First light gave every impression of another wonderful day during our recent February thaw. However, the weather is going to change after today so I made an early decision to hike without driving very far. Fortunately, I live in an area with terrific day hiking possibilities. Ten minutes after hopping into the car, I was on the Ice Age Trail-Lodi Marsh Segment.
This trail is accessed at the Robertson Parking Lot on Lodi Springfield Road just a few miles outside Lodi, Wisconsin. The 1.5 mile loop climbs up and down ridges overlooking the Lodi Marsh. There is a mix of prairie and woods with views looking across the scenic Lodi Valley towards the Baraboo Hills.
A short distance from the parking lot, there is a steep set of steps/trail off to the right leading down to the above spot at the edge of the marsh.
Feeding the pool is a bubbling spring. People do fill up containers of drinking water here. I’ve had water straight from springs before, but I’ve not sampled this one.
After completing this short hike, I cross the road to the 3.2 mile Eastern Lodi Marsh Segment. The trail turns muddy and then icy in the shaded woods. Later, I emerge on higher, dry ground.
Continuing across the top of the ridge, I pass a beautiful log home, and continue beyond until I reach this mileage marker sign.
Knowing that the remaining two miles into Lodi would be a muddy and icy downhill through the shaded woods, I opt for calling it a day and head back to the car, hiking about 5 miles total today.
At least two people from Lodi have thru-hiked the entire Ice Age Trail–a distance of over 1,000 miles. Much of the route is road walking, as the hiking trail part of it hasn’t been completed. While hiking this winter, I ran into a young man attempting to be the first person to ever complete a winter thru-hike. This was during a period of below zero weather. He confessed to spending a few overnights indoors but was looking forward to spending the next night outside, as the forecast called for a warming trend to single digits.
The Ice Age Trail is maintained by volunteers. When I owned my coffeeshop, the local trail organization met at my place for monthly meetings. If you are interested in getting involved or just want to learn more, visit the Ice Age Trail Alliance.