Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail, or IAT, winds some 1,150 miles around the state. The trail traces the terminal moraine of the last glaciation, which ended some 12,000 years ago. The IAT encompasses woodlands, prairie and farm fields, plus runs along the shore of Lake Michigan.
There are only 11 National Scenic Trails in the nation, and the Ice Age Trail is one of them. So that’s a really big deal for Wisconsin and the Midwest, which national media often derive as “flyover country.” In addition, of those 11 National Scenic Trails, only three lie entirely in one state, and the Ice Age Trail is one of those as well. (The other two are the Florida Trail and Arizona Trail.)
Hiking Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail
As with any other long-distance trail, there are a lot of things you can research before hitting the trail. For example, should you wear hiking shoes or boots? Or do you need a hiking umbrella? What are the best camp shoes to use? Or where can I find hotels/motels if I’m not a camper? You’ll find lots of answers on this website, plus you can always contact me. You see, I’m a huge backer of the Ice Age Trail and so I am always happy to help.
Oh, and don’t forget to join the Thousand Miler WannaBes Facebook page. You’ll find loads of friendly hikers there who are willing to give advice, trail shuttles, be hiking companions and so much more.
Another thought: while the Ice Age Trail doesn’t have many trail logs along the way, make sure to stop in at the Ice Age Trail Alliance headquarters in Cross Plains, and also at the ranger office at the western terminus in St. Croix Falls. I’ve placed beautiful, leather-bound trail logs there, but hikers don’t always see them.
Finally, if you’re interested in guided hikes, give me a holler. I’ve started doing these on the IAT and these hikes are loads of fun.