There’s a new effort to get a status upgrade for a pair of scenic trails through Wisconsin. Mike Wollmer, Executive Director of the Ice Age Trail Alliance, says without unit status, the North Country and Ice Age trails are excluded from many opportunities and assistance accorded the other trails in the system. “The exposure, in terms of being able to have interpretive signage consistent with National Park Service standards along the trail. Being able to go the National Parks Service website and easily identifying the Ice Age trail as an asset on the national level,” are among those benefits, he says.
When Congress authorized the North Country National Scenic Trail and the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in 1980 as part of the National Trails System, they were to be administered and managed similar to other trails in the system. However, the National Park Service has not given these trails “unit” status. Representatives Tammy Baldwin and Dave Obey and Senator Russ Feingold recently signed onto bi-partisan letters urging the Park Service to make the change. The Ice Age Trail winds through 31 Wisconsin counties. The North Country Trail spans 4600 miles across seven states from New York to North Dakota.