‘Mammoth Walk’ A Highlight of National Trails Day
MADISON — A variety of trail activities are planned to take place across Wisconsin on National Trails Day, Saturday, June 7, but perhaps the most ambitious is an effort by the Ice Age Park & Trail Foundation to have people across the state hike the entire length of the Ice Age Trail in one day. The organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and on National Trails Day it is working with its member chapters and the public to collectively hike each mile of the trail in a one-day “Mammoth Walk.”
National Trails Day, celebrated the first Saturday in June each year, evolved from a President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors report in 1987 that recommended that all Americans be able to go out their front doors and within 15 minutes, be on trails that wind through their cities or towns and bring them back without retracing steps.
“While the feat of covering the whole trail in a day is a primary focus, on equal footing is the goal to introduce the Ice Age Trail to as many new people as possible,” says Andrew Hanson, Ice Age Trail specialist with the DNR and the foundation. “Given that the Trail is more than a thousand miles long, we have a lot of ground to cover in a day!”
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail (exit DNR) — one of only eight National Scenic Trails — is located entirely within Wisconsin. From Interstate State Park on the Minnesota border to Potawatomi State Park on Lake Michigan, the Ice Age Trail winds for more than 1,000 miles, following the edge of the last continental glacier in Wisconsin. While the Ice Age Trail is designated as a National Scenic Trail it is also designated a State Scenic Trail. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service and the Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation, work together cooperatively to develop and maintain the trail. Additionally many volunteers, county and local governments and private land owners assist the in developing and managing sections of the trail.
People who are interested in participating in the Mammoth Walk can contact the Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation by e-mail at [info [at] iceagetrail [dot] org] or by phone at 800-227-0046. More information on what‘s taking place along the trail is also available in the online events calendar on the foundation Web site at [www.iceagetrail.org] (exit DNR).
Other National Trails Day hikes and trail projects
The following are some additional events that will be taking place on National Trails Day:
- Blue Mound State Park, Blue Mounds, (608) 437-5711 – Trail Run. 6- and 15-kilometer runs. Start near the pool area. Trail Work Day. Preregister by email or at Madison REI store. Sponsored by REI.
- Capital City State Trail, Madison, (608) 224-3606 – Ride—Read—Learn. Self-guided educational walk or ride. Bring the family or yourself and enjoy a ride on the Capital City State Trail on National Trails Day (no trail pass required). Nearly 3 miles of the trail around Lake Farm Park will be marked with interpretive and educational material. The Friends of Capital Springs State Recreation Area will have a station at Lake Farm along the trail with water and park and trail information. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gear up for Kids. Part of this event will take place on the Capital City State Trail. With four courses to choose from, there is something for everyone – from avid cyclists looking for a good workout to families looking for an activity that’s both healthy and fun. Sponsored by the American Family Children’s Hospital. See the Gear up for Kids Web site or phone (608) 890-9308 for more information and to register.
- Havenwoods State Forest, Milwaukee, (414) 527-0232 – National Trails Day. Be one of thousands of people across the country who visits a park today to help maintain its trail system. Help Havenwoods staff keep our trails an inviting place for people to walk and explore. Please call to register. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. No admission sticker required.
- La Crosse River State Trail, Ontario, (608) 486-2154 or (800) 354-BIKE – National Trails Day Walk: Prairie Remnants. Leisurely guided walk on the trail with naturalist Bob Lee. Join us as we explore a few remnants of the area’s original plant community. Refreshments afterwards. Sponsored by Friends of the La Crosse River Trail and Sparta Chamber of Commerce. Meet at Sparta Depot, 111 Milwaukee Street, Sparta. 10 a.m.
- Military Ridge State Trail, Verona, (608) 437-7393 – Free Bike Safety Checks. Start the summer biking season with your bike tuned and ready to go. To celebrate National Trails Day, the Friends of the Military Ridge State Trail are sponsoring free bike safety checks at the Verona Trail Head, just off County Highway PB, east of Verona. The bike safety checks will be performed by REI from 8 a.m. to noon. Interpretive Bike Ride. There will be an interpretive bike ride from the Verona Trail Head (just off County Highway PB, east of Verona) to the town of Riley and back. Stops along the way will showcase such special topics as the wetlands, the terminal moraine, the turtle pond, the Sugar River and more. Ride begins at 9 a.m.
- Wildcat Mountain State Park, Ontario, (608) 337-4775 – National Trails Day Celebration – Camp hosts Frankie Fuller and Kent Wahlberg will give a presentation about National Trails Day before leading a hike on the Old Settlers Trail. Learn about how National Trails Day got started and why it continues. The hike is 2 1/2 miles long but a short cut will be available for those who wish to walk a shorter distance. Meet at the Wildcat Mountain State Park amphitheater; 10 a.m.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew Hanson – (608) 264-8915 or IAPTF – 608- 663-8278