Dane County Chapter

Whether you are a seasoned hiker or someone looking for an easy guided stroll in the woods, the Dane County Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance has something for you. If you are looking for Trail Maps, Click Here or explore the links at left.

Although the trail is overseen by the U.S. National Park Service, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is built and maintained by volunteers.  Trails don't maintain themselves!  As one of the original IATA chapters, we sponsor many activities throughout the year to help maintain the trail and the surrounding landscapes, with at least one event on most weekends.  Click on the following text to see our Dane County Chapter EVENTS CALENDAR and WORK DAY SCHEDULE.

Many of our workdays are devoted to restoring and caring for the prairie, savanna and forested lands hosting the trail.  These workdays can be a great way to enhance your enjoyment of the trail by learning about the lands and ecological communities it traverses.  We also offer trail building and trail maintenance outings, and hikes and interpretive walks. Check out our on-line Chapter Events calendar (link at left) for all the details, including map links, for upcoming chapter outings and workdays.  And if you are coming to a workday, especially for the first time, Helpful Information for Workday Volunteers will tell you what to bring and what to expect.

You may also want to help watch over or maintain a section of trail on your own time, in which case we can train you and let you know what is appropriate and needed.  Contact the Chapter Coordinator, Tom Gross, 608-347-5154, ta144@tds.net, if you want to discuss possible volunteer options.

Take a Hike!

You don't need to wait for a special event to hike the trail in Dane County.  On most segments here you will find wonderful long views interspersed with woods, along with serenity and solitude, surprisingly even where settlement is very nearby.  Click on the Hike the Chapter link at left for detail about specific sections.  For an overview of loop options permitting a hike back to your entry point without retracing all of you steps, see the Summer 2011 edition of the Ice Age Drift (link below).  The 2011 story remains accurate except for its statement that Brooklyn State Wildlife Area segment deadends north of Hwy D.  In 2012, volunteers completed the trail between Hwy D and Frenchtown Road, and that new section is now part of the Montrose Segment.

Dane Drifter Hiking Award Program

Do you want to hike all of the Ice Age Trail in Dane County? Sign up to become a Dane Drifter, get some extra map aids and walk all of the IAT sections in Dane County. As a reward, you'll receive a patch plus recognition for your achievement. You can take as much time as you'd like to finish and enjoy the intrinsic rewards along the way.

There is a small fee, and you need to complete the registration form. The form includes additional details, as well as a log for recording your progress. You can contact Gary or Kristi at kensinginn@tds.net for more information.

Be sure to check out the Current Issue of our Ice Age Drift newsletter:

Winter 2014

Past Issues

Chapter Contacts

For more information on chapter activities and/or hiking the Ice Age Trail in this region, contact the volunteer chapter coordinator:

Tom Gross
Cross Plains, WI
608-347-5154
ta144@tds.net

Our other chapter officers for 2014 are Tom Wise, co-coordinator, 608 843-8053, wise@physics.wisc.edu, and Anne Helsley-Marchbanks, treasurer, 608 231-3479, ahelsley@wisc.edu.  We are still looking for a chapter secretary; contact any of our officers if interested.

Thousand-Miler WannaBe & Hikers' Helpers

For those hiking through Dane and Green counties, contact Tess Mulrooney (tlmmdsn@aol.com) for "Trail Angel" assistance. Tess can also connect you with new hiking pals who are exploring the entire Ice Age Trail year-round, piecing together the dashed line one segment at a time.

Help Maintain a section of the Ice Age Trail

Like the other national scenic trails, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is built and maintained by volunteers.  We can use your help - for a morning, for a few days a year, or on a more regular basis.  You can help at various locations, or help us keep an eye on one or two particular miles of trail. If you want to come out and try a bit of Ice Age Trail volunteering, see our Dane County Chapter Events Calendar and Work Day Schedule.  Feel free as well to contact the Chapter Coordinator, Tom Gross, 608-347-5154, ta144@tds.net, to discuss possible volunteer options.  More trail maintainers are always needed.

Mower Sign-Out Pages

For trained volunteers only: Please before using sign out the Billy Goat mower, large DR mower, or DR brush cutter/trimmer.