Hiking the Ice Age Trail East Lodi Marsh Segment


Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment
Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment

Hikers and trail runners will be hard pressed to find a more athletic, scenic, and rewarding footpath in the greater Madison area than the the East Lodi Segment of the Ice Age Trail. This 2.9 linear footpath dips into valleys and soars to scenic hilltops with multiple strenuous climbs. Below panoramic overlooks is the scenic Lodi marsh carved out by the oxbowing Spring Creek. These pastoral views are best observed at sunset.

The East Lodi Segment connects directly to the Lodi Marsh Segment to the southwest and the Lodi segment to the north. Avoid parking on Hwy 113 and head over to the lot on Lodi Springfield Road.

Overshadowed by nearby trails at Gibraltar Rock and Devil's Lake State Park, the East Lodi Marsh Segment is not as well traveled. But, as word is getting out about the quality of this hike it is gaining in popularity.




Farm and Sunset along the Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment
Farm and Sunset along the Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment


The East Lodi Marsh Segment is one of the best hikes in the greater Madison area - though lesser known. It is a vigorous hike with excellent panoramic views of pastoral hilly landscapes along the southern edge of the driftless area. And, the footpath is well cared for.

Beginning at the IAT parking lot on Lodi Springfield Road the route ascends up a gentle rolling hill through restored prairie and into a dense hilltop forest. This first climb alone is enough to get your heart racing. With a quick switchback hikers are brought back down into a valley where a stream cuts through that feeds Spring Creek.

From a bridge over the stream there is a long climb through a dry goat prairie. There is a possible loop route attached to the IAT on this hill and connects to a second parking area. Further up the hill you will be treated to the best views of the oxbowing Spring Creek and Lodi Marsh in the wetlands below. The hilltop area was recently acquired and the tilling fields burned to establish extensive restored prairie. Through this exposed hilltop area there is a long descent towards the Columbia County Line.

From the Columbia County Line the trail descends rapidly through a leafy forest. Bottoming out in another valley the trail then skirts the edges of active agriculture lands and crosses under a railroad bridge before terminating at Highway 113 where the trail connects to the Lodi Segment - a trail town walk alongside roads and on sidewalks. There is perhaps a single parking space near the gate on Hwy 113, but the trailhead on this end is on private property - it is better to park at the lot on Lodi Springfield Road.

If you are doing the trail as an out-and-back you will get in one level 5 mountaineering rated climb topping out at the Columbia County Line. With the other hill climbs included this trail becomes a very athletic and rewarding hike. The total out-and-back will reach about 6 miles and can be done within 2 hours at a brisk pace or 3 at a slower pace. The multiple hill climbs at East Lodi Marsh may be limiting and overwhelming to novice day hikers. Trail runners seeking an aggressive workout will be hard pressed to find a better route within a 20 minute drive from Madison.

Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment
Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment


Overview: Ice Age National Scenic Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment


COUNTIES: Columbia, Dane
COMMUNITIES: Lodi

TOTAL MILES: 2.88 linear
DIFFICULTY: Moderate-Difficult

NEXT IAT SEGMENT EASTBOUND: Lodi Marsh Segment
NEXT IAT SEGMENT WESTBOUND:  Lodi Segment

POINTS OF INTEREST: Lodi Marsh State Natural Area

CAMPING: Crystal Lake Campground  8 miles west

LODGING: Lodi Valley Suites, Victorian Dreams Bed and Breakfast 2 miles north


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

Nearest Address for your GPS: 7603 Lodi Springfield Rd Lodi, WI 53555
| coordinates: 43.282315, -89.547129 |

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


Photos



Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment
Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment

Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment
Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment

Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment
Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment

Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment
Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment

Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment
Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment

Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment
Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment


Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment
Ice Age National Trail - East Lodi Marsh Segment







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