The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a nearly 1,200 mile long hiking trail located entirely within Wisconsin. It is one of only eleven National Scenic Trails in the country. The trail roughly follows the location of the terminal moraine from the last Ice Age.
Today my friend Dale and I started out on 20 mile day hike to kick off the start of our attempts to section hike the entire Ice Age Trail. We started at the Eastern Terminus which is located in the Potawatomi State Park on Sturgeon Bay. The trail starts at the foot of the parks 75-foot observation tower; situated atop a 150-foot dolomite bluff with views of Sturgeon Bay. From the tower our hiking continues along the shoreline of Sturgeon Bay and among the bedrock outcrops of the Niagara Escarpment.
Exiting Potawatomi State Park we followed a well-blazed street route through the historic shipbuilding town of Sturgeon Bay. Wonderful views of the bay from Bayview Park and then along Sturgeon Bay Canal where we saw the remains of an old freighter poking out of the water.
As we passed by an Irish Pub we had to stop for a beer. Next we made our way to the Ahnapee State Trail, which as a multi-use rail-trail on the route of the old Ahnappee & Western Railroad. From here the trail passes through farmland, meadows, grasslands and wooded lots. Hiking passed Maplewood Swamp the water level comes within inches of the trail and the air is filled with the sounds of peepers.
At mile 13 we transitioned from the Sturgeon Bay segment to the Forestville Segment where the Ice Age Trail/Ahnapee State Trail continues to Forestville Dam County Park. Lots of wildlife including signs of fox dens, coyote prints, a dead deer, a porcupine, lots of animal bones, and many many colorful birds. We had staged a car at the Dam and this completes day one of our Ice Age Trail Adventure of about 20 miles.