Hiking the Stoney Ridge Section of the Ice Age Trail.
Over last week or so it been very rainy and the trail shows it. Large puddles of water, some about 20 feet long and 10 feet wide are scattered intermittently along this section of the Ice Age Trail. Fortunately there are only a few low areas. I parked and started hiking at the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit Headquarters in between Eagle and Palmyra. Cool temperatures, light rain and strong winds made for a great hike. The rain and wind kept the mosquitoes down and kept me cool as I hiked.
This is a good area to hike with kids. Easy and wide trails with changing terrain to keep there interest and the trails are well marked. The Headquarters has bathrooms and drinking water along with a few simple snacks and a small gift shop. They also have a small but interesting natural history museum to wander through. A nature trail that heads out and around the side of the building and with all the bird feeders there are always birds in the area.
I hiked up to the backpacking shelter but didn’t stop, because it was occupied with campers. There are three shelters in this area and all are reservable. In the past I have enjoyed coming here early and having breakfast or stopping for lunch on my return. Once back on the trail I headed East towards the Scuppernong Segment. Other than some puddles the trail was in good condition, very little mud but very wet.
As you leave the Stoney Ridge Segment you must walk a short section of trail on private property along a road. Easy walking but take care to respect the private property.
I made it well into the Scuppernong Segment before it began to downpour. Quickly I placed my camera and lens into a dry sack and downed my rain gear. I keep my rain gear in a dry sack as well. Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack. It works well as a compression sack to save space and it keeps my gear dry, plus if I need my rain gear and then it stops raining, I can reload it into the dry sack and keep my other gear in the pack dry and clean. The bag dries out quickly when I have a chance to dry my gear.
You can find out more about the Ice Age Trail on the Ice Age Trail Alliance Website.