Get hiking during National Trails Day

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Ellen Davis | May 23, 2017

The Walworth/Jefferson County Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance will host two  public hiking events in celebration of National Trails Day on June 3.

The annual National Trails Day hike on the Ice Age Trail will be held Saturday, June 3 at 8 a.m. Participants should meet at the IAT tent by the Rice Lake shelter parking lot off State Park Road near the Department of Natural Resources station on Kettle Moraine Drive to hike all or part of the 20-mile Ice Age Trail section ending at the Emma Carlin Trails on County Highway Z.  

Sturdy shoes and long pants are advised. Hikers are also should bring water, snacks, lunch, sunscreen, bug spray, and a hat.

Shuttle drivers will be available at 2.7, 4.7, 9, 12, and possibly 16 miles along the route, to return tired hikers to their vehicles at Rice Lake. Rest rooms or portable toilets will be available at five locations along the trail; a lunch stop is planned for Oleson Cabin, 9.8 miles into the hike. Shuttle drivers will have extra water, and water will also be available at two locations along the route.

“This will be a guided hike on the scenic, narrow, twisty, rocky Ice Age Trail over numerous hills of various sizes,” said Ellen Davis, a member of the Walworth/Jefferson County Chapter of the IATA. “It travels through hardwood forests, pine plantations, and oak savannahs, passes a picturesque little lake and several kettle ponds, crosses a rolling prairie or two, climbs a bluff, hugs the top of a steep esker, and passes through historic rock-walled field boundaries before reaching the end point of the hike at the Emma Carlin Trails.”

For more information, contact hike leader Andy Whitney at 262-949-0286.

A Mammoth Tracks kids' hike will also be held on Saturday, June 3 at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Participants should meet at the Ice Age Trail canopy at the Rice Lake shelter parking lot.

Older kids can choose a guided hike to the creek (2.2 miles) or up the bluff to the lookout (1.8 miles). A limited number of hand-peeled hiking sticks will be awarded to participants. 

Long pants, sturdy shoes, bug spray, and sunscreen recommended, and parents are welcome to hike, too. Nature exploration activities are available for toddlers and little kids. Contact Barb Converse at 262-473-7304.

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