Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Chequamegon National Forest, Wisconsin

The Ice Age Trail is a National Scenic Trail stretching 1,200 miles (1,900 km) in the state of Wisconsin in the United States.The trail is administered by the National Park Service,and is constructed and maintained by private and public agencies including the Ice Age Trail Alliance, a non-profit member- and volunteer-based organization with 21 local chapters.

The trail roughly follows the location of the terminal moraine from the last Ice Age. As the route traverses the moraine, it sometimes meanders into areas west of the moraine, including the Driftless Area in southwestern Wisconsin. The trail passes through 30 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, from the northwestern part of the state to the Lake Michigan shoreline in the east.The western end of the trail is at Interstate State Park along the St. Croix River, which is the border between northwestern Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. The eastern terminus of the Ice Age Trail lies at Potawatomi State Park, along Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula off of Sturgeon Bay.

Along its route, the trail crosses numerous local parks, state parks and forests, state wildlife and natural areas, and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The trail often coincides with other trails within various county and municipal parks. It passes through the land of various owners, including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Ice Age Trail Alliance, and hundreds of private citizens.

As of 2014, the trail was 1,197.7 miles (1,927.5 km) long. At one point, the trail separates into two just north of Devil’s Lake State Park. The western portion of trail, 92 miles (148 km) in length, is referred to as the Western Bifurcation. The Western Bifurcation consists mostly of proposed trail sections (though several miles of established trail do exist). The Western Bifurcation is rejoined by its 75 mile eastern counterpart near the town of Coloma. Though the eastern portion of the trail is more readily developed than its western counterpart, both are officially recognized portions of the Ice Age Trail and should be hiked as such. As of 2008, the trail consisted of 467 miles (752 km) of traditional hiking paths, 103.2 miles (166.1 km) of multi-use trails, and 529.3 miles (851.8 km) of connecting roads and sidewalks.

The Ice Age Trail is also host to one of only two designated National Side Trails, the Timms Hill National Trail. National Side Trails are national trails established by the National Trails System Act. The ten-mile Timms Hill Trail connects the Ice Age Trail with Timms Hill, Wisconsin’s highest point, which is located in Price County.

Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Chequamegon National Forest, Wisconsin

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