Contact(s): Pam Schuler, National Park Service (608) 441-5610
Kris Hess, DNR (715) 623-4190
MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource, the National Park Service, and the Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation (IAPTF) will be holding two "open house" meetings to present to the public a proposed Ice Age National Scenic Trail (NST) "corridor of opportunity" within which a route for the trail would eventually be established.
The proposed corridor includes several possible route options for southern Langlade County. A weekday meeting is scheduled to take place from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10, at the Polar Town Hall, with presentations to explain the proposed Ice Age NST corridor and route options taking place at 4:30 and 6 p.m. A weekend meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rolling Town Hall with presentations scheduled to take place at 10:30 a.m. and noon.
Throughout the open house meetings, staff and volunteers from the NPS, IAPTF, and WDNR will be available to answer questions and explain the location of the proposed corridor and its significant features. Members of the public will have an opportunity to review maps and aerial photos of the proposed Ice Age NST corridor, make comments, and suggestions. Comments also may be submitted electronically by logging on to Planning, Environbment, and Public Comment (exit DNR). After receiving comments, a Trailway Plan and Environmental Assessment will be developed in order to comply with federal and state environmental laws.
In addition, each meeting will feature special presentations focusing on the Ice Age Trail. At the Polar meeting, participants will learn about the history of the Ice Age Trail in Langlade County and the many wonderful opportunities to "get out, explore and experience" the trail locally. The program will highlight some of the many hikes organized by local volunteers. The Town of Rolling event will feature a presentation by a long distance hiker, providing an opportunity for the public to meet someone who has already hiked the entire length of the Ice Age Trail and seen much of Wisconsin one step at a time.
The proposed Ice Age NST corridor averages 3 to 5 miles in width and will focus the efforts of the various partners, volunteers, agencies, and organizations working to complete the trail in Langlade County. The proposed corridor is wider than what is actually needed for the trail (50 - 1,000 feet) in order to allow enough flexibility to work with a number of landowners to successfully complete the trail, since all participation in the Ice Age Trail project is voluntary.
Langlade County already contains about 54 miles of existing Ice Age Trail on both public and private lands. These segments were built and are maintained by volunteers from the IAPTF Langlade County Chapter. When completed, there will be between 70-75 miles of the Ice Age NST in the county, traversing significant geological and natural resource features.
The Ice Age NST was authorized by Congress in 1980. When completed, the trail will be a footpath that covers approximately 1,200 miles across the state of Wisconsin, tracing features left by the last glacier that swept over Wisconsin more than 10,000 years ago.
For additional information about the Langlade County Open Houses, including specific information about event schedules and locations, please contact the National Park Service office in Madison at 608-441-5610.