Most of the Ice Age Trail—a thousand-mile work in progress—traces the edges of the state’s last glacier, which melted more than 10,000 years ago. But in southwestern Wisconsin, the trail dips into the Driftless Area, an ancient landscape of twisting valleys and ridges untouched by the ice. Delve into this region on one of the trail’s newest segments, a moderate 5-mile out-and-back in the Table Bluff area that was completed in 2006. From the trailhead, follow the yellow blazes south through prairie, woods, and oak clearings. Near the southern end of the segment, ascend to the head of a 500-million-year-old Paleozoic ridge looming 100 feet above the surrounding terrain. The ridge offers birds’-eye views of the Driftless Area—including 1,716-foot Blue Mound to the southwest—and Black Earth Creek, a Class I trout stream in the valley below.
Info: Ice Age Trail Companion Guide and Ice Age Trail Atlas (Ice Age Park & Trail Foundation)
Hike provided by the Ice Age Park & Trail FoundationEvent and membership info: iceagetrail.org
Location: 43.1443824768066, -89.6707534790039