Photo credit: Linda Stevens Shober

Autumn has brought us deep and saturated color covering the river valley and some rains have brought back life to the flora, fauna, and fungi flanking our trails. Friends of Interstate and Straight Lake Parks welcome you to the Mammoth Hike Challenge, back for October 2023! This year’s challenge: hike, walk, run, or backpack 43 miles on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail during October and visit 3 Trail Communities. This year, there are two new Trail Communities and five new Ice Age Trail segments to explore, plus several new bonus mile opportunities are available! You may hike, walk, run, or backpack – whatever suits your lifestyle – and log your miles over days, weekends, weeks, or one big adventure. When you register, you’ll receive Itineraries highlighting Ice Age Trail Communities, their local businesses and attractions, and nearby Ice Age Trail segments to explore, and special invites to Challenge events. All attendees will have the opportunity to submit an online completion form when they have finished the Challenge in October. It’s an honor system when it comes to reporting your mileage, Trail Community visits and bonus miles. It is always in October when it is easier to walk. One usually does not become overheated, and the bugs are gone. One of the main reasons for the Challenge is to bring business to our Trail Towns like trail town St. Croix Falls. This year, in October, we will walk 43 miles on the Ice Age Trail. You have all of October to complete the Challenge. The entire St. Croix Valley benefits by these hikers using the restaurants, stores, and hotels. It is delightful to greet these guests who love nature and discover what a gem of a park Wisconsin Interstate Park is in our area.

You have the opportunity to earn a hiking certificate and Mammoth Hike Challenge patch! Who doesn’t love swag patches for our backpacks?
Even better, registration is FREE and open throughout the month of October.
Sign up as an individual, a couple, a family or even a team:

Tag your adventures with #MammothHikeChallenge and @iceagetrailorg
We love to see photos of folks on the Trail!

Challenge yourself to:

  • Explore new-to-you Ice Age Trail segments, including beginning at Interstate Segment and our very own Stright Lake Segment:
  • Enjoy vibrant fall colors.
  • Spend family-time on the Trail.
  • Slow down, unplug, and tune in.
  • Listen more and talk less.
  • Stop at every bench to rest and reflect.
  • Laugh, sing, and seek joy.
  • Watch a sunrise or sunset while on the Trail.
  • Take a night hike.
  • Introduce someone new to the Trail.
  • Find one or two new ways to enjoy the Trail on your quest toward 43 miles.

The Pothole Trail at Wisconsin Interstate Park is the home is the Western Terminus of the National Scenic Ice Age Trail. When you get to the Terminus the view of the river is spectacular! One of Barb Ceder’s volunteer tasks is to shuttle hikers to the Ice Age Trail.
Barb states, “I love to walk up to the Terminus with the hikers and leave them to take in the incredible views. It is an absolutely beautiful way to start or end the 1,200-mile hike!”