Monday, April 10, 2017

Hiking the IAT through Rock County

Smell honeysuckle's sweet orange scent along urban bicycle trails. Take in the colorful, ornate architecture in small town Wisconsin. Spot turkeys along quiet country roads. Hear warning honks as mama geese hustle goslings away from passersby along the shore of the Rock River. The Ice Age Trail through Rock County awaits. With each season the trail renews itself, with sections I've hiked in the past made new by the change in seasons.

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT) meanders more than 1,100 miles up, down, and across Wisconsin along trails, sidewalks, and country roads. The portion of the IAT that passes through Rock County carries the hiker down 22 miles of trail and 39 miles of connecting routes. The trail through Rock County includes sidewalks, footpaths, and bicycle paths, with the connecting routes following country roads and highways.

I combined my hikes through Rock County into a video that that features woodsy trails, historic downtown Evansville, the Rock River, and more through a variety of seasons.

For details on each segment of the IAT through Rock County please click the following links:

Connecting Route Albany to Janesville: Albany Segment to Lake Leota Park
Connecting Route Albany to Janesville: Lake Leota Park to Gibbs Lake County Park
Connecting Route Albany to Janesville: Gibbs Lake County Park to the Arbor Ridge Segment
Arbor Ridge Segment
Devil's Staircase Segment
Janesville Segment
Janesville to Milton Segment
Milton Segment
Storrs Lake Segment
Connecting Route from Storr's Lake Segment to Clover Valley Segment

Please note, the old connecting route from Albany to Janesville along Highway A has recently been replaced by a longer route through Evansville. I chose to follow the new route, which allowed me enjoy Evansville's historic downtown, and to use Lake Leota Park and Gibbs Lake County Park as stopping Points.

I loved the variety of the IAT through Rock County. Any amenity a hiker desires can be found along this segment including big box stores, hotels, restaurants, and post offices. Despite the variety, by the time I finished Rock County I felt a deep longing for wilder places and forested footpaths. While the historic downtown architecture and picturesque country roads offered a plethora of sights and sounds, the beauty and solitude of wooded trails call to me. But that is another story for another day.

That's all for now. Let's get outdoors and keep our wild places wild!

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