We finally got back to the Ice Age Trail after about a month away!!! The day was very warm and sunny for January in Wisconsin. I think I may have even gotten a bit of sunburn on my face. Jared and I hiked with Jessa, Nick, and their dog Dane.
The hike started at the Kettle Moraine State Forest Pike Lake Unit and headed south. We hiked about 1/2 of the Pike Lake Segment. Part of the segment was through fields and we had a good view of a large hill that was created by the glacier. I’m not sure if it was a kame, but it looked like it.
The Holy Hill Segment was next, and this segment had some ups and downs. Jared made it seem hillier and tougher than it really was. Overall it really wasn’t too hard. There are parts of the Ice Age Trail that are tougher to hike. This was a nice segment to do in the winter because the leaves weren’t on the trees and we had some good views. We were able to see the basilica in a few spots and had lunch at a pickup table with the basilica in view. It was warm enough to make the snow slippery and sloppy. Some parts of the trail got pretty slippery and muddy. We passed many groups of people, something you don’t often see on the Ice Age Trail, so we were obviously in a popular area.
The Lowe Lake Segment started where the Holy Hill Segment ended. This was another nice segment that traveled through the woods and some nice grassy fields. By this point in the day it was pretty warm, and I had been hiking without mittens for most of the day. This doesn’t usually happen in the winter. I was also starting to feel some minor pain in my knee.
Since our last hike I’ve been to the physical therapist and found out that I have IT band tendinitis. I have some exercises to do 3-4 times a week and the physical therapist recommended icing my knee when it starts to hurt. I brought along a Dixie cup ice cube that I made ahead of time and iced my knee at lunch time as a preventative measure. My knee started hurting at 10 miles, and at times hurt more, but it didn’t get too bad by the end. Later in the evening though it felt pretty stiff.
We ended the hike at a nice parking lot that is a newer addition to the trail. It’s large and has many spots to park. Our ending mileage was a little over 14 miles. It was a nice day, and it definitely did not feel like January!
The hike also ended with some delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies from Jessa! If you want to make a hiker happy, bring cookies!