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Rib Lake segment of Ice Age Trail to re-open after 15 Years

Ribbon Cutting at Rusch Preserve on Oct. 1

Come the end of September, Rib Lake will be the center of attention for Ice Age National Scenic Trail volunteers and enthusiasts.

Rib Lake, an Ice Age Trail Community, will host a large-scale Ice Age Trail Alliance Trailbuilding project beginning September 26. Nearly 100 volunteers from across the state will converge to complete work nearby on the new, improved Rib Lake Segment of the Ice Age Trail.

The original path of the Rib Lake Segment closed 15 years ago. Since then, Rib Lake resident Robert Rusch worked with the Ice Age Trail Alliance to purchase property for the Trail or secure permanent Trail rights from local landowners for a new Trail route, which runs from County Hwy D to the Ice Age Trail Alliance’s Rusch Preserve on Rustic Rd. 1.

Over the last two years, five large-scale volunteer Trailbuilding projects have taken place to create the new segment. In all, volunteers have created four miles of new hand-crafted Trail, built nine boardwalks and one bridge.

“To lose property rights for the Trail is pretty devastating,” says Kevin Thusius. “But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”

The new path for the Trail follows the terminal moraine of the Wisconsin Glaciation. “Hikers will enjoy a more intimate experience with glacial history,” says Thusius.

The Trailbuilding project concludes Oct. 1, with the grand re-opening of the Rib Lake Segment, including a ribboncutting ceremony. The public is invited to attend the ceremony and be among the first to hike the new Trail. Shuttles will be offered.

Rib Lake Ribbon Cutting and Hike: Sunday, Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Participants should meet at Lake View Park in Rib Lake for free shuttle to the Trail access at the Rusch Preserve. There will be three- or five-mile hike options offered with a return shuttle to Lake View Park.

To celebrate the volunteers who create and maintain the Trail (in Rib Lake and beyond), the Ice Age Trail Alliance is hosting a “Trail-Style Volunteer Party” on Sept. 30 at Lakeview Park in Rib Lake. More than 160 volunteers are planning to attend this event; pre-registration was required.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance chose to host the Volunteer Celebration in the Village of Rib Lake because it is an official Ice Age Trail community; one of 19 in the state.