Ice Age National Trail - Blue Spring Lake Segment


Ice Age National Trail - Blue Spring Lake Segment
Ice Age National Trail - Blue Spring Lake Segment

The Blue Spring Lake Segment is a hilly and densely forested section of of the Ice Age National Trail. The section begins at Oak Opening hardwood forest and and continues on through the Southern Kettle Morain State Forest. You'll pass by many bike riding and horseback bridle trails including the difficult and popular Emma Carlin Trails.

Though this section lacks major mountaineering climbs and elevations it rolls along up and down and is a good workout for hikers and trail runners. This trail requires moderate skill and fitness levels. To date, this is my favorite section of the IAT that I have hiked.





Bald Bluff on the Ice Age Trail - Blue Spring Lake Segment
Bald Bluff on the Ice Age Trail - Blue Spring Lake Segment


Most of the sections of the IAT that I have thus far hiked have been mostly disappointing in the choice of the route and line of the path. The Blue Spring Lake Section is courageously defiant. The trail twists and turns, runs down hills, presents steep climbs, and otherwise is fearless in its design.

The walk is through dense hardwood forest. The early summer air is so thick that you could drink it down in gulps. Beneath the shade of layers of forest there is little room for vista viewpoints save for Bald Bluff near the beginning of the trail in Oak Opening State Natural Area. Bald Bluff was once a gathering site used for Native American ceremonies. Further down the trail you may find an erratic granite rock known as Stone Elephant. I spent some time trying to make-out the shape of an elephant from this rock feature and was only able to see it as a small boulder.

The trail calms down and levels out after passing through the Horserider's campground. If you are thru-hiking you will find water stations at the Horserider's campground and at the Emma Carlin Trails parking lot.

The deep oak forest and winding trail make this section one that will hook you on hiking if it is the firest section of the IAT that you walk. 

Oak Opening on the Ice Age Trail Blue Spring Lake Segment
Oak Opening on the Ice Age Trail Blue Spring Lake Segment


Overview: Ice Age National Scenic Trial - Blue Spring Lake Segment


COUNTY: Jefferson
COMMUNITIES: Palmyra

TOTAL MILES: 6.5 linear (13 mile out-and-back)
DIFFICULTY: Moderate

NEXT IAT SEGMENT EASTBOUND: Stony Ridge Segment
NEXT IAT SEGMENT WESTBOUND: Blackhawk Segment 

POINTS OF INTEREST: Kettle Morain State Forest Southern Unit, Oak Opening State Natural Area, Bald Bluff

CAMPING: Horserider's Campground


Directions and Trail Map



If viewing on a mobile device, open the trail map above to load into Google Maps App by touching the expand rectangle in the upper right corner

Address for your GPS: W1498 Young Rd, Palmyra, WI 53156
| coordinates: 42.842739, -88.606334 |

From Milwaukee1 Hour
From Madison1 Hour
From Green Bay2.5 Hours
From Wausau3 Hours
From Minneapolis5 Hours
From Chicago2 Hours


Photos


Ice Age National Trail - Blue Spring Lake Segment
Ice Age National Trail - Blue Spring Lake Segment

Ice Age National Trail - Blue Spring Lake Segment
Ice Age National Trail - Blue Spring Lake Segment
Ice Age National Trail - Blue Spring Lake Segment
Ice Age National Trail - Blue Spring Lake Segment