to Thomas Street where you will reach the Old Abe Bike Trail. Follow the signage through town. The street portion of the segment follows the old CR route and ends at the Veteran’s Farm and Winery on 8th Street.

Thanks from the Blue Hills Chapter

Bridge stringer carried by 18 workers

I would like to extend a huge thank you to all that helped on the recent Hemlock Creek Ice Age Trail Event (MSC). With the help of many our members, along with the Superior Lobe and Chippewa Moraine Chapters, folks from around the state, and IAT staff, this event was a huge success. Thank you to all that helped plan, cut, build, install, cook and clean, loan trailers and ATVs - the list goes on and on. We have a great team and I look forward to working with all of you on future events. - Cory Wiese, Blue Hills Chapter Coordinator.

(Pictured above: carrying the massive stringers to the job location. 18 volunteers using Feldmans were able to transport the stringers on the narrow single tread trail.)