Sunday, September 25, 2016

Connecting Route Between Albany and Janesville Part 1: Gibbs Lake County Park to Arbor Ridge Segment of the Ice Age Trail

As cool, cloudy mornings make for good road walking, one look at the forecast, and I decided to start on the road walk between the Arbor Ridge and Albany Segments of the Ice Age Trail (IAT). I opted to try the recently published new route west of Janesville in place of the old Highway A route, also known among some IAT hikers as "the dreaded A".

The new route is 10 miles (16 km) longer than the Highway A route. It heads northwest and then back southwest as Evansville, I am told, is to become an official part of the official IAT route. I've also been told it's more walker-friendly than Highway A. I won't pass along judgement on the walker-friendly claim until I complete it.

Today's walk consisted of country roads and corn for miles. I left my car on one end of the walk and my bike at the other for self-shuttling. I thought the bike ride would be quick and easy, but biking against the wind up rolling hills proved anything but quick and easy, so I ended up finishing the hike later than planned. The "easy" bike riding part turned out to be the hard part, and the 12 mile (19.4 km) walk turned out to be the easy part.

Gibbs Lake County Park

Corn for Miles

More from the Road Walk

In terms of interesting sights and sounds, some first bird migrations, corn for miles, cattle, and a number of little fuzzy caterpillars crossing roads made the list.  The locals also apparently have a beef with one Tom Francis. Until next time, let's get outdoors and keep our wild places wild!

Map of Today's Walk

Trail Conditions - Started out 63°F (17C) and warmed to 73°F (23C).

Total Distance Covered  - 12 miles (19.4 km) on foot.

Difficulty - Easy with easy to moderate hills.

Highlights - Bird migrations.

Location - Parked at Gibbs Lake County Park in Rock County and hiked to the Janesville Schools Outdoor Laboratory on N. Bluebird Trail (trail head for the Arbor Ridge Segment).

Total Official Ice Age Trail Miles Completed to Date - Total official Ice Age Trail distance completed  178 miles (285 km).   

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