Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter
The Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter was established in 1984 and currently has approximately 330 members. We are responsible for maintaining 44.7 miles of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail between Monches (on the border of Washington County) and the Town of Eagle (on the border of Jefferson County). The Chapter regularly sponsors Ice Age Trail workdays and hikes which are listed below.
The Chapter meets the third Thursday of each month (except July and December) at 7:00 pm at the Homestead Hollow Trecker Lodge facility of the Lapham Peak Unit of the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest (driving directions). Occasionally, we will meet at a different location, so be sure to check the Chapter's calendar for location information. Our agenda always allows the opportunity for discussion of news and concerns beyond scheduled reports, and occasionally we have speakers with informative and entertaining programs at the meetings.
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2014 "In the Mud" Award Winners
Each year the Chapter votes on one or two individuals who have gone above and beyond the "call of duty" when it comes to the volunteer work they did throughout the year. This year, we are pleased to announce that Chris Miller and Jane Wester are the recipients of the prestigious "In the Mud" Award for their commitments to support and protect the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
Ice Age National Scenic Trail Displays
The Hausmann Nature Center, located in the Lapham Peak Unit of the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest, opened to the public in June, 2012. Our Chapter was invited by the Friends of Lapham Peak, to have an interpretive display that would educate the nature center visitors about the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The display is located along the west wall on the second floor, so be sure to check it out the next time you are visiting Delafield. The nature center is only open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm between June 1st and October 31st. Photos of the display
The Evergreen Grove Shelter is just inside the entrance of Lapham Peak and it is open year-round, so we thought this would be a good spot for a second display. This is a heavily used facility in the park during the Summer months because of the Summer Stage productions, prairies, and great hiking trails available. The shelter is a popular stomping ground during the Winter months, too, when snowshoers and cross country skiers stop in to warm up next to the fireplace.
The Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest Headquarters is located west of Eagle on Hwy 59, and has a wonderful gift shop and museum. The Walworth/Jefferson County Chapter had an Ice Age Trail display located inside the entryway for many years, but like everything else, it needed some sprucing up because of aging. We partnered with them to create a new and improved display, so have a look the next time you're out that way. Hop on the Ice Age Trail while you're out there, and take in the scenery.
Say "Hi" to our friends at Clear Water Outdoor, located just a little more than a mile north of Lapham Peak on Cty C, in downtown Delafield. While you're there purchasing your next pair of snowshoes or hiking boots, check out our display.
If you would like to make a financial contribution to our "display" fund, please contact Russ.
TRAIL MONITORS - The Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter relies very heavily on volunteers to maintain the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, and report any trail issues so they can be addressed quickly. Any signs of vandalism should especially be reported immediately, so we can increase our presence in any vulnerable areas. If you have a problem to report, please contact Pat. You can also fill out a Trail Report, and if you have questions about what to watch for, we have a guide to assist you. To learn how you can get involved, please visit our Adopt-a-Trail Program page.
MOWERS - With close to 25 miles of Trail that needs to be mowed several times during the Spring, Summer, and Fall months, we can always use some extra hands to help with the mowing duties. We supply the equipment, including the trailer, but a vehicle with a hitch is necessary. If you think you may enjoy running a brush mower and have a few hours to spare, please consider this volunteer opportunity. The time commitment depends on the weather, and how much rainfall we experience. Training is provided, and we recommend going out with a partner for safety reasons. Plus, it's a lot more fun with someone to share the work with.
HIKE COORDINATORS AND LEADERS - We are in need of people who are willing to coordinate and lead hikes. We have seen a steady increase in the number of hiking participants recently. That means we could use help with organizing hikes, educating people on plantlife and geological formations along the Trail, and answering questions that may arise. Training will be provided. If you enjoy exploring the Southern Kettle Moraine area and sharing your knowledge of the great outdoors with others, please consider becoming a volunteer hike leader.
GREETERS AT MEETINGS - Greeters are a vital part to making people feel welcome at our Chapter meetings. They are asked to arrive about 30 minutes before the meeting to hand out nametags, ask people to sign in, and answer any questions newcomers may have. This has been very successful and we are always looking for new faces at the door.
GREETERS AT HAUSMANN NATURE CENTER - Volunteers are needed every Saturday and Sunday from June - October to greet visitors, answer questions about exhibits, operate the gift shop area, and assist children in the Kids' Corner. The hours of operation will be 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm. Two people will be on duty at all times, and self-scheduling can be done via a Google spreadsheet. This is a great opportunity to meet Lapham Peak visitors, learn new skills, and share the wonderful features of this beautiful building and surrounding scenic views. Orientation is provided. If this is something that interests you, please contact Louise via email, or call 262-646-8583.
Thursday, October 16th at 6:30 pm - NEW LOCATION AND TIME!!! Occasionally, we like to change the location to provide our Milwaukee County members with a closer facility to travel to. This also give us an opportunity to connect with other environmental organizations, such as the Urban Ecology Center. Last year, we met at the UEC located in the Riverside Park, but this year, we're going to explore the new Menomonee Valley location. Luke Kloberdanz, from the Ice Age Trail Alliance will be our guest speaker, and he will be sharing ways the Ice Age Trail Alliance is working to engage youth, community groups, school personnel and families to build the next generation of Ice Age Trail stewards. We will have snacks and beverages afterwards, so feel free to stick around. If you would like to share your favorite treat, we won't turn you away! Anyone interested in being a greeter at this, or any of our meetings, can contact Kris for details on what is needed. There is more information on our Chapter events calendar.
