The Janesville segment of the IAT is a hike of contrasts. Contrasts between abandoned factory buildings near the downtown and luxurious homes near Parkview Drive prove striking. Contrasts between homeless persons huddled under piles of blankets with their plastic bag treasures in close proximity and joggers passing by wearing skimpy but pristine, brand-fancy athletic shoes and attire seem ironic. Janesville is actually the first segment of the IAT along which I experienced trailside homelessness. The contrasts of Janesville make me wonder whether the people of Janesville should be thankful for the prosperity GM brought to the region, or resentful of the gaping hole left behind when GM's Janesville operations shut down.
|Janesville Assembly's chimney.|
|Baby geese at Riverside Park.|
|Abandoned factory in Janesville.|
|Making progress on the Janesville Segment of the IAT.|
|Wood violets, the Wisconsin state flower.|
|Scenery along the IAT.|
|New Life Assembly of God in Janesville.|
|Pond next to the big box stores in Janesville.|
|Along Palmer Drive.|
|Nearing the end of the segment.|
|Robin tending the nest along one of the many underpasses along the Janesville Segment of the IAT.|
Since I was back-tracking rather than shuttling, I split the hike in half. I hiked from Riverside Park to Blackhawk Park and then backtracked to Riverside Park on the first leg. On the second leg I hiked from Blackhawk Park to Rotamer Court and back. In hindsight, the hike could have been done in one shot with a bicycle stashed at one end, but I hiked it both ways. I saw Janesville twice, with the parks providing convenient parking locations.
|The Janesville Segment of the IAT.|
Trail Conditions - 65°F (18°C) with paved, well-maintained bicycle trails. Bring your map, the trail is signed but there are cross-trails and the map will help you avoid any confusion.
Total Distance Covered - 20.8 miles (33.5 km) out and back, 10.4 miles one way.
Difficulty - The Janesville Segment is easy and relatively flat, you can ride your bike or push a stroller the entire length of this segment if you like.
Highlights - Honeysuckle, a nesting robin, an eagle, views of the Rock River, some amazing back yards.
Location - Parked at Riverside Park and at Blackhawk Park in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Total Official Ice Age Trail Miles Completed to Date - Total official Ice Age Trail distance completed 166 miles (265 km).