Hiking the Ice Age Trail - Arbor Ridge Segment


Ice Age Trail - Arbor Ridge Segment
Ice Age Trail - Arbor Ridge Segment

The Arbor Ridge Trail is an easy to moderate 2.1 mile segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Janesville WI. Its route travels alongside Marsh Creek in the Arbor Ridge neighborhood and through the Robert O'Cook Memorial Arboretum. Most of  the trail is singletrack footpath, but there are sections of doubletrack, gravel road, and asphalt - all designated for walking only.

There are many paths which intersect the IAT in the Arboretum, so keep a close lookout for the yellow IAT blazes. This segment connects directly to the Devil's Staircase Segment to the east. There is a 9 mile route on roads separating the Arbor Ridge Segment with the Albany Segment to the west.




Ice Age Trail - Arbor Ridge Segment
Ice Age Trail - Arbor Ridge Segment - Marsh Creek in Janesville WI


The Robert O-Cook arboretum is perched at the top of gently rolling hills typical of southern Wisconsin terrain. As the name implies it is a wooded area - mostly hardwood deciduous except for a small grove of cedar trees.

If you are thru hiking or shuttle hiking the Arbor Ridge Segment of the IAT and starting from its southwest trailhead then your path will be downhill the whole way. I hiked it both ways as an out-and-back beginning at Riverside Park with the Devil's Staircase Segment and continuing into the Arboretum on the IAT. So, I had a 3 mile climb to Arbor Ridge trailhead before turning around and enjoying a swift return walk. My total out-and-back mileage for both segments was around 8 miles, which I finished in 2.5 hours.

The climb was not significant or steep - just long. There was only one hill in the arboretum which got my heart rate up. In general this is a very mild hike and I would suggest it to just about anyone including trail runners.

The trail segment officially begins at the Robert O'Cook Memorial Arboretum parking lot off N.Bluebird Trail. You'll see an archway titled Jolyn Beeman Memorial Trail - this is the trailhead of the IAT Arbor Ridge Segment as well. The first 10th mile is on the paved Beeman trail. After passing a reconstructed vintage log cabin you will turn into the woods on an interpretative woodland footpath. From there you will wind your way through the arboretum down to a beautiful picnic area on Marsh Creek.

From the Marsh Creek picnic area the IAT is a wide two track footpath which eventually crosses underneath high tension power lines. The path then narrows and continues out of the arboretum into undeveloped land alongside Marsh Creek in the Arbor Ridge neighborhood. The trail then connects to the Devil's Staircase Segment at a gravel parking lot across Highway 14.


A vintage cabin in the Robert O Cook Memorial Arboretum on the Ice Age Trail
A vintage cabin in the Robert O Cook Memorial Arboretum on the Ice Age Trail



Overview: Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Arbor Ridge Segment


COUNTY: Rock
COMMUNITIES: Janesville

TOTAL MILES: 2.1
DIFFICULTY: Easy

NEXT IAT SEGMENT EASTBOUND: Devil's Staircase Segment
NEXT IAT SEGMENT WESTBOUND: 9 miles on roads to the Albany Segment

POINTS OF INTEREST: Robert O'Cook Memorial Arboretum, Marsh Creek


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: 2762 N Co Rd E Janesville, WI 53548
| coordinates: 42.715172, -89.053717 |

From Milwaukee1.5 Hours
From Madison45 Minutes
From Green Bay2.5 Hours
From Wausau2.5 Hours
From Minneapolis4.5 Hours
From Chicago1.5 Hours


Photos



This monument sign for the Arbor Ridge Neighborhood is also the marker for the north Trailhead
This monument sign for the Arbor Ridge Neighborhood is also the marker for the north Trailhead

Ice Age Trail - Arbor Ridge Segment
Ice Age Trail - Arbor Ridge Segment

Ice Age Trail - Arbor Ridge Segment
Ice Age Trail - Arbor Ridge Segment


Trailhead of the Arbor Ridge Segment of the Ice Age Trail - Jolyn Beeman Memorial Trail
Trailhead of the Arbor Ridge Segment of the Ice Age Trail - Jolyn Beeman Memorial Trail

Ice Age Trail - Arbor Ridge Segment
Ice Age Trail - Arbor Ridge Segment






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