The National Scenic ice age Trail that starts in Polk County’s Interstate Park, was featured at the 70thbi-annual Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Adventure Expo held Nov. 22-24 in Minneapolis, Minn.
Polk County Tourism Council and Ice Age Trail Alliance members provided Expo visitors with information about the 1,100 mile hiking trail across Wisconsin that follows the southern edge of the glacier that covered a large portion of the state and then retreated, 10,000 years ago, leaving behind the geography of our state we enjoy today. They also distributed Polk County Visitor’s Guidebooks, maps and area promotion information. Over 10,000 people attend the three day Expos, held in November and April each year.
The Ice Age Trail has over 1.2 million visitors a year, who bring $113 million to the state and local economies.
Destination marketing is important to Polk County, where visitors spent over $91.7 million in 2018.
Polk County serves as the western terminus of the trail in Interstate Park and has many interesting segments, including the recentlycompleted trail segment through Wisconsin’s newest State Park, Straight L`ake, east of Luck.
The Ice Age Trail was started in 1958, and is a cooperative effort between the National Parks Service, landowners, local governments, and volunteer members of reginal chapters.
The Ice Age Trail Alliance, and the local Indianhead chapter, have hosted several Mobil Skills trail building events over the past three years to complete trail segments through Straight Lake State Park, and north of St. Croix Falls. Many interesting remnants of the glacier’s advance and retreat are easily seen in Straight Lake Park, east of Luck and Frederic.