An early spring gives outdoor enthusiasts cause to explore Wisconsin's trails earlier than usual. In an upcoming episode of Discover Wisconsin, produced in partnership with the Ice Age Trail Alliance of Cross Plains, the Merrill Chamber of Commerce, the Langlade County Economic Development Corporation, the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce, and Waushara Area Chamber of Commerce, the geology that gives the Ice Age National Scenic Trail its name is revealed. Shot over the past year, the episode will air Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29 on the Discover Wisconsin broadcast network, reaching almost 480,000 viewers across the upper Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Northern Illinois and Upper Michigan.
Host Emmy Fink takes viewers on a four county journey through the mid-section of trail in the center of the state. Friends of the trail teach Emmy about geological formations that helped shape it. It also features destinations along the trail that will appeal to any Wisconsin traveler.
Emmy gets a geology lesson in glacial moraines, hummocks and kettles in the 51-mile stretch of Ice Age Trail that covers Lincoln County with Dave Mickelson, Emeritus Professor of the Geosciences Department at the University of Wisconsin. Mickelson showed Emmy a bird's eye view of the landscape from a lookout tower in the Harrison Moraine.
"We are thrilled to be a part of the Ice Age Trail episode," stated Debbe Kinsey, Merrill Chamber executive director. "Our segment of the Ice Age Trail is a magical adventure with valley, peaks, waterfalls and rock formations."
The segment also features information on activities along the Trail that will appeal to any Wisconsin traveler. "Hiking is simply 'natural' in Merrill with over 300 acres of park lands in our community and more than 101,000 acres of public lands in Lincoln County," said Kinsey.
Winding over 1,000 miles across Wisconsin, the Ice Age Trail requires year-round attention. A network of volunteers generously donates their time to build, improve and maintain the trail.
"There's a message that this trail has that resonates with more and more people; it's humbling," said Mike Wollmer, Ice Age Trail Alliance Executive Director. "Last year volunteers gave a total of 65,000 hours."
The episode's producer, Chad Diedrick, hopes learning about the geology of the trail will inspire viewers to rediscover it. "When you understand that something occurring 12,000 years ago formed the ground you're walking on today, you appreciate the experience more." This is the second of the series of Discover Wisconsin episodes featuring the Ice Age Trail. Production and planning is already in progress for the third episode covering the southern portion of the Trail.