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.
It's time to nominate people for the "In the Mud" and "Spirit Stick" Awards. Please send your nomination forms to Kris prior to our November 20th meeting. We will be voting on the winners at our January meeting. Learn more about these awards here.
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.
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.
HIKE LEADERS NEEDED FOR "FIRST DAY HIKE" - The Department of Natural Resources sponsors First Day Hikes, and last year we led the pack with more than 80 participants. We will continue with the tradition of meeting at Hausmann Nature Center at the Lapham Peak Unit of the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest in Delafield. The Wisconsin state park entrance fee will be waived on this day.
For those of you who remember the polar vortex of 2014, you may recall that we didn't get much relief on January 1st, but that didn't stop the real die-hards from getting out to enjoy a beautiful hike during a gentle snowfall. The frigid temperatures made the hot chocolate and cider that much more enjoyable upon the return.
In anticipation of another record crowd on January 1, 2015, we are recruiting individuals who are willing to lead small groups. It is best to keep groups to 10 or fewer individuals. There isn't any special training involved, but just an awareness of each individual's abilities and willingness to work to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. Everyone will be following the same route and will be leaving at approximately the same time. It is just easier to handle smaller groups than to have one person in charge of 80 people. If you are willing to help with leading a small group, please contact us.
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.
Saturday, December 13th from 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Please join us for this year's Holiday Party. We love to volunteer, but we love to socialize, too! We will be gathering at the Hausmann Nature Center located at Lapham Peak in Delafield. If you haven't had an opportunity to see this facility yet, this is a perfect time to check it out. Come early, and try cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking, depending upon the weather conditions. The park has a huge variety of trails to choose from. We will have plenty of food and beverages to satisfy your needs after your outdoor workout. You do not have to be a member or a volunteer who attends our events on a regular basis. Everyone is welcome, and we would love to see some new faces and make new friends! There is more information on our Chapter's events calendar.
Thursday, November 20th at 7:00 pm - Please join us for a presentation by Ken Neitzke, on the history of the Ice Age Trail Alliance's Waukesha/Milwaukee County Chapter. We will be gathering at the Homestead Hollow Trecker Lodge located at the Lapham Peak Unit of the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest in Delafield. Nominations for the "In the Mud" recipients will be due, so we can vote at our Chapter meeting in January. More information on the IATA Awards Program can be found here. If you can not attend the meeting, but still wish to nominate someone, please send your nomination form to Kris. This award is only available to current members. There is more information, including a map, on our Chapter's events calendar.
Reminder: We will not be meeting during the month of December, but please know that you are welcome to join us for our December 13th Holiday Extravaganza. Everyone is welcome!
More information is available on our Chapter's events calendar.
Saturday, November 15th at 9:30 am - Please join us on the Waterville Segment for a 3.7 mile hike. There will be a return shuttle provided. This segment is rated moderate to medium difficulty but walking sticks are always recommended. Hunting season is underway in some parts of the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest, so consider that when you are out on the trails this time of year. Please wear comfortable hiking boots and bring along a camera!
Saturday, November 15th at 5:30 pm - One of our more popular hikes are those that end with a bonfire. Please join us at the Lapham Peak Unit of the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest near Delafield. A Wisconsin state park sticker is required. We will be meeting at the Evergreen Grove Shelter, which is right inside the park. The hike will be approximately 4 total miles in length. This hike is rated medium to difficult, so take that into consideration. It is a night hike, so a headlamp or flashlight will be needed. We will have a bonfire after the hike, so don't forget your camping chair.
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.
Click here for a flyer with information on the October 4th - December 13th Tyke Hikes. Each participant in the hikes will receive a certificate of accomplishment. There's more information about these hikes available on our Chapter's events calendar.
Saturday, November 22nd hike was cancelled due to hunting season.
Saturday, December 13th, 10:00 am - Our final Tyke Hike of 2014 will be at one of our favorite locations. The Lapham Peak Segment has approximately 300,000 visitors annually, as the park has a variety of trails to offer, including lit cross-country ski trails during the winter months. It also has a 45-foot observation tower, Evergreen Grove and Homestead Hollow Trecker shelters, restored prairies, four coldcache sites, a nature center that is open seasonally, and Summer Stage performances. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather during this winter hike. We hope to see you there!
If you are out on the Trail during the autumn 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.
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.
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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