Saturday, December 3, 2016

Milton Segment of the Ice Age Trail

The Milton Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT)  runs 4.4 well-blazed miles (7.1 km) between the Janesville to Milton Segment to the Storrs Lake Segment of the IAT. The trail runs directly past the Milton Family restaurant and other amenities through Milton. With short stretches in one direction or the other and plenty of variety, this Segment doesn't feel like the 4.4 miles that it is.


As I arrived at the trailhead I noticed two things; quite a bit of fog, and way too many guys in blaze orange running around with shotguns. A quick search on my cell told me it was the last day of regular deer gun hunting season, so I decided to save the Storrs Lake Segment for another day and complete only the Milton Segment.

Along E Storrs Lake Road

Along E Storrs Lake Road

Milton House Museum

Milton House Museum

From the trailhead parking in the Storrs Lake Wildlife Area, the IAT follows East Storrs Lake Road into Milton through an industrial park to a left on S Janesville Street at the Milton House Museum. This historical museum acted as a part of the underground railroad for slaves seeking freedom.

Along High Street

Across from Goodrich Park

Grounds of the former Milton College

The beautiful and stately grounds of the former Milton College on a foggy November morning

At the Milton House Museum, the trail follows S Janesville Street, follows High Street to the right, then meanders through Goodrich Park and onto College Street past the beautiful grounds of the now closed Milton College. 

Along Roger Street

Along High Street

Along High Street

Nice to see Milton values outdoor education

After the college, the IAT heads left onto Rogers Street, then right onto High Street and continues on towards Veterans Memorial Park. At the park, the IAT turns right and heads down Hilltop Drive past the High School, sledding hill, and post office. Then the IAT trail turns left onto Municipal Drive, still passing the high school and the Milton Outdoor School. At the end of Municipal Drive, the IAT heads to the right on S John Paul Road.

The kind of small town where you can visit the dentist at his home

Also the kind of small town where you can leave your cute, precious treasures outside

Along Vernal Avenue

At the corner of Vernal Avenue and Elm Street

About a quarter mile of actual trail near Vincent Street

From S John Paul Road, the IAT heads left on Vernal Avenue, down to the Masonic Temple and the Milton Family Restaurant. I observed the Milton Family Restaurant to be quite busy, perhaps indicative of this being a good spot for food along the IAT. Past the Milton Family Restaurant, the IAT follows to the left on Elm Street, then to the right on Capman Street. The trail runs to the left on Vincent Street, and then follows a foot path of approximately a quarter mile to pop out to cross a small stretch of lawn to the corner of Vincent Street and Manogue Road. This is where the Milton Segment ends, and the Janesville to Segment begins.

GPS trace of the Milton Segment of the IAT

After reaching this point, I turned back and retraced my steps back to Storrs Lake Wildlife Area. There were plenty of amenities for the thru-hiker in Milton, not as varied as Janesville. The trail blazes throughout made navigation easy. The historic homes and buildings along with a number of twists and turns (as opposed to a linear route) along the IAT through this trail town made for a pleasant walk on a gray, foggy November morning. 

That's all for now. Get outdoors, and keep our wild places wild!

Trail Conditions - Overcast, foggy, and 33°F (0.6C).

Total Distance Covered - 8.8 miles (14.2 km) out and back.

Difficulty - Easy with lightly moderate hills.

Highlights -  Milton House Museum, Milton's historic homes.

Location - Parked at the trailhead parking area on Storrs Lake Road at the Storrs Lake Wildlife Area.

Total Ice Age Trail Miles to Date - Total official trail distance completed 211.8 miles (338.9 km).


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