On Sunday Jared and I hiked three segments, Hartland, Merton, and Monches. It was a 15 mile day!
We started at the Hartland Segment, which is near the intersection of Hwy 83 and I94 just east of Delafield, and headed north. This part of the hike is a little strange because of how civilized it is compared to a majority of the other parts of the trail. The first thing we needed to do was push the button for the walk sign to cross highway 83. The trail then goes along the Naga-Waukee Golf Course. It was a nice day, so there was a bunch of people out golfing. We went by some large houses, which is always interesting. Some of these houses were older larger houses, so you can see what was considered stylish in the past. I like to think about what I would do if I owned those houses. I wouldn’t have a big house though, I’d have a small or medium house and large yard with gardens and fenced in yard for Penny. Some people had pools, but even though I like swimming, I wouldn’t want a pool, I’d rather swim in a lake. Who wants to take care of a pool anyway! The Hartland Segment travels through some village parks and travels along parts of the village’s bike paths. When I lived in Oconomowoc, I had done some 1/2 marathon training in Hartland for a change of scenery, so there were areas where I remember running. The trail passed the library, and the library had a story walk, which was really neat. There were numerous signs, each with two pages of the book on a sign, so you traveled along the path and read the story. Hartland has been recognized as a trail community by the Ice Age Trail Alliance, so there were some signs and street banners recognizing this. Hopefully this will expose more people to the trail! The Hartland Segment was pretty interesting. It’s more of a civilized section, but I liked it and it was a pretty easy segment.
The Merton Segment starts with a road walk. There is a small section of trail along the Bark River, and then a bit more of road walk before running along the Bugline Trail. The actual hiking trail does not go on the bike trail, but runs along the trail in the trees and brush. It’s real easy to be hidden, and one lady didn’t even realize we were on the trail until her dog came over to say hi. Parts of the road walk were on some busy roads, which is a pain. Hopefully someday the alliance can buy more land along the Bark River. Near the end of the segment we met a lady who was out hiking with her family. She said they were hiking the sections in that area and wanted to do the entire trail. I think it’s great that they were out doing that and that the kids were interested too! She said her daughter was keeping track of what they had done. They were redoing a part, and she said her daughter made a comment about already doing that section and they wouldn’t be completing more of what they had to do. She sounds a bit like me!
The Monches Segment is all trail and runs near the Oconomowoc River. We had some nice views of the river and some interesting boardwalks. As we were going along the river I was reminded that back when I had lived in Oconomowoc, I had considered kayaking the Oconomowoc River from North Lake all the way to Oconomowoc, but never did it. It was just another thing that I never got around to. Back then I had also bought the Ice Age Trail map and guidebook and was going to start hiking all sections of the trail in Waukesha County, but only did a small part of the Scuppernong Segment. It’s thanks to Lapham Peak that I started thinking about the Ice Age Trail. The trail runs right through the park and I spent a lot of time at Lapham. It’s too bad I didn’t do the Monches Segment while living in Oconomowoc, Penny would have really liked it. Penny spent a lot of time at Lapham though, she learned to hike there as a cute little fuzz ball puppy! The Monches Segment ended at the Waukesha/Washington County line. I’m almost done with Waukesha County! I have the Delafield Segment and part of Lapham Peak to do.
The day was a long day, but overall a good hike. We spent a lot of time on paved path and roads, so I wore my running shoes. My feet hurt like normal, but I wasn’t too tired. I’m looking forward to doing the sections in Washington County!