Tuesday, July 12, 2016


After two appointments in Rockford, Illinois, I headed north towards Madison, Wisconsin for my Tuesday meeting.  I stopped in Janesville, to make my first contact with the ICE AGE TRAIL.

The information directly below comes directly from the Department of Natural Resources website for Wisconsin:

The Ice Age Trail is a National Scenic Trail located entirely within Wisconsin. The trail is also one of 42 designated Wisconsin state trails and the only one specifically designated as a "State Scenic Trail." From Interstate State Park on the Minnesota border to Potawatomi State Park on Lake Michigan, the Ice Age Trail winds for more than 1,000 miles, following the edge of the last continental glacier in Wisconsin.

One of only 11 National Scenic Trails, the Ice Age Trail is intended to be a premier hiking trail and conservation resource for silent sport and outdoor enthusiasts. The trail traverses some of Wisconsin’s most scenic landscapes and helps tell the story of the last Ice Age by highlighting Wisconsin's unique glacial features..

In the mood to take a 1000 mile hike?  Consider Wisconsin's ICE AGE TRAIL



My hike began on the Janesville section of the Ice Age Trail, aka The Devil's Staircase, and eventually ended on a long hike along Route 14 as I made a complete 20 mile loop through Janesville, Wisconsin. 

The very first segment of the hike yesterday began with THE DEVIL'S STAIRCASE.

The Devil's Staircase segment of the Ice Age Trail ascends the bluffs alongside the Rock River in Riverside Park. The Devil's Staircase included only the two miles of my 20 mile hike. 

This stone stairway is NOT the DEVIL'S STAIRCASE, certainly not the 'devilish' part!


Your Food Diary For:

BREAKFAST Calories Carbs Fat Protein Sodium Sugar
Omelette - 3-egg Omelette With Cheese 399 0 20 26 611 1
Kirkland - Pre-Cooked Bacon, 3 slices 120 0 9 9 525 0
Turkey & Cheese Sandwich 290 33 10 19 890 6

809 33 39 54 2,026 7
Subway - Footlong Steak and Cheese 760 96 20 52 2,060 16

760 96 20 52 2,060 16
Hissho Sushi - Philadelphia Roll 340 51 10 9 586 0
Hissho Sushi - California Roll White Rice 554 112 6 10 1,240 0
Glaceau Vitamin Water Zero - Squeezed (Lemonade) 0 10 0 0 0 0
Cashews - Raw Cashews 160 8 12 5 5 2
Dark Chocolate Squares 220 21 15 0 30 21
Add Food
1,444 218 53 26 1,866 24
Wonderful - Pistachios 1oz. Bag, 1 oz 80 4 7 3 80 1
Nestlé - Chunky Bar, 1 package 190 25 11 2 15 21
Apple - Apple Gala 240 66 0 0 0 51
Twix Ice Cream Bar, 1 bar 250 28 14 2 75 23

760 123 32 7 170 96
Totals 3,773 470 144 139 6,122 143
Your Daily Goal 7,295 912 243 365 2,300 273
Remaining 3,522 442 99 226 -3,822 130
Calories Carbs Fat Protein Sodium Sugar
*You've earned 5,365 extra calories from exercise today
If every day were like today...   You'd weigh 182.5 lbs in 5 weeks     

Your Exercise Diary for:

Cardiovascular Minutes Calories Burned
10 74
333 3,081

Daily Total / Goal 343 / 30 3,155 / 590  
Weekly Total / Goal 343 / 210 3,155 / 4,130             



This undated article was lifted from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Devil's Staircase segment of the Ice Age Trail in Janesville winds along 50-foot limestone and sandstone bluffs along the Rock River. Photo By Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Ice Age Trail's Devil's Staircase segment a natural oasis in Janesville

