Saturday, February 7, 2009

State to add 78 acres to Ice Age Trail in Waushara County

Trail is 1/2 mile closer to joining Mecan River area with Greenwood Wildlife area

WAUTOMA – Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board voted 7-0 to approve the purchase of 78.62 acres of land for the Ice Age Trail in Waushara County. The land will be purchased from the Ronald Motola estate for $220,200 of which 50% will come from federal Land & Water Conservation funds and 50% from Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund.

The Motola tract is about 9 miles west of Wautoma and abuts existing DNR property to the south. The parcel will help to connect the Greenwood Wildlife Area to the north with the Mecan Springs Fishery Area to the southeast. The Ice Age Trail is intended for low-impact uses such as hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Acquisition of the parcel will allow natural resource habitat management and will provide a 1/2 mile extension of the Ice Age Trail.

Hikers and other users of this property will enjoy rolling and steep slopes, a scenic panoramic view of the rural farm countryside, and the Mecan Springs Fishery Area.

In 1987, the Wisconsin Legislature established the Ice Age State Scenic Trail as a state project. The Department of Natural was directed to develop a trail to promote public awareness and appreciation of Wisconsin’s glacial heritage, protect significant glacial features, and provide a continuous off-road trail for recreational use.

The Ice Age Trail is one of only eight national scenic trails in the United States and when completed will run for over a thousand miles through much of Wisconsin. To date, the trail is approximately 65% complete.

Management and maintenance of the trail will be shared between the department and the Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation.

Contact(s): Dick Steffes, DNR Real Estate Director, 608-266-0201

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