Hiking The Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment


Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment
Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment


The Springfield Hill Segment of the Ice Age National Trail was established in October 2014. It is an easy 1.6 mile loop in Dane WI near Springfield Corners and US14. Springfield Hill hosts a disperse camping area for long distance hikers and is near to a footbridge over Highway 14. The current loop trail cuts through oak savanna and hardwood forest on a ridgeline before gently descending into a prairie. Springfield Hill stands alone, separated by many miles of connecting road routes to the Indian Lake and Lodi Marsh Segments.




Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment - Historic Cabin in Distance
Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment - Historic Cabin in Distance


This new section of trail can be a bit rough and overgrown. It is not well known and not well traveled. Springfield Hill adds needed miles of footpath in between Indian Lake and Lodi Marsh. Unfortunately it is oddly laid out. Even though the land parcel attaches to the IAT footbridge over Highway 14 the trail route does not connect to the bridge or even venture near to it. The trail route doesn't run in the direction of Lodi Marsh either.

I think the idea with Springfield Hill was to get some miles of footpath established while a corridor of connected land parcels can be assembled to create a better laid out linear trail - which would cut down the miles of roadside walking between Indian Lake and Lodi Marsh.

Loop trails are more suitable to recreational day hikers; however, I think the mistake here is that there are so many quality hiking trails in the area that Springfield Hill is not likely to become a popular day hiking destination. It would have been better to think about this segment as a linear trail for distance hikers; directly connecting to the hwy14 bridge. With that said, a disperse camping area was included at Springfield Hill which is a much needed place for distance hikers to lay their heads between Cross Plains and Lodi.

Despite the trail's proximity to the busy and loud US14, the walk at Springfield Hill is surprisingly quiet and beautiful. In Summer it is vibrant with wildflowers and it looks to be an ideal snowshoeing trail in winter.

Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment
Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment


Overview: Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Springfield Hill Segement


COUNTY: Dane
COMMUNITIES: Springfield Corners, Dane

TOTAL MILES: 1.7 mile loop
DIIFICULTY: Easy

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

POINTS OF INTEREST: 1850's log cabin

CAMPING: Dispersed Camping 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: 8189 Ballweg Road, Dane, WI 53529
| coordinates: 43.221238, -89.620387 |

From Milwaukee2 Hours
From Madison15 Minutes
From Green Bay2.5 Hours
From Wausau2 Hours
From Minneapolis4 Hours
From Chicago3 Hours


Photos



Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment - Disperse Camping Area
Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment - Disperse Camping Area

Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment - Side trail to Disperse Camping Area
Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment - Side trail to Disperse Camping Area


Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment -1850's cabin
Ice Age Trail Springfield Hill Segment -1850's cabin