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Ice Age Trail Alliance

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Education, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Physical Fitness & Community Recreational Facilities, Sports

Mission: The ice age trail alliance (iata) is a nonprofit member- and volunteer-based organization whose mission is to create, support, and protect a thousand-mile footpath tracing ice age formations across wisconsin--the ice age national scenic trail.

Programs: Iata has built and maintains about 675 miles of the ice age national scenic trail that are open for public use. Iata coordinates this work with its 21 chapters and volunteers from throughout wisconsin and beyond. In addition to diverse trail construction, maintenance, stewardship, and outreach and educational activities that occur on an ongoing basis, iata added 28,000' of sustainable trail tread and brought an additional 19. 6 miles up to national park service standards. Seventy-six trail structures including 1,646' of wooden structures and 650' of rock walls and 5 new dispersed camping areas were built. Iata's mobile skills crew program generates almost 40% of all volunteer hours reported by the iata. Total volunteers for the year were 2,081, contributing 79,196 hours.

the iata protected properties in 2017 that protect approximately 1. 2 miles of trail and 56 acres. Specifically, iata acquired six properties in both fee and easement. All these lands will host a variety of public recreational opportunities that include the ice age national scenic trail.

iata's annual conference was attended by over 315 people. Twelve 45-120 minute seminars were held, including topics such as highlighting backpacking, field trips and tours, cold cacheing, geology, land protection, hikers forum, and what's on tap. Though four hikes were planned, near blizzard conditions reduced that number to two. A keynote speaker, evening social hours, an all-member meeting, and a chapter leadership forum rounded out the event. Iata's youth education program, saunters, included 22 school districts across the state with 26 program options. In 2017 saunters engaged 2,136 registered students and teachers in active learning along the ice age national scenic trail. Students participated in multi-day backpacking outings in the chequamegon nicolet national forest, a variety of service events including everything from trail construction to landscape restoration, and a series of guided hikes focusing on the glacial geology of wisconsin.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

This organization welcomes all volunteers and gives the needed training for the wide variety of tasks they undertake.


Rating: 5

After my retirement, I searched for an activity that would keep me physically active and allow me to meet people in my community who shared this pursuit. The Ice Age Trail Alliamce is supported by Chapters throughout Wisconsin, members of which volunteer to build and maintain 1000 miles of scenic trail. I have been hiking these trails for about 12 years and my life has become greatly enriched by the existence of this trail system.
Hikers meet regularly on Tuesdays and Wednesday's throughout the year to enjoy trail walks in the south Kettle Moraine which is the location of the chapter that services the trails I hike.
This non-profit performs an invaluable service to the people of and visitors to Wiscomsin by maintaining this great natural resource.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Ice Age Trail Alliance is a wonderful consortium of people who are dedicated to the trail, it's maintenance and eventual completion. Thousands of hours have been dedicated to raising monies for purchasing properties to add to the trail as well as construction and maintenance. It truly is a wonderful gem for the state of Wisconsin and it's residents. Please consider donating to the Alliance through the Madison Community Foundation.
John Hutchinson

Review from Guidestar

1 Land_Trust_Accreditation_Commission

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ice Age Trail Alliance is an accredited land trust. Accreditation means Ice Age Trail Alliance meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Ice Age Trail Alliance has demonstrated to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission its commitment to excellence. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate their commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them. Learn More: http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/about.

Review from Guidestar