More information is available on our Chapter's events calendar. Click for a flyer listing some of our Summer and Fall hikes.
Sunday, October 5th at 10:00 am -
Join us for a morning trek on the beautiful Monches Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. We will hike from the border of the Washington and Waukesha Counties. Please bring a water bottle, snacks/lunch, insect repellent and camera. Wear comfortable hiking boots and dress appropriately for the weather. Leashed dogs are welcome, but must remain under the owner's control at all times when on the Ice Age Trail. At 1:00 we will head over to the Monches Farm in Colgate for their annual "Fall Open House", which features locally grown specialty bakery and farm produce, cheeses, honey, pumpkins, gourds, local artisans, and entertainment.
Future Dates, Times and Locations for Hikes are:
Saturday, October 11th at 9:30 am - Hartland Segment Sunday, October 26th at 9:30 am - Stony Ridge Segment Saturday, November 15th at 9:30 am- Waterville Segment Saturday, November 15th at 5:30 pm - Lapham Peak Segment
Tyke Hikes are short, slow-paced hikes promoting nature and family hiking in an outdoor educational setting. Families with small children are encouraged to come learn about Wiconsin's outdoors and experience portions of our treasured Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Each session will begin with a short lesson about a particular natural topic before families head out to explore the trails and enjoy time together. Each hike is scheduled to last approximately one hour in length and between 1 - 1.5 miles. All tykes who participate in an event, will receive a certificate of accomplishment.
Saturday, October 4th at 1:30 pm - Lapham Peak Segment - This is the same day as the "Colorama" event, so if you would like to come early and participate in that, or act as a spectator please do! The Fall colors should be spectacular. We will be starting our Tyke Hike after the Run/Walk, so stick around. We will be hiking for a total of approximately 1.5 miles out and back through a forested area. This leisurely trek will offer an opportunity to take pictures and enjoy the tranquility that will surround you. Be sure to bring water, a snack, and a camera along. Following the hike, we will tour the Kids' Corner and check out other displays, including the one for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, at the Hausmann Nature Center. There's more information about this hike available on our Chapter's events calendar.
Future Dates, Times, and Locations for Tyke Hikes are:
Saturday, October 18th at 10:00 am - Hartland Segment Saturday, December 13th, 10:00 am - Lapham Peak Segment
If you are out on the Trail during the fall and winter months, please use caution when you are in areas where hunting is allowed. Be sure to wear bright colors, and if you take your dog with you, he must be leashed and under the owner's control at all times. It is recommended that a bright colored scarf or other garment be placed on the dog as well. Leashes can not exceed 8 feet in length, or 6 feet on Waukesha County property year-round. Click herefor leash regulations. Here are more from the Ice Age Trail Alliance to follow during hunting season.
"Walk the Wauk" Program
The Chapter's Walk the Wauk program rewards hikers who have walked all Ice Age Trail segments in the Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter's territory. Download the brochure to learn how you can join the ranks of "Walk the Waukers". Once you have completed the program, you will receive a"Walk the Wauk" patch and Ice Age Trail Alliance sticker, as well as a certificate. If you or your family would like to be highlighted for your accomplishment of completing the Walk the Wauk program, please contact us.
For additional photos of each segment, click on the links below.
Don't forget to stop at the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest Headquarters near Eagle. They have a wonderful nature center that features a museum, auditorium, and gift shop.
Saturday, October 18th from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm - We will be working on constructing new trail in the Scuppernong Segment near Eagle. This will be improving the hiking experience for our visitors. Please join us if you would like to participate in a land stewardship project, and learn how to build a sustainable foot-path. All tools and training will be provided. An RSVP is requested, and more information is available on our Chapter's events calendar, so please be sure to check it out! We hope to see you there. The Fall colors should be spectacular, so bring your camera along and enjoy the view while you work!
There are smaller local groups that go out to the field on a regular basis. Pat is also working with local school and other community groups on an individual basis. If you know of an organization that is interested in participating in land stewardship projects, or if you would like to know more about the smaller groups working, please contact Pat.
Saturday, September 20th, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm - Retzer Nature Center's 28th Annual Apple Harvest Festival. This is one of our favorite events to participate in. There will be crafts for the kids, live music, guided nature hikes, horse-drawn wagon rides, and so much more to see and do. Be sure to stop over and visit our volunteers at the Ice Age Trail gazebo. If you are interested in volunteering for this event, contact Kris.
We welcome the opportunity to bring our volunteers and our promotional materials to any outreach event that is environmentally or community focused. Please contact us if you have an event you would like us to participate in.
- Chapter Communication Coordinator - Kris
- Volunteer Coordinator - Yvonne
- Public Outreach Coordinator - Jane
- Treasurer & Hike Coordinator - Russ
- Hike Coordinator - Becky
- Tike Hike Coordinator - Peter
- Trail Coordinator & Thru-Hiker Liaison - Pat (262-490-3515)
- Secretary - Kevin
- Membership Coordinator - Judy
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