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Langlade County News

10 miles of Ice Age Trail Here to be Rerouted, Volunteers Sought

October 5, 2018

A project to reroute the Ice Age Trail section known as the Old Railroad Segment will begin Tuesday, and volunteers are needed to help.

With the support of the Antigo Rotary Club Foundation, and the Langlade County Forestry Department, a 10-mile segment of the trail will be moved to allow the expansion of the Augustyn Springs-Bass Lake all-terrain vehicle trail between County Highway A and State Highway 45.

According to Tim Malzhan, Ice Age Trail Alliance director of trail operations, the reroute is necessary because a multi-use segment no longer complies with county, state, and federal provisions requiring the Ice Age Trail be open to foot-travel recreation only.

“The second reason addresses needed Ice  Age Trail upgrades and highlights the beauty of the glacial landscape of Langlade County for users of the Ice Age Trail,” he said. “The new route has been thoughtfully designed to improve public access and provide for silent sport and motorized recreation. For the land, and for those whose livelihood and solace depend on the land, it’s a win-win.”

Beginning Tuesday and continuing through Sunday, over 100 Ice Age Trail volunteers from near and far will gather for a week of special times and dedicated Ice Age trail-building in the Langlade County Forest.

This Ice Age Trail Alliance (IATA) Mobile Skills Crew event, planned cooperatively with the Langlade County Forestry Department, will showcase hidden gems that even the most dedicated woodsmen may not know exist: towering old growth white pines, stands of stately Hemlock that invite a moments rest, and a peaceful lake that knows no name. 

They will be joined on Friday, Oct. 12 by members of the Antigo Rotary Club, with assistance from the Rotary Foundation, will fund and construct a bridge and elevated walkways over a wetland the new segment crosses.

The local club is providing $6,401 with District 6220 adding an additional $2,599.

“The ultimate beneficiary is the Ice Age Trail Alliance and the many hikers who walk this historic trail,” Brian Prunty of the Antigo Rotary Club, said. “The new trail segment will traverse a remarkable, magical old growth stand of white pine, which will enhance the trail’s aesthetics, making for a richer hiker experience.”

Malzahn agreed.

“Reimagining the Old Railroad Segment leads us to craft a more scenic and more sustainable route for the Ice Age Trail on Langlade County Forest land,” he said. “Building the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to current standards isn’t easy, but it is rewarding for the volunteers who care for and bring the trail to life, and for the 1.5 million people who use the Ice Age Trail every year.”

Throughout the trail-building event, volunteers will gather each morning at 8 a.m. at Veteran’s Memorial Park at Jack Lake, Volunteers are welcome to attend some or all of this event as personal schedules allow. No previous experience is necessary. There will be roles for all ages and all abilities.

Trail work ends by 4 p.m. each day and Sunday at noon. Camping has been provided for Ice Age Trail volunteers at Veteran’s Memorial Park by the county during the event. The IATA will provide food, tools, trained and experienced leadership.

To volunteer, registering online at www.iceagetrail.org/event/mobile-skills-crew-old-railroadsegment-langlade-county/.To help with planning, volunteers are asked to register by Friday.

In addition to the October event, local volunteers are needed to help with ongoing maintenance of Ice Age Trail segments in Langlade County. Those who would like to get involved should contact Joe Jopek, Langlade County volunteer chapter coordinator (715-623-2645, jjjopekj@frontier.com).

Source: Antigo Daily Journal, October 3, 2018 edition

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