Lodi Valley Chapter

The Lodi Valley Chapter maintains over nine miles of beautiful
Ice Age Trail in southern Columbia County as well as the segment
from the Dane County line south though the loop at the Lodi Marsh.

The Ice Age Trail in this region passes through some unique geological features and diverse ecological habitats, giving hikers an excellent experience of glacially shaped valleys, bluffs and drumlins while passing through prairies, savannas and woodlands. The Trail also wanders though the historic city of Lodi, where you may be tempted off the Trail by our restaurants, pubs, German bakery and specialty shops.

Recent land acquisitions will allow volunteers to build several more miles of the Ice Age Trail in the next few years, giving hikers the opportunity to walk from the Merrimac Ferry on Lake Wisconsin, over several glacial bluffs, including Gibraltar Rock, and out to the Lodi Marsh, with much less road connection along the way.

During the year the chapter offers a variety of hikes and outings and hosts an annual 5K and 10K walk/run on National Trails Day in June (more info below). Chapter meetings are the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM at Lodi Medical Clinic, 160 Valley Drive in Lodi, across from the high school (driving directions). Please browse through our events calendar for upcoming activities. We look forward to seeing you at one of our events!

The chapter publishes a newsletter, Mammoth Prints, three times a year. It includes featured activities, upcoming events, and more.

For more information on chapter activities and/or hiking the Ice Age Trail in this region, contact one of the chapter's leaders:

Joanna Kramer Fanney, Coordinator and Newsletter Editor (608-592-7817)
Jodi Beers, Secretary (608-592-2031)
Barbara Wollmer
, Treasurer (608-592-3025)
Luke Kloberdanz, Trail Maintenance Coordinator (608-592-1707)

Chapter Hiking Award Program

Whether you're an avid hiker looking for a new challenge or an occasional trekker looking for inspiration to get out more often, a new hiking program is now available that may be just the thing for you! The Lodi Valley and Baraboo Hills chapters of the Ice Age Trail Alliance have partnered to create the Glacial Drifters hiking award program. This project is funded in part by a Healthy Life Inititiative Grant from the Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital Foundation. Participants in the program will earn an award for hiking all of the approximately 50 miles of the Ice Age Trail within these two chapters' areas, with the hiking to be done on each individual's own timetable. Registered participants will be sent maps and information about each of the various segments along with a hiking log for tracking progress. To receive more information about the Glacial Drifters hiking award program contact Patti Herman (608-592-5666) or Bob Lange (608-356-2427).

Featured Activities

Exciting Developments at Gibraltar Rock

By Patti Herman

The rock we all know and love — Gibraltar Rock — is at the center of exciting trail development plans for the Lodi Valley Chapter. On October 24-27, 2013, we will be hosting a Mobile Skills Crew project for the purpose of building trail on and around Gibraltar Rock. People will come to Lodi from all over the state and the midwest to contribute their time, talent and enthusiasm to help construct new trail.

Many of you will remember that we hosted Mobile Skills Crew projects a few times within recent years, once to build the new Gibraltar Segment of trail off Slack Road and once to build what was known as the Colsac Segment (now part of the Gibraltar Segment) starting from the Merrimac Ferry. These projects are an opportunity for people of all ages and ability levels to work with trained crew leaders to contribute to trail building in a variety of ways. There are also opportunities for people who prefer to work on “project support,” helping to prepare meals and maintain a campsite for the participants.

On December 8th a group of IAT volunteers joined IATA staff member Tim Malzhan and volunteer Rachel Roberts for a “Walk and Talk” to learn about the proposed trail layout. There is much that needs to be done before the October MSC project — including corridor clearing and invasives removal — and the Walk and Talk gave us a chance to start discussing how we’ll accomplish the work. We will be scheduling workdays throughout 2013 to help us be ready to make the most of the volunteer help that will be coming to Lodi in October. We hope that you will make time to be part of those workdays……And mark your calendar to be part of the fun of the October MSC Project! 

Check out our events calendar for upcoming events.

Growing Youth Involvement on the Trail

By Bill Welch

One of the guiding principles of our chapter has been to involve as many youth on the trail as we can. To this end, the past year was very successful. Young people of all ages were involved in guided experiences, both hiking and helping to maintain the trail.

Last spring a Lodi High School group was formed thanks to a Besadny grant from the Natural Resources Foundation. The group calls themselves the “Trail Keepers.” Under the supervision of Tyler Potter, Lodi High School teacher, and chapter members, the students completed two work days on the Gibraltar Segment and have plans to continue on as an extracurricular activity at the high school.

Cub Scout Pack 355 spent a beautiful August day learning about the Trail and working to combat invasive plants on the Gibraltar Segment. Along with several of their parents they spent a long morning learning how to safely work with tools and then using them to cut sumac trees that will eventually be burned. Their enthusiasm was boundless. This Pack also has a hiking program of their own that gets the Scouts out walking on a regular basis.

Summer school in Lodi brought about 15 students from the Agriculture and Natural Resources class out onto the Trail for a guided hike. The students experienced glacial features as they learned about them!

July also was the time for the Summer Saunters hiking program as well as their “service” week when they give back to the Trail. This year the Saunters participants spent four days working on the Gibraltar Segment. The log and earthen platform that the big bench sits on is one of the results of their efforts. They also learned about prairie restoration and then did some as they cut invasive plants out of the open area near the bench.

It is always a fascinating time to be with these young people as they discover and explore the Ice Age Trail. The work we put into involving these youth is rewarded both from their interest and connection to the trail, but also in the support for the trail that grows in their parents.