Hiking the Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment


Ennis Lake on the Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment
Ennis Lake on the Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment

The John Muir Segment of the Ice Age Trail is a short and easy loop trail around a lake in Montello Wisconsin. The site is the boyhood home of John Muir - the father of America's national parks and a renowned naturalist. This 1.8 mile loop is the only complete segment of the IAT in Marquette County as of 2016. It is located 12 miles from the Portage Canal Segment heading eastbound and 28 miles from the Chaffee Creek segment heading westbound.




Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment
Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment


John Muir's impact on America is evident in the places named in honor of him: In San Francisco the redwood forest named Muir Woods; and the most rugged of the 11 national scenic trails is the John Muir National Trail. There are countless other John Muir branded parks, groves, benches, memorials, trails, nooks, rocks, mountains, streams, and roads found scattered across the country from Connecticut to Alaska. But, this John Muir trail is where the real John Muir got his start in America.

He immigrated with his family from Scotland to a homestead on a hill overlooking Ennis Lake in Montello Wisconsin. Growing up in this environment he was inspired by boyhood adventure and exploration of the animals and plants of this gentle glacial moraine landscape. He wasn't formally educated in his youth, but his natural inventiveness led him to create many ingenious machines. Those inventions landed him a spot at the University of Wisconsin where he began to seriously study and write about the natural world.

After writing several texts, forming the Sierra Club, and earning a reputation as an activist for the preservation of natural landscapes he convinced congress to establish the first national park at Yosemite. He subsequently advocated for the establishment of Sequoia, Mount Rainier, the Petrified Forest, and Grand Canyon national parks.

Muir walked many miles by foot and those miles took him to wondrous places far away from the Wisconsin farmstead where he grew up.  It is only proper to honor that journey by including a segment of the Ice Age National Trail in his honor.

One day the Ice Age National Trail will be complete and one will be able to walk from this small lake in central Wisconsin on a continuous footpath to the St. Croix River, where  a connection trail may lead to the North Country Trail which in turn may connect to a network of national footpaths spanning the continental United States.

One day a young person may be able to set out by foot from Montello Wisconsin and walk all of the way to Yosemite National Park - and who knows what a historical impact that person will have on the future of America.

Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment
Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment


Overview: Ice Age National Scenic Trail - John Muir Segment


COUNTY: Marquette
COMMUNITIES: Montello, Buffalo

TOTAL MILES: 1.8
DIFFICULTY: Very Easy

NEXT IAT SEGMENT EASTBOUND: 12 miles on roads to Portage Canal Segment
NEXT IAT SEGMENT WESTBOUND: 28 miles on roads to Chaffee Creek Segment

POINTS OF INTEREST: Ennis Lake, John Muir County Park, Muir Park State Natural 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: N1395 CR-F, Montello, WI 53949
| coordinates: 43.690575, -89.395375 |

From Milwaukee2 Hours
From Madison1 Hour
From Green Bay2 Hours
From Wausau1.5 Hours
From Minneapolis3.75 Hours
From Chicago3.5 Hours


Photos




Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment
Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment

Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment
Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment


Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment
Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment

Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment
Ice Age Trail John Muir Segment