Ice Age Trail Winter Hike

img_3122Yes! Finally, a weekend without tons of stuff going on, certainly I can find a couple of hours for a hike. I did yesterday! I hiked 6 miles on the Ice Age Trail in the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest of Wisconsin. It was a great day to get out for a winter hike. Not too cold at 26° F and lightly snowing when I arrived at the trailhead. Before I started my hike, I helped to free car that was stuck in the snow of the unplowed trailhead parking lot. If you decide to come here be prepared, do not try parking in the lot right at the trailhead if you are driving a car with low ground clearance, I have seen people park on the road directly across Highway P from the trailhead.

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin is not yet complete, with only about 600 miles of blazed trail segments out of the 1200 miles of total length. For more information about the Ice Age Trail, check out the Ice Age Trail Alliance website at www.iceagetrail.org.

img_3121My afternoon hike encompassed only a short piece of this great trail totaling about 6 miles. Walking south from the Highway P Trailhead near Glenbeulah to State Highway 23 and then following the same route back to the truck. This completely wooded section of trail has an elevation gain of about 365 feet. There is no shortage of great views along this hike. The first two miles the trail follows hardwood ridges, with great views overlooking wooded valleys on both sides. The third mile brings you into thick pine stands and the Aspen Reforestation area before coming out of the woods where the trail crosses Highway 23.

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This is the first time I have done this hike in winter. It is always neat to take in an area during different seasons. In the winter, you notice things that you cannot see in summer when there are leaves on the trees limiting how far you can see. Winter in any woods is special for many reasons; you can easily see the tracks where the wildlife walk and the picturesque views of snow hanging in tree branches is simply awesome. The trail conditions are really nice right now. Snowshoes are not required, but there is just enough snow that they would definitely be helpful.

 

At the end of the day I felt great having finally gotten out for a hike this winter (it’s been way too long). I recommend to anyone getting out and spending some time in nature especially as the winter drags on, there is plenty of natural beauty to cleanse and rejuvenate your body and mind. Don’t forget to Like my Wild Stewardship Facebook page, and check out my website www.wildstewardship.com.map