Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Ice Age Trail Completion Celebration

My Ice Age Trail Quest is ending. Well, maybe not because the Ice Age Trail will always be there for me to hike. I have completed the 1100 mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail. That calls for a Celebration. Join me for a hike and lunch on Sunday, January 4 at the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The festivities will begin at 11 am with the hike. We will be meeting at the Tower Parking Lot

What will you need? 
You will need a State Park Pass for 2015. It’s a new year so you might as well get one to enjoy for the whole year. You will also need to wear appropriate clothing for hiking in the winter. We are expecting the Ice Age Trail to be icy for the hike, so wear good boots that have traction. You may also want to bring tractions aid such as a Yak Trak, Du North, Kattula or Ice Trekkers. If you have snowshoes bring them just in case. If it snows the day or two before the event we may need people with snowshoes to lead the way and pack down the trail for the people who don’t have snowshoes.

Other details 
If the weather is too bad the event will be canceled. Check on Tman’s Ice Age Trail Website ( for information on whether it’s canceled. Also, please let me know that you are planning to attend this event, so I knows how many people to plan for. My email address is The lunch will be at a nearby restaurant.

So how does it feel to have completed the whole trail? Well, it hasn’t really hit me yet.

Now I’m just going to post a bunch of photos of my Ice Age Trail experiences.
Here they are in no particular order

At the Portage/Marathon County Line
Grandfather Falls
At the Aldo Leopold Shack with Nimblewill Nomad

At the Lincoln Taylor County Line with Jared
Brooklyn Wildlife Area
Gilbralter Rock

First Hike with Jared, Green County

The Bevent Road Rock, Marathon County

Hiking by the Bogus Swamp in Langlade County

In Brill, Wicsonsin, near Rice Lake

Pulpwood stacker in Cornell with Jeff and Jared

Bohn Lake near Hancock with Bernard and Gail

Will and Jared

V is for Valders

In the Harrison Hills with Will, Gloria, Tess and Jared

Old bridge converted into a hiking bridge, in Manitowoc

Kewaunee Custard, you gotta stop there

Hiking in Marquette County with Dan, Gail, Elizabeth and Bernard

hiking in Hartland with Kevin

Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest with Will and Bernard

Jared hiking along Grandfathers Dam

Mission Lake County Park in Marathon County

Lower Cato Falls in Manitowoc County

Indian Lake County Park in Dane County with Bernard

Straight Lake State Park With Kassie and Sean

Backpacking in the Chequamegon National Forest with Mike, Mike, Mike, Jon and Ingar

Rusk County Roadwalk with Jared

Cornell Pulpwood Stacker with Will and Jared

Stone Elephant in the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest with Jared

Point Beach State Forest
With the Eagle Sculpture near Two Rivers
With the Sunbathing Alligator on Table Bluff
At the Ice Age Trail Headquarters in Cross Plains
At the Eastern Terminus in Potowatomi State Park
Sturgeon Bay
In Kewaunee with Holly
At the Hatley Librairy with Andrea
At the Game Lake Boardwalk with Tess, Gloria, Elizabeth, Will and Jared
At the Hillbilly Hilton in Langlade County with Elizabeth, Gloria, Will and Jared
On the Merrimac Ferry

Valders, Wisconsin with Will

Monday, August 25, 2014

Have your own Minnesota Hiking Celebration!

The Minnesota Hiking Celebration is over, but you can still have your own celebration in the near future. All you need to do is to plan a hike in Minnesota.  And since I have hiked around 600 miles of the North Country Trail, including it’s affiliated trails the Superior Hiking Trail, Border Route Trail and Kekekabic Trail, I’m one of the best persons to coach you on your trip.  Please Copy and paste all links in this article.

