National Trails Day: Mammoth Tracks

With our family’s busy schedule, we often don’t get to participate in as many unscheduled (i.e., sports) events as we’d like to. This year I got National Trails Day on the calendar early, and we still almost didn’t make it. Happily, I got two of the four kids out and up to Wisconsin, for a great day enjoying the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

National Trails Day: Mammoth Tracks

A few weeks ago, I took a road trip with my littlest, and we saw a flyer for some kids’ activities planned for National Trails Day. We then did a follow up trip to Whitewater Lake, to get the lay of the land and make early plans.

National Trails Day dawned clear but cloudy, with storms forecast pretty much the whole day. After packing a change of clothes, we hit the road and, a few hours later, pulled up to the mini-fest raring to go.

While the getting was good, we headed out on a connector trail that would take us to the Ice Age Trail and a section we’d only partially hiked the few weeks ago, due to warnings about hunting season still in effect. This time we were not the only ones in the woods, and we felt confident we were safe. Our hike took us to a creek crossing, where volunteers had built a boardwalk and bridge.

We didn’t dally at our turn-around point, as the rain, which had been a slight drizzle began to come down harder and we had left our rain jackets in the car. Oops. No worries, we knew we wouldn’t melt and we had the fresh clothes waiting for us. Once back in the woods, however, the thick tree canopy kept us remarkably dry. Though we had planned a second hike, the combination of rain, need for snacks, and tired little legs had us heading back to the tent to complete our experience.

Did I mention the hiking stick? Kids that completed the hike were treated to a free walking stick provided by the Ice Age Trail Alliance members who organized the day’s activities. This was the real reason we had to hurry back, haha. With the rain now steadily coming down, the other activities were delayed, so we headed home, with a stop for snacks and then lunch, making it a great day out.

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