Merrill becomes a designated Ice Age Trail Community
Fall Color Hike and community celebration set for Oct. 8
On Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, Merrill will celebrate officially being designated as an Ice Age Trail Community. Hosted by the Ice Age Trail Alliance (IATA) and the Northwoods Volunteer Chapter of the IATA, along with the City of Merrill and the Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce, a celebration with light refreshments will take place at the Sawmill Brewing Company, 1110 E. 10th St. in Merrill, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. An official Chamber ribbon cutting will take place at 6:00 p.m.
Prior to the celebration at the Sawmill, the community is invited to join a guided hike along an approximately three-mile segment of the Ice Age Trail near Merrill during their Fall Colors Hike. That will be held the same day, Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The Grandfather Falls Segment of the Trail beckons hikers to join guides that day, to gather and park at the Camp New Wood County Park parking area on Hwy. 107 and then traverse along the Wisconsin River enjoying the natural forest and rock formations and boulders. Hikers will be able to hear the roar of the river and can view the cascading water at Grandfather Falls Dam – the largest waterfall on the Wisconsin River, with a total drop of 89 feet.
Merrill is the 17th community in Wisconsin to be designated as an Ice Age Trail Community. As a Trail Community, the Ice Age Trail Alliance will promote Merrill as a destination to its audience, encouraging hikers to visit the community and businesses while in the area hiking.
“Commitment to this program represents agreement to build healthy and vibrant communities,” said Amy Lord, Outreach and Education manager for the Ice Age Trail Alliance. “It is a partnership to cross promote one another and support the community and Ice Age Trail users.”
The Trail Community program helps communities leverage the Ice Age National Scenic Trail as an economic and social engine.
“We are very excited to welcome Merrill as an official Ice Age Trail Community,” said Mike Wollmer, Executive Director/CEO of the Ice Age Trail Alliance. “We are proud the community supports the Trail and look forward to increasing our impact on a local level.”
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a 1,200-mile footpath contained entirely within Wisconsin. It traverses the state from St. Croix Falls in the west, to Sturgeon Bay in the east, going as far south as Janesville. One of 11 National Scenic Trails, the Ice Age Trail highlights the landscapes that were carved out by ancient glaciers, which happen to be some of the most beautiful areas in the state. Approximately 60% of Wisconsin residents live within 20 miles of the Ice Age Trail.
The Ice Age Trail Alliance is a non-profit, member and volunteer-based organization that has been working to conserve, create, maintain, and promote the Ice Age National Scenic Trail since 1958. Visit iceagetrail.org.