Today’s hike was an exciting one, Penny and I completed all parts of the Ice Age Trail within Dane County! This is Penny’s first completion of a county! (And most likely only one.)
Jared, Penny, and I started at the parking lot of the Springfield Hill Segment, which is north of Indian Lake County Park near highway 12. Our first challenge of the day was to walk about half a mile along highway 12 and then cross four lanes of traffic to get to the quiet country road on the other side. A little ways down the road is the “bridge to nowhere”, which crosses highway 12. We could have used this, but this would have caused us to walk even farther along the highway and then have to double back along the highway to the country road. This bridge was built for the Ice Age Trail, but really can’t be used at the current time due to not being able to get there other than walking along the highway.
We walked about three miles on the road, then entered Indian Lake County Park and finished all on trail. The trails were a bit icy in spots and muddy in many more spots. Indian Lake has a lot of cross country ski trails. I haven’t used them yet, but someday I will have to try them out. We’ve had trouble getting a decent amount of snow for a long period of time in the past few years, so who knows if I’ll ever get there! A new bathroom has also been constructed, and it looks really nice, but I didn’t check to see if it was unlocked.
Springfield Hill to the end of the Indian Lake Segment was about 5.5 miles. We then picked up my car and reshuttled our cars so I could walk from Cross Plains to the south end of Table Bluff. This was all road walking and only 1.4 miles. Jared dropped us off in Cross Plains and met us at Table Bluff. He had already done this part. Next, we needed to do the southern end of the white loop at Table Bluff. Last winter when I did the Table Bluff section, I did an out and back with Penny. On our way back, we did the northern part of the white loop, but not the southern part. To get the Dane Drifters award, we needed to do the white loop. This out and back portion was 1.71 miles, but I can’t count it towards my total since I already did the Ice Age Trail portion and the white loop doesn’t get included in the total.
Our total mileage for the day came to 8.6 with 6.9 going to my Ice Age total. The Dane County segments and connectors are 62 miles. I have done a total of 888 miles and Penny has done 178. The entire trail is currently around 1131 miles, but it’s always changing.