Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Hike on the Springfield Hill Segment of the Ice Age Trail and the Connecting Route to Indian Lake

Clear skies and a cool early morning temperature of 40°F (4.4°C) made for perfect weather to get in a few more miles on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT). Parking just off Ballweg Road at the  IAT access point, I first hiked the connecting route between the Springfield Hill and Indian Lake Segments of the IAT. The  morning shade cooled the connecting route, something to keep in mind if hiking this route during summer. After backtracking to the car, I hiked the Springfield Hill segment.

Other than songbirds and the occasional rabbit, I didn't see much wildlife but heard owls in this distance. I did get a little extra excitement on the Springfield Hill Loop. I heard a loud crack followed by thrashing overhead. I dashed ahead and turned around to see a fallen branch bouncing some low-hanging branches that prevented it from hitting me.

Aside from the U.S. Highway 12 crossing, I enjoyed a quiet and peaceful hike. The Springfield Hill segment passes through farm property. A big thank you to the farmer for allowing the trail access. Let's all respect the local landowners and be good stewards of this new segment of the Ice Age Trail. 

Matz Road.

Flowers on the Springfield Hill Trail.

Flowers along Matz Road.

Matz Road.

View of Indian Lake County Park from Matz Road.

Indian Lake County Park.

Flowers on the Springfield Hill Trail.

View from Springfield Hill Trail.

Map of today's hike.

Trail Conditions - A few patches of muddy or overgrown areas, mostly good. Sunny and coold 40°F (4.44°C).

Distance Covered Today - 7.3 miles (11.8 km).

Difficulty - Moderate level of difficulty hiking up the bluff.

Location - Parked at the Ice Age Trail Access Road just off Ballweg Road near Madison.

Highlights - Views of surrounding hills and farmsteads, wild flowers.

Total Official Ice Age Trail Miles Completed to Date - Total official Ice Age Trail distance completed 79.6 miles (126 km). Trail 41 miles (65.6 km), connecting route 38.6 miles (61.8 km).

Total Additional Backtracking Miles Completed - 69.5  miles (111.2 km). 

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