Hiking the Ice Age Trail Plover River Segment


Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment
Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment

The Plover River Segment of the Ice Age Trail is 5.5 miles of extraordinary footpath in the Wausau area. This segment meanders through varied terrain from open prairie land to deep hardwood forest; through cedar bogs and wetland, and alongside and over the precious babbling Plover River.

It is an inspiring hike from beginning to end and a gem on the overall IAT. Several small hill climbs, rock hops across the Plover River, and sticky muddy areas in wetland make this trail of moderate difficulty. The photogenic meandering boardwalk north of Hwy 52 is an easy section of hiking that is popular with families.



Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment
Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment

Open hilly prairies lead off the Plover River Segment from the southern trailhead. But, before long hikers are shaded beneath the tall canopy of a hardwood forest. This magnificent forest was my favorite part of the trail. Trilliums decorated the soft grassy forest floor lending a fairyland mythological mystique to this woods.

North of the hardwoods a great grove of twisted and sacred cedars close in on the trail. The babbling Plover River sings its way through this cedar grove. A short and easy rock hop gets hikers across the river once and into a muddy wetland area. A timber bridge brings hikers back across the Plover.

Across Highway 52 the volunteer trail crew has been hard at work building extensive boardwalks through cedar swamps. The footpath is wide and grassy through woods the rest of the way.

This is a must-do hiking trail in Wisconsin and is easily paired with the nearby Eau Claire Dells Segment. An 11 mile out-and-back can be accomplished in 4 hours. Or the trail can be broken up into smaller sections for a family outing.

Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment
Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment


Overview: Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment


COUNTY: Marathon
COMMUNITIES: Elmhurst, Birnamwood

TOTAL MILES: 5.52
DIFFICULTY: Moderate

IAT SEGMENT TO NORTH: Kettlebowl Segment
IAT SEGMENT TO SOUTHWEST: Eau Claire Dells Segment

POINTS OF INTEREST: Plover River State Fishery Area, Plover River,


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: P4528 Sportsman Dr, Birnamwood, WI 54414
| coordinates: 45.001121, -89.263598 |

From Milwaukee3 Hours
From Madison2.5 Hours
From Green Bay1.25 Hours
From Wausau30 Minutes
From Minneapolis3 Hours
From Chicago4.5 Hours


Photos


Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment
Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment

Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment
Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment

Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment
Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment


Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment
Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment

Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment
Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment

Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment
Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment

Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment
Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment

Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment
Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Plover River Segment