Hiking the Ice Age Trail Monches Segment



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Ice Age Trail Monches Segment
Ice Age Trail Monches Segment

The Monches Segment of the Ice Age National Trail is a 3 mile moderate level footpath in northern Waukesha County. It follows and crosses the Oconomowoc River. This woodsy trail winds through low lands before progressing up a level 5 mountaineering rated climb. 





Ice Age Trail Monches Segment
Ice Age Trail Monches Segment



It was a sunny and relatively cool Sunday morning. I say relative because the heat and humidity had been oppressive for a few weeks prior to my hike on this trail. It had also been dumping rain every other day for at least two months. So, the rivers and streams were high and the biting bugs were swarming thick enough to darken the sky.

I did this trail and the Loew Lake Segment with my Uncle who lives in the area. He's more used to running and biking, and hiking for distance was a new thing for him. It was interesting to get an Iron Man's take on the sport of hiking.

We were moving at a fast pace to escape the bugs for most of this segment. Probably at a 4 mile an hour pace at beginning. Every minute I pawed at the back of my neck and snatched a fistful of mosquitoes in my fist. I even got several bites on my chin of all places. It was that bad. It was so bad, that I barely noticed the hill climb as I was just happy to be climbing to some elevation and breeze where the bugs were not as thick. After reviewing the GPS data on this trail it turned out that the one big hill climb was in fact a level 5 mountaineering rate climb (Level 5 being the easiest on the scale).

The scenery on this trail was wonderful. The river and streams were flowing and would have made for great pictures if I had wanted to stop to take more photos. We remarked several times that this would be a great fall hike.

My uncle the Iron Man  triathlete remarked that this trail would be challenging for trail running. The footpath was rocky and slippery. I nearly slipped and fell twice on our hike. He also agreed that hiking is an actual work out and mentioned that his legs were sore at the end of our 8 mile walk / 3 hour walk. So, that makes me feel somewhat justified for being too lazy to run. At least I pack on miles as a hiker. It just takes twice as long as running the same distance would. You could almost say that I'm actually just a very slow runner - so slow that I am just a fast walker.

The highlands section of this hike was much more relaxing but the lowlands area was much more scenic. I rate this trail fairly high for scenic beauty. When it comes to Ice Age Trail hikes there are alot of miles of monotony. It's a treat to have some rivers and bridges to cross. If I lived in the Milwaukee area I would make a point of hiking this segment in all seasons.


Ice Age Trail Monches Segment
Ice Age Trail Monches Segment


Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Segment


COUNTY: Waukesha
COMMUNITIES: Monches, Merton

TOTAL MILES: 3.15 miles linear
DIFFICULTY: Moderate

NEXT IAT SEGMENT EASTBOUND: Loew Lake Segment
NEXT IAT SEGMENT WESTBOUND: Merton Segment




Directions and Trail Map

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Address for your GPS: N78W30778 Funk Rd, Merton, WI 53029
| coordinates: 43.161565, -88.357511 |

From Milwaukee1/2 Hour
From Madison1 Hour
From Green Bay2 Hours
From Wausau3 Hours
From Minneapolis5 Hours
From Chicago2 Hours


Photos


Ice Age Trail Monches Segment
Ice Age Trail Monches Segment

Ice Age Trail Monches Segment
Ice Age Trail Monches Segment

My uncle on the Monches Segment
My uncle on the Monches Segment


Ice Age Trail Monches Segment
Ice Age Trail Monches Segment