Trail News

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Chapter Annual Meeting: Monday, Nov. 20th

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The Annual Meeting is scheduled to take place at 5:30 on Monday, November 20th at the Chippewa County Courthouse - Downstairs in Meeting Room 3.   Please enter at the door facing the parking lot which is located on the west side of the Courthouse.

The Annual Meeting will include election of officers.  The Chapter Coordinator and Chapter Treasurer are up for election this year for a two year position.  The other three positions, Secretary, Trail Maintenance Chair, and Assistant Coordinator will be confirmed for their second year of their terms.  Reports will be given on this year’s activities, trail maintenance, financial, and stewardship activities.  A report will be given on  trail construction, maintenance and stewardship for 2024.  We will approve an annual chapter budget for 2024.  A proposed calendar will be provided.

Please register for the meeting by contacting Vicki Christianson at .  

Virtual Volunteer Ramp Up: Join in on Thursday, Nov. 16th

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The Alliance is holding it’s Virtual Volunteer Ramp UP on Thursday, November 16th from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  They will have updates from HQ, including season highlights, program updates, upcoming events, and a preview of what’s to come for next year.  In addition, they will cover chapter finances, potential updates to volunteer hours tracking, program name changes, and an overview of trainings from the past year and next year’s trainings. 

If you are interested in participating in this virtual meeting, please register at:

Hike Report: Parade of Colors and Hike and Meet Monty


We had two successful hike events in October.  There were 54 participants for the Parade of Colors Hike.  Thank you to all the volunteers who worked the booth or shuttled hikers.  You kept everything running smoothly.   We had 70 participants for the Hike and Meet Monty event.  Thank you to the volunteers who participated in the hike and helped with kids events at the Cornell Visitor Center.  Thank you to Pat Kosher for appearing as Monty.  The weather was great on both days.  It was fun to have so many children attend the HIke and Meet Monty event.  They did a great job of hiking out and back for 3.8 miles.


Tom Kolb Is Jefferson Award Recipient. Congratulations, Tom!


We are proud to announce that our Chapter Treasurer, Tom Kolb, was presented with the Jefferson Award given by WQOW-TV.  The Jefferson Award is given to people who volunteer in their community.  Tom and his wife, Sue, have been members of the Chippewa Moraine Chapter since 2015.  He has been a volunteer with the chapter on hikes and trail work.  He has been the chapter treasurer since 2020.  In addition to his work with the Chippewa Moraine Chapter of the Ice Age Trail, he delivers food for Meals on Wheels and volunteers at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  Congratulations, Tom, on receiving this award.

If you would like to see the news report on Tom’s award, go to:

Bench View on the NEW Horseshoe Lake Reroute


The Horseshoe Lake reroute on the Chippewa Moraine segment has been completed thanks to the dedicated work of trail volunteers.  Thank you to everyone who worked on the numerous workdays from August thru October.  The trail now follows along the shoreline of two lakes high above lake level.  This reroute takes you off an old county  forest trail and up onto a scenic route high above the lakes.  The route has been blazed and is ready to hike on.  If you would like to check out this reroute, it is just west of Town Line Road (160th St.) on the Chippewa Moraine Segment.  You can access it off Town Line Road or hike in from the eastern trailhead on Plummer Lake Road/Rattlesnake Rd.

Obey Center Is Now Open 5 Days A Week


The Obey Center will be open from 9:00 - 3:00 throughout the year on Wednesday thru Sunday.    They will be hosting classroom groups on Wednesdays and Thursdays as scheduled.  Rod Gont is looking for people to volunteer with the classroom groups throughout the school year.  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 3-person 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.

Adopt Your Own Trail Section


We are looking for a trail adopter for the trail section between Ice Age Trail Drive and 267th Ave. on the Chippewa Moraine segment.  This would involve walking this section at least 3 times per year (spring, summer, and fall) and doing minor cleanup.  Bigger issues, such as trees down over the trail, would be reported to Jerry Sazama for our sawyers or trail maintenance crew to take care of.  

If you are interested in being a trail adopter, or if you have questions about the job, please contact Vicki Christianson at:

Chapter Calendar 2023


Nov. 16  Virtual Volunteer Ramp Up - Zoom

Nov. 20  Annual Chapter Meeting   5:30  Chippewa Falls Library

2024 Calendar coming next month!

Time to RENEW Your Volunteer Agreement for 2023


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:   Please fill out the fillable form and email it to   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.  

New Trail Bridge at Brunet Island State Park


A new bridge has been installed on the Jean Brunet Trail on Brunet Island State Park. The old trail bridge was in rough shape.  The ramps onto the bridge had become very steep and difficult to go up and down, and the bridge was becoming unstable. Park Ranger Zach Thon and the Friends of Brunet Island State Park applied for a grant to replace the bridge. They received a grant, but not the full amount they asked for. There was enough money to purchase the materials, but not enough to pay for the construction.  Our chapter has an experienced bridge building crew led by Bruce France and Norm Card. Because the chapter has a strong partnership with Brunet Island State Park, we offered to build the bridge for them at no cost. Bruce worked with Zach to design the new bridge using IAT standards. The crew spent 3 full days to remove the old bridge and install the new bridge. The new bridge is longer than the old bridge and spans the channel.  Because the new bridge does not have posts in the water, it should last for many decades to come. 

New Cornell Segment


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 is installing a paved walkway this summer along the shoreline all the way to Park Road.  Until this is completed, please follow the gravel road that curves around parallel to the shoreline.  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.

Jim Kurz, Blue Hills Chapter Leader, Dies in Montana Flash Flood


Jim Kurz of the Blue Hills Chapter passed away at the age of 78.  He served as the Chapter Coordinator before Fred Nash.  He was currently the Chapter Treasurer.  He was on a canoe trip on the Missouri River in Montana.  His campsite near Bull Creek was hit by a flash flood.

Jim was born in Wisconsin Rapids in 1945.  He was class valedictorian at John Edwards High School in 1963.  He attended UW-Madison and graduated with a B.S. in Molecular Biology.  He earned a PhD from Vanderbilt University.  He did postdoctoral work at the University of Colorado.  Then he did medical research into cures for Cystic Fibrosis at the University of NC in Chapel Hill.  In 1985, he and his family moved to Ladysmith where he became a professor of Chemistry and Biology at Mount Senario College.

He was an avid environmentalist and outdoorsman.  He was extremely active in many local organizations including the Ice Age Trail- Blue Hills Chapter.   Our deepest sympathy to his family and friends, and to the many people whose lives he touched.