Hiking the Ice Age Trail Cross Plains Segment


Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment
Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment

Cross Plains is a charming small town nestled in a valley between imposing hills on the edge of the Driftless Area. It is an Ice Age Trail Town; a great place for long distance hikers to refuel, take a swim in a public pool, do laundry, and have that twisted ankle looked at by a doctor at the medical clinic. Overlooking this scene of casual rural town life is a segment of the Ice Age Trail high on a hilltop in the Andersen Preserve. The majority of this short 2.8 mile segment loops through the nature preserve, but the tail end of it passes by the local swimming pool and the Ice Age Trail Alliance Office. If you're thru-hiking stop in to say hi, maybe they will have a care package for you.




Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment
Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment

The Cross Plains Segment is short and surprisingly nice. The majority of its miles traverses a hilltop which is reached by a steep climb from Hickory Hill Street. On top the hill there is a large restored prairie at the far end of which is a short trail to a disperse camping area. The DCA is new and not listed in the 2014 guidebook or atlas.

From the DCA the trail winds around forested ravines. The trail then crosses back across the prairie and enters a restored oak savanna. There is a good lookout spot near the end of the trail in the Andersen Preserve. From the lookout there is a quick switchback trail that leads out of the woods in between two residences in a newer residential neighborhood. You'll progress Southeast from there on Lewis Street to the public swimming pool and turn left towards the center of town.

It is another 8.5 miles on country roads to the next segment eastbound: The Valley View Segment. Going westbound, you'll find the lovely Table Bluff Segment about 2 miles from Hickory Hill Road headed westbound.


Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment
Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment


Overview: Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Cross Plains Segment


COUNTY: Dane
COMMUNITIES: Cross Plains

TOTAL MILES: 2.8 miles linear
DIFFICULTY: Moderate

NEXT IAT SEGMENT EASTBOUND: 9 miles on roads to Valley View Segment
NEXT IAT SEGMENT WESTBOUND: 2 miles on roads to Table Bluff Segment

POINTS OF INTEREST: Andersen Preserve, IATA Office

CAMPING: Disperse Camp Area


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: 2425 Hickory Hill St, Cross Plains, WI 53528
| coordinates: 43.118319, -89.652106 |

From Milwaukee2 Hours
From Madison20 Minutes
From Green Bay2.5 Hours
From Wausau2.5 Hours
From Minneapolis4 Hours
From Chicago2.75 Hours


Photos



Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment
Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment

Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment
Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment

Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment
Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment

Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment
Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment


Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment
Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment

Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment
Ice Age Trail - Cross Plains Segment






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