Hiking the Ice Age Trail in West Bend

Published: July 26, 2017

The 1,200-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail passes through the heart of West Bend, giving hikers, runners and nature lovers a chance to experience a trail that many consider a national treasure. The trail is administered by the National Park Service and it roughly follows the location of the terminal moraine of the last Ice Age. The terrain is rolling, passing through forests, prairies and farmland of Wisconsin. West Bend is an ideal place to experience the Ice Age Trail. There are many of places to get on the trail in and around West Bend and you can plan a hike of any length.

Here are a few things to know about the trail.

  • In West Bend the off-road portions of the trail pass through Ridge Run Park, Glacial Blue Hills Recreation Area and the Northern Unit Kettle Moraine State Forest. All of these parks offer scenic hiking through glacial terrain and have parking lots near the trail.
  • Stay on track by following the yellow markers. The trail is well marked with these yellow blazes.
  • Want to stretch your legs? Longer-distance trail hiking is possible in the Kettle Moraine State Forest, a short drive north of West Bend. Park on County Hwy H and follow the trail north.
  • Hike and ski! The trail skirts the edge of Sunburst Winter Sports Park. Work a hike into your time at Sunburst this winter or keep the trail in mind if you’re with a group and don’t feel like hitting the slopes.
  • Geocache! The Ice Age Trail has plenty of geocaches to discover. Consider a trail hike when you’re visiting the Geocaching Capital of the Midwest™.