Wisconsin – Ice Age Trail Alliance

Trail Construction and Stewardship of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail



The Ice Age Trail Alliance will conduct large-scale volunteer events resulting in 3 new miles of sustainable trail and 5 additional miles substantively improved. Elevated boardwalks totaling 800 feet, 4 bridges and numerous rock retaining walls will protect fragile resources in remote, glacial terrain. The Ice Age Trail Alliance’s Mobile Skills Crew program, a volunteer leadership and trailbuilding effort, will educate and empower 275 volunteers who will contribute approximately 5,000 hours.


Project Description

This project will occur on adjoining segments of the Ice Age Trail in Taylor County, Wisconsin. The purpose of the project is to maintain and improve about five miles of existing trail in Taylor County Forest (Wood Lake Segment) and reestablish a portion of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (Rib Lake Segment) by constructing three miles of new trail on county and conservation lands. Both sites are heavily wooded and feature rolling to steep topography with pockets of wetland. Public access is available from multiple locations including four established trailheads. County Forest lands are managed per the Taylor County Comprehensive Plan by the County Forest Administrator, and Forestry and Recreation Citizen Committee provides input. Ice Age Trail Alliance properties and easements are monitored by staff annually.

Wood Lake Segment trail alignment problems will be addressed through the following solutions:

•Rerouting a portion of the trail near Gus Johnson Creek. This section is currently impassable due to beaver activity, and hikers are forced to road walk around a beautiful area.
•Repairing and/or replacing two existing boardwalks and constructing one clear span bridge with elevated approach ramps.
•Constructing trail drainage features with native materials.
•Upgrading trail signage for five miles.
•Clearing the trail corridor of overgrown brush.
•Maintaining existing trail tread.

On the Rib Lake Segment, three miles of new trail corridor will be cleared and sustainable tread constructed. Additional trail improvements include:

•Constructing three or more rock fords and multiple rock retaining walls.
•Constructing as many as 8 boardwalks totaling 550 feet.
•Building one 24-foot clear span bridge with boardwalk approaches.
•Installing trail signage.

The Alliance will work collaboratively with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, National Park Service, and Taylor County Forestry to assure all compliance and permitting issues are addressed. The Alliance will also continue partnerships with the Medford and Rib Lake school districts and New Vision Wilderness, an outdoor-based therapy program.

Trail work on the Rib Lake and Wood Lake segments continues a multi-year effort to reestablish and improve the Ice Age National Scenic Trail through Taylor County, Wisconsin. The Rib Lake and Wood Lake portions of the project will begin in March 2016 and conclude in August 2016. The Alliance will host large-scale multi-day Mobile Skills Crew program trail improvement events and engage local volunteers to achieve these outcomes. Ongoing maintenance will be performed by Ice Age Trail Alliance’s High Point Chapter volunteers with staff direction. By August 2016, newly built and upgraded Ice Age Trail in Taylor County will offer terrific opportunities for hikers, cross country skiers, snowshoes, primitive camping and glacial education.

American Hiking Society - Green Michelob_ULTRA_Logo_Primary