Hiking the Ice Age Trail - Brooklyn Wildlife Segment


Along the Ice Age Trail at the Brooklyn Wildlife Area
Along the Ice Age Trail at the Brooklyn Wildlife Area

The Brooklyn Wildlife Segment is a 3.7 mile section of the Ice Age Trail. This moderately difficult footpath threads along the eroded glacier moraine in south central Wisconsin in the Brooklyn State Wildlife Area near Belleville.

The segment directly connects to the Montrose Segment on its north end which has a disperse camping area and access to the Badger State Bicycle Trail. From the south end of the Brooklyn Wildlife Segment there are 3.7 miles of roads to travel to reach the Badger State Trail at the north end of the IAT's Monticello Segment.



Along the Ice Age Trail at the Brooklyn Wildlife Area
Along the Ice Age Trail at the Brooklyn Wildlife Area


The Brooklyn Wildlife Segment of the IAT is a very pleasant walk through a glacially sculpted landscape. It is close to the Madison area and is a popular weekend and weeknight hiking spot for meetup groups, church groups, and friend outings. There are three access points from spacious parking lots. And, there are several connecting routes which offer loop trail combinations. The trail is also popular with trail runners, dog walkers, bird watchers, solo section hikers, and families introducing their kids to the sport of hiking and appreciation of the outdoors.

The length of the IAT here covers hilly terrain. You will climb a few small kames and pass along the rim of shallow kettles. While the trail here is not difficult, it is not easy to hike the full length either. At 3.7 miles linear it will take approximately 2.5 hours to hike it as an out-and-back section. The degree of challenge here is just enough to make your visit here feel like a true hiking trip rather than a walk in the park.

A wide mowed grass footpath cuts through the length of the wildlife area. Along the way hikers are treated to a mix of terrain - from dry oak savanna on the hills to wide open restored prairies and wetlands. There are a few good overlooks. Crane Lookout is an especially nice place for a break. And, indeed, I did observe a family of cranes circling the wetlands below. The cranes are most active around sunrise and sunset - but their cackle can be heard throughout the day.

For weekenders and thru-hikers there is camping nearby at New Glarus Woods State Park and a disperse camping area along the Montose segment abut 1/4 mile west of the north end of the Brooklyn Wildlife Segment. There is also a hand operated water pump on Birthday Hill.

The Brooklyn State Wildlife Area is a public hunting area and hunters use the trail to access substantial hunting grounds. When hiking in the early fall bow season and late fall gun season it is wise to keep your pets on a leash and to wear bright colors for your safety.

The Brooklyn Wildlife Area is an expansive and park-like setting. With easy parking, wide groomed trails, and a variety of flora, fauna, and terrain - it would be easy to visit and explore this place many times throughout the changing seasons of the year.

Along the Ice Age Trail at the Brooklyn Wildlife Area
Along the Ice Age Trail at the Brooklyn Wildlife Area


Overview: Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Brooklyn Wildlife Segemnt


COUNTIES: Dane, Green
COMMUNITIES: Exeter, Dayton, Belleville, Brooklyn

TOTAL MILES: 3.71
DIFFICULTY: Easy

NEXT IAT SEGMENT EASTBOUND: Monticello Segment 
NEXT IAT SEGMENT WESTBOUND: Montrose Segment

POINTS OF INTEREST: Brooklyn State Wildlife Area, Birthday Hill, Crane Lookout


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: N9401 Hughes Rd Belleville, WI 53508
| coordinates: 42.842544, -89.499299 |

From Milwaukee1.5 Hours
From Madison30 Minutes
From Green Bay2.5 Hours
From Wausau2.5 Hours
From Minneapolis4.5 Hours
From Chicago2.5 Hours


Photos



Along the Ice Age Trail at the Brooklyn Wildlife Area
Along the Ice Age Trail at the Brooklyn Wildlife Area

Water Pump in the Brooklyn State Wildlife Area
Water Pump in the Brooklyn State Wildlife Area


Along the Ice Age Trail at the Brooklyn Wildlife Area
Along the Ice Age Trail at the Brooklyn Wildlife Area


The Montrose Segment across the road from the Brooklyn Wildlife Segment
The Montrose Segment across the road from the Brooklyn Wildlife Segment