PORTAGE, Wis. – The Marquette Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is closed!
The Ice Age Trail Alliance was asked to remove a section of trail from private land north of the City of Portage, where an informal agreement to host the Ice Age Trail had been in place for decades. The Alliance made efforts to work with the landowners to keep the trail open but was unsuccessful.
The result is closure of the more than four-mile Marquette Segment of the Ice Age Trail between Governor’s Bend County Park and the Portage Canal.
The Ice Age Trail was not permanently protected through this area, according to Kevin Thusius, director of land conservation for the Alliance.
“There are sections of Ice Age Trail like this throughout the state where we have a ‘handshake’ agreement on private land,” Thusius said. “These are vulnerable to loss, and the Alliance strives to work with willing landowners to protect the trail. We also respect the rights of the private landowners and are flexible in working with them to ensure the trail works for all parties involved.”
This closure marks the end of a long and storied segment of walking trail in the area. It has been designated as the Marquette Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail for at least 25 years. Prior to that, the trail was known as both the Marquette-Joliet Trail and the Boy Scout Trail since the late 1950’s. Generations enjoyed the trail as a place to exercise, observe nature, or simply get away.
The Ice Age Trail Alliance invests a wealth of resources into building and maintaining the Ice Age Trail. Together with its partners at the National Park Service, the Alliance is committed to identifying a new route for the Ice Age Trail between the City of Portage and John Muir County Park in Marquette County. This process may take decades, and the Alliance asks for the public’s patience and support.
The Ice Age Trail Alliance’s staff and volunteers thank everyone who contributed to the former Marquette Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.