April 25, 2018 by: Kathleen Fleming
Whitewater is Now An Official Ice Age Trail Community
The story of the iconic Ice Age Trail begins more than 12,000 years ago, when a massive flow of glacial ice moved through the region and sculpted the breathtaking & diverse landscape we now call Wisconsin. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a 1,000 mile footpath that takes visitors through this stunning landscape, passing ancient forests, open prairies, and beautiful rivers & lakes. There are many different ways to explore the Trail, whether you like to hike, backpack, snowshoe, or cross country ski. If you are interested in geology, you will also encounter a fascinating range of rock formations, including dolomite, sandstone, basalt bluffs, and quartzite hills. Hiking the Ice Age Trail can be a great way to get some exercise, explore the region, and take a break from the stresses and distractions of modern life.
This past November, the city of Whitewater became a part of the Ice Age Trail Community. On May 6th, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially celebrate the collaboration of the Jefferson and Walworth county local Ice Age Trail Association Volunteer group and the Whitewater community. The ceremony begins at 3:00 pm at the Cravath Lakefront Community Center and is followed by kids craft activities and a short guided hike.
Whitewater is part of the Walworth/Jefferson Country leg of the Trail, which encompasses the Blue Spring Lake Segment, Blackhawk Segment, Whitewater Lake Segment, and Clover Valley Segment. The Blue Spring Lake Segment takes hikers up to the top of Bald Bluff, one of the highest points in Jefferson County. There you will find one of the largest and most diverse open prairies in the region filled with beautiful wildflowers and grasses. After soaking in the view at Bald Bluff, you will descend back down into a clearing where you will find a massive granite rock nicknamed the Stone Elephant, a beloved local oddity. This trail also takes you through oak groves, sparkling ponds & springs, and sprawling meadows filled with sunflowers, goldenrod, prairie clover, and aster. Twice a week, guided walks leave from the Hwy 12 Ice Age Trail segment in Kettle Moraine State Park. These 2-5 mile walks are a great way to learn about the rich geological history and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.
Whitewater, already a mecca for outdoor lovers, is overjoyed to become an official part of the Ice Age Trail Association. 2018 marked the 50th year of the Ice Age Trail and we are proud to join the community at this impressive milestone. Now exploring the Ice Age Trail will be easier than ever. To learn more about the Ice Age Trail and other excellent hikes across the state, visit IceAgeTrail.org. We’ll see you at the ribbon cutting!
Looking to explore the Walworth and Jefferson county segment of the Ice Age Trail? Book a stay at the Hamilton House Bed & Breakfast, located in the Southern segment of Kettle Moraine State Park.