I’m BAAAACK! Well, this has been a busy and stressful past few months. With my kids’ soccer in full force and some other personal commitments, I was barely finding time to hike, let alone write about my hikes. Mid-October, I was able to squeeze hiking back in, just in time to see fall colors.
Shampoo Effect for Hiking??
Have you ever washed your hair in the morning, then got super sweaty and washed it again later that day? It takes less shampoo to get your hair sudsy again. BUT, if you wait a few days, you might need to use more shampoo or even wash it twice to get the same amount of suds, am I right? (There’s also an alcohol version I first heard about in college from my cousin, but that’s another story!) It is the same for hiking and me. If I go every week, I can easily let my mind go and sink into the hike. I notice the smells, sounds, changes in season, etc. BUT, on my first hike back after my break, my mind was still clouded with to-do’s, stresses, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but it didn’t “sink in”. These past few weeks, the hikes have sunk in and my shampoo effect is back!
Gave It Another Try
The last time we were at Walla Hi was in August of 2020. It was so hot, so muggy, and SOOOO buggy. Argh! I just couldn’t wait to get it done! Plus, it’s about an hour from my house, so it is one of the segments further away and we weren’t in a hurry to get back. This weekend started the nine-day gun hunting season in Wisconsin and the Ice Age Trail (IAT) put out a list of safe segments to hike. Keep in mind that the IAT shares much of the land and some of it is private land. Needless to say, Walla Hi made the safe list, so we gave it another shot!
Share the Trail
The trail kicked off by going under a picturesque covered bridge that crosses a stream. This segment is part of the Walla Hi County Park which includes a horse trail and other looping hiking paths. It is very well marked so be sure to follow the yellow blazes and signs.
The Glaciers Were Here
Very quickly, one can easily see that glaciers were here featuring kettles, moraines, and erratics. (Glacial Definitions) What does that mean for us hikers…lots of ups and downs! The landscape seemed to have waves of land surrounding us and as we traversed through them, on top of them, and in between them.
Take a Rest
The trail had a few benches to stop and take a rest, two were new and in remembrance of someone. These are always great spots to grab a quick drink and give a moment of pause for the hikers that passed on.
You can thank the IAT volunteers for the crowning gem on this hike, the stone staircase. It winds up out of the forest where the trail opens up to a farm field. Just a short trip past the field and we reached the end of this segment.
Wait, What About Lunch?
We had spotted a bench on top of a hill that we had pinpointed to eat at on the way back. As it turns out, it was the perfect rest stop we needed. What we had failed to realize on the way out, after this bench, we went down quite a ways. So, that meant we had to go back up! Admittedly, it kicked my butt a bit on the way back, so it was well deserved to sit and have lunch.
The Way Back
The rest of the way back went by pretty quickly. The sun tried to peak out and the leaves reflected its light. Walla Hi completely redeemed itself! It would be just spectacular in peak fall with the different types of trees. In the spring, I could imagine wildflowers and the forest coming to life. We will be back!
We had ALMOST gone to 3 Sheeps Brewing in Sheboygan several times, but just never made it…but today was finally the day. It was only about 20 minutes from the trail head, we had finished the hike earlier than expected and with no plans later in the day, we had no reason not to go! First off, they are dog-friendly inside the taproom-yeah! The outside looks like a warehouse, but trust me, it’s a great atmosphere inside! Kurt and I both had Chaos Pattern IPA-New England-Hazy. It was delicious!
One More Stop
We had to stop at one of our favorite places…Il Ritrovo. They cook all their pizzas in a wood fire oven and it’s some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. They are not dog-friendly as you can imagine. BUT, I made a quick run into their mini-grocery store to get a loaf of their Italian bread. Yes, seriously, it was worth it to just get the bread. While I could barely wait to have a piece, they actually recommend waiting a day to cut it. I stole a piece that night, then we had more the next night with our dinner. So delicious dipped in olive oil!
And that, my friends, is today’s Tail from the Trail.
Trail: Mix of dirt and rock
Trail Features: Covered bridge, stream (at the beginning), glacier features including kettles, moraines, and erratics (aka lots of ups and downs), forest, stone staircase, farmland
Trail Type: Out and Back 2.0 miles (4.0 total)
Parking: Yes, WI parks sticker required
Parking: Yes, WI parks sticker required. In the fall/winter, only the parking next to the barn was available. We walked a short distance to get to the IAT trailhead.
Longitude / Latitude coordinates: 43.904266, -87.948672
Bathroom Facilities: Yes, in the park, but not adjacent to the trail head. Follow signs and walk to bathrooms. (In summer, a road is open for driving to the bathrooms).
Dog Friendly: Yes, must be leashed at all times. BYOB Bring Your Own (Poop) Bag! I did not see any bag dispensers. Please carry out your dog’s poop!
Wisconsin has a nine-day gun hunting season. Much of the Ice Age Trail goes through private land or other areas where hunters are allowed. There are some safe segments where hunting is not allowed. It’s also a great time to check out other parks in the state. No matter, it’s a good idea to wear blaze orange on your head and/or chest.
Here is more information from the Ice Age Trail: MORE INFO
16 IAT hikes during the nine-day gun hunt season: HIKES
Located just 20 minutes from the trail head, this is an awesome detour. They have an abundance of indoor seating, yet still with a great atmosphere. The staff was super friendly, and our bartender was excited to talk about nearby hikes with me. The beer was delicious and I was able to sample a couple before making my decision. They do not serve food but, you can bring your own snacks and food.
Dog Friendly: Yes, just make sure they are on a leash and well-behaved.
Address: 1837 North Ave, Sheboygan, WI 53083
Located in downtown Sheboygan, Il Ritrovo is a VPN-certified Neapolitan pizzeria and specialty Italian grocery store. They use local and high-quality ingredients. If you can’t stay to eat, I still recommend that you stop by the grocery store side and get the Italian bread they serve in the restaurant. And don’t worry, hiking clothes would be totally appropriate for this casual spot.
Dog Friendly: No, it is a restaurant and as with many restaurants with only indoor seating dogs are not allowed.
Address: 515 S. 8th Street, Sheboygan, WI