Hiking the Ice Age Trail Merton Segment



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The Merton Segment of the Ice Age National Trail is roughly 3 miles of trail and 2 miles of precarious roadside walking. A short footpath follows the Bark River and then connects to the Bugline trail via Dorn Road. Most of the miles are on the paved Bugline Trail. Another short footpath cuts along next to the Oconomowoc River. Some scenic views are offered along the Bark River, but otherwise this trail is a here-to-there incomplete connection between the Hartland Trail and Monches Segment. 



Ice Age Trail Merton Segment along the Bugline Trail
Ice Age Trail Merton Segment along the Bugline Trail


There's not much going on along this trail. The official IAT guidebook calls this a 5.2 mile trail. But, let's examine the word "trail" very closely here. The official trailhead is in Centennial Park in Hartland. The first two miles of this "trail" is along precarious roadways before you duck into a forest along the Bark River for something like a 1/2 mile.

When you return to Dorn Road there is at least a bike lane that gives some level of protection to hikers before reaching the Bugline Recreational Trail. The IAT existed here before the Bugline was extended on this corridor. So, you will find remnants of the old IAT trail to the left and right of the right-of-way. My advice, just stay on paved Bugline Trail; the side trails are weed and bug infested.

The portion of the Bugline Trail that the Merton Segment follows is long and boring. One highlight is a view of the Milwaukee Polo Club fields. I was lucky enough to be passing during a match. So, that was cool. Otherwise, the Merton Segment was a bust. It's only necessary to hike this trail if you are like me and are trying to knock off each segment of the IAT. Otherwise, opt for the beautiful Monches Segment next door.

Ice Age Trail Merton Segment
Ice Age Trail Merton Segment



Ice Age National Scenic Trail - Merton Segment


COUNTY: Waukesha
COMMUNITIES: Merton
TOTAL MILES: 2.92 Miles Linear
DIFFICULTY: Very Easy

NEXT IAT SEGMENT EASTBOUND: Monches Segment
NEXT IAT SEGMENT WESTBOUND: Hartland Segment




Directions and Trail Map


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Address for your GPS: N78W30778 Funk Rd, Merton, WI 53029
| coordinates: 43.161503, -88.357518 |

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


Photos


Ice Age Trail Merton Segment along the Bugline Trail
Ice Age Trail Merton Segment along the Bugline Trail

Ice Age Trail Merton Segment
Ice Age Trail Merton Segment