Description - As one of the nine units of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve, Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area encompasses 3,400 acres featuring dozens of glacial kettles and ponds, stagnant ice terrain, and ice-walled lake plains. Visible within the park is perched lakes, an area where one lake rests above the other and visible simultaneously. The park's shallow ponds are either spring-fed or snowmelt with few fish but do support amphibians and reptiles. The park's larger bodies of water support smallmouth bass and pan fish. Lakes include both North and South Shattuck, Jeanstow, Knickerbocker, Townline, Horseshoe, and Plummer. Forests are comprised of birch, poplar, and aspen while the forest floor is lush with ferns. White-tailed deer, coyote, black bear and over 150 species of birdlife inhabit Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area.
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Ice Age National Scenic Trail
- One of the key attractions at Chippewa Moraine Ice Age SRA is the Interpretive Center. Visitors are treated to dozens of natural history displays that include mammal mounts, pelts, live fish tanks, beautiful nature photography, bird exhibits, fur trader's clothing, a glacial video, and much more. An auditorium seats 50 and runs an audio / visual presentation about the Wisconsinan, one of four glacial stages to move into northern United States. The Interpretive Center's main room is a joint effort between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The area depicts animal evolution during glacial periods.
Access to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is via the Mammoth Nature Trail, a 0.75-mile nature trail of moderate difficulty. To enhance your hike on Mammoth Nature Trail, the Center loans animal tracks identification cards. Visitors should note that Chippewa Moraine Ice Age SRA is very popular with school children due to the rich natural history depicted along the trail and at the Interpretive Center.
In winter, cross-country skiing is permitted on the ungroomed trails. However, because the trails are hilly, snowshoeing is more popular. The park does loan snowshoes.
The Interpretive Center is generally open 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM daily. The Center does offer a gift shop.
Recreation - Chippewa Moraine Ice Age SRA is a favorite site for school-aged children. The wonderful interpretive center is one of the premier K-12 field trip destinations in Wisconsin. Hiking trails are limited to short half-day hikes with the exception of being able to access the long-distance Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Backpacking sites are offