Ice Age Trail Alliance Acquires Farm Land in Manitowoc and Waupaca Counties

MANITOWOC — Hikers, get out your maps… of Wisconsin Ice Age National Scenic Trail is growing.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance acquired two properties in Waupaca and Manitowoc counties that are now permanently protected as part of the trail. The nonprofit Alliance used its own funds to purchase the land.

Sixty acres in the Manitowoc County town of Schleswig will accommodate more than three-quarters of the future Ice Age Trail. This property increases the size of the Alliance’s Brownrigg-Heier Preserve to 316 acres. It also fills a gap by connecting the preserve to Manitowoc County park property, which hosts the 2.3-mile Walla Hi segment of the Ice Age Trail.

“Our map of this area looked a lot like a checkerboard, but over time it has become much more unified,” said Kevin Thusus, director of land conservation for the IAT Alliance, in a press release.

“Now these uninterrupted hectares can benefit from a coherent management plan that promotes healthy habitats for native plant and animal species,” added Thusius.

He also said this land was important to protect because of its location as well as its glacial geology.

“This area of ​​Walla-Hi represents one of the northernmost parts of the Kettle Moraine topography, meaning steep, rolling hills and dry kettles emerging from mostly flat terrain,” Thusius said.

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The property can be used for a new 2.5 mile section of the Ice Age Trail and connect to the existing trail in Walla Hi County Park.

Additionally, the Alliance purchased 28 acres of land in the Scandinavian Town of Waupaca County. This land will eventually host more than a quarter mile of trails in the county.

Nestled between Skunk and Foster Lakes State Natural Area, the acquired land eliminates a current road walk on the Ice Age Trail. Since it is adjacent to public land, the new site increases the area available for recreation and ecology…

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