Otherworldly could be one adjective to describe this trail.
But not in a hellish sort of way. More in a Jurassic Park, prehistoric kind of way.
Draped in summer's greenery, the Devil's Staircase is a beautiful segment of the Ice Age Trail in Janesville whose name is actually a nod to the deep, rock-strewn gully that cuts from a bluff top down to the Rock River.
The segment is a natural oasis in a city where the Ice Age Trail travels largely along a paved, somewhat urban route.
"You're standing smack dab in the middle of the two best segments of the trail in Janesville," Larry Swanson told me as I pondered which way to hike while standing in the gravel Ice Age Trail parking lot on County Road E. Swanson, a trail volunteer, was spending his Sunday fixing a trail sign post and cleaning up the parking lot's kiosk.
To the west, the 2.1-mile Arbor Ridge segment travels through the Robert Cook Memorial Arboretum. But to the east, the 1.7-mile Devil's Staircase beckoned with rumors of it being one of the most interesting segments in that part of the state.
The trail there was first built in the 1920s, although there is some debate as to who exactly was responsible, said Dennis James, chapter coordinator for the Rock County chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance.
The IATA's trail guidebook says the Civilian Conservation Corps built the segment in the early '30s, but James said the Public Works Department has also claimed responsibility.
"People wanted some trails that went along the bluff, so that whole park was purchased in 1922. It was very, very popular along there, and until 20 years ago or so, there were several artesian wells along there that just had the best water you ever wanted to taste," James said. "If it was the CCC, they usually left some kind of marks, posts or pillars to mark that, and I've never seen one. But it could have dissipated over the years."
Whoever originally built it, the trail had mostly disappeared until five years ago, when the IATA set about restoring it.
"Janesville is pretty much the southern terminus, the turning point for the Ice Age Trail," James said. "The impetus (for building this segment) was it was a really, really scenic path that would benefit not just hikers of the Ice Age Trail, but also the citizens of Janesville."
Today, a less-than-one-mile trail follows the Rock River through a heavily wooded area, flanked by blocky limestone bluffs on one side.
"There are a lot of wildflowers along there, you pass a couple of old quarries as you go along there, there are some geological features," James said. "There are limestone and sandstone cliffs which made it really valuable for someone to quarry before the 1920s. I think it's really very scenic, and then you're along the river. It's just a nice walk."
Route: From the parking lot on County Road E, the trail cuts through a small wooded area, skirts the edge of the Riverside Golf Course, then re-enters the woods for its journey along the Rock River.
The trail quickly descends, then climbs back up a steep, boulder-peppered gully known as the Devil's Staircase — the segment's namesake. While not particularly strenuous, the natural rock steps are prone to being slippery, so hike carefully.
Inside the protection of the forest canopy, the golf course and the city are a distant memory as the trail follows the river, then climbs the hill to parallel 50-foot-high limestone bluffs. Ferns and other cliff-dwelling plants blanket the bluffs' base, while trees provide shade from above.
About half a mile later, the trail exits the woods down a set of stairs (not to be mistaken for the Devil's Staircase) into Riverside Park. From there, the segment hugs the river's shoreline for roughly another mile through the park.
While short, the combination of bluffs, river and woods makes for a terrific jaunt in nature.
While you're there: Extend your hike and continue south along the river through Janesville. There are more than 23 miles of Ice Age Trail and 29 miles of connecting routes in Rock County.
"It's a splendid walk through the city, because you're walking through some of those greenbelts," James said.
Northeast of Janesville, the trail enters the 3.5-mile Storrs Lake Segment, which has new trail sections thanks to a mobile skills project this summer.
Get in even more time with nature at the Rotary Botanical Gardens, 1455 Palmer Drive. Among the 20 acres of botanical gardens are plots with an international focus, including French formal and English cottage gardens. 
Don't leave Janesville without taking in some history. See the spot where Abraham Lincoln rested his head for two nights while delivering speeches in Wisconsin on his buildup to a presidential run at the Lincoln-Tallman House, 426 N. Jackson St. The historical home still has the very bed and blanket Lincoln used. Tours are offered daily in the summer.
More information: For more on the Ice Age Trail in Rock County, see iceagetrail.org/volunteer/chapters/rock-county.
Getting there: Access the Devil's Staircase segment of the Ice Age Trail at the parking lot on County Road E north of downtown Janesville. The trail is about 80 miles southwest of Milwaukee via I-94, Highway 26, Highway 14 and County Road E. The trail can also be accessed from Riverside Park, 2600 Parkside Drive.

I did not spot this creature on the ICE AGE TRAIL, perhaps next time...

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