Scenic USA - Wisconsin

Ice Age Trail

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Eastern Terminus of the Ice Age Trail - Potawatomi State Park, Wisconsin

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     A mere 15,000 years ago in geological time, Canada and northern United States Ice Age Trail Sign - Eastern Terminuslay under an enormous sheet of ice. Glacial effects are seen across New England, New York's Finger Lakes and the Great Lakes Region, but nowhere are they more impressive than in Wisconsin. Here, the most recent glacial activities ceased about 10,000 years ago. Western Terminus - Interstate State Park Ice Age Reserve Unit, WI
     At one time glacial ice covered nearly two-thirds of Wisconsin, prompting the late Ray Zillmer to propose an Ice Age Glacier National Forest Park in 1950. An avid hiker, Zillmer visualized a trail, such as the Appalachian Trail, so visitors could explore Wisconsin's glacial landscape. Although the Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation was set up in 1958, only short sections of the trail were in place by the mid 1970s. Designated as a National Scenic Trail in 1980, the National Parks Service began working in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to develop and maintain more segments of the trail.
     Just north of Green Bay in Door County, the eastern terminus of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail Ica Age Trail Western Terminus Sign is located in Potawatomi State Park. Here the trail follows former shorelines of Lake Michigan and the crest of eskers. After passing the bog country of Manitowoc County, the trail continues over the rolling hills of the Kettle Moraine for more than 100 miles. Although far from complete, segments of the proposed 1200 mile trail meander throughout the state and end at the Minnesota border. Here, the trail winds through Wisconsin's Dairy Country, terminating at the Interstate State Park Ice Age Reserve Unit at the Dallas of the St Croix River.

      Trail Map and Conditions


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