The First thing you need to do is to get a Guidebook for the section of Trail you are interested in hiking.  The NCT in Minnesota now has complete coverage of the trail thanks to the new book called “The Guide to the North Country Trail in Minnesota.”  That book has detailed information and maps for the NCT in North Central and North Western Minnesota from Remer, Minnesota to near Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.  It has detailed information about the NCT in the Chippewa National Forest, Paul Bunyan State Forest, Itasca State Park, White Earth State Forest and Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge.  And for full disclosure, I am the book’s Map Illustrator.  It is available at the NCT’s online shop:

The Kekekabic Trail, Border Route Trail, and Superior Hiking Trail all have produced updated versions of their Guidebooks over the last few years.  All are excellent resources for planning a hike or backpacking trip.  Go to their websites, and to order those guidebooks.  Also, if you are living in the Twin Cities Area, Midwest Mountaineering usually carries all those guidebooks.

If you want to cover more ground, having a shuttle that takes you back to your car is the way to go.  Then you don’t need to cover the same ground twice by doing an out and back to your car.  Although, in some places, like Lake Waboose, there is a really nice loop so you can get back to your car at the end of the loop.  But now we are going to talk about shuttles.  As far as the Superior Hiking Trail is concerned the Superior Shuttle, which operates on the weekends from Two Harbors to Grand Marais is the most popular. For the details check their website here   

For Shuttling in the Duluth Area you can actually use the city bus system in some cases.   Beth Gauper of wrote an excellent article that explains how to use buses for the SHT in Duluth.  Check it out here:    

For specialized Shuttles for the Superior Hiking Trail and Border Route Trail in the Grand Marais Area, contact Harriet Quarles Transportation at 218-370-9164

For shuttles for the Kekekabic Trail and Border Route Trail, check out my handout for a presentation I did at Canoecopia.  The handout is located here:

For Shuttles in the North Central and North Western area of the North Country Trail in Minnesota, please contact the local chapters.  You can find their contact information here:  I’ve received shuttles several times from local chapter members of the Itasca Moraine Chapter and the Laurentian Lakes Chapter

Photo Websites
I have just created a new website that has all my photos of the NCT in Minnesota.  It is nicely compiled so you can find the section you want to hike and then view the photos.  The website is located here:

You can also check out Luke Jordans photos and journals from his 2013 Thru Hike of the North Country Trail.  Check it out here:

Actual photos
And now to give you even more inspiration for hiking the NCT in Minnesota, I’m posting a bunch of photos.  Here they are in no particular order

Agamok Falls on the Kekekabic Trail

Fifth Falls in Gooseberry River State Park (SHT)

Split Rock Lighthouse, a side trip off the SHT

A Large Field in Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trailhead, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

The Point on Tamarac Lake, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Western Minnesota Roadwalk, headed towards Fort Abercrombie, ND

The overlook of the town of Grand Marais at the Pincushion Mountain Trailhead (SHT)

The High Falls of the Baptism River, Tettegouche State Park (SHT)

Moosehead Rock, Kekekabic Trail

Moiyaka Lake (Kek)

Old Obibwe's Face (Kek)

Bingshik Lake (Kek)

Paulson's Mine  (Kek)

Flooded Woods, White Earth State Forest

Heading up the Milton Lakes Esker, Chippewa National Forest

Cranberry Lake, Chippewa National Forest

Long Lake Campsite, Chippewa National Forest

Magnetic Rock, far western segment of the Border Route Trail
The Duluth Lift Bridge (SHT)

On Mt Tofte with Carlton Peak in the background (SHT

Temperance River (SHT)

Mountain Lake Overlook, Border Route Trail

Lake Waboose Campsite, Paul Bunyan State Forest

Nelson Lake, Paul Bunyan State Forest

Iron Corner Campsite, Itasca State Park

Bridal Veil Falls, Border Route Trail

Rose Cliffs (BRT)

Cascade River State Park (SHT)

Devil's Track River Gorge (SHT)

Ely's Peak (SHT)

So have your own Minnesota Hiking Celebration.  If you need some help in planning a trip, I'd be happy to share what I know.  Contact me at  Happy Hiking!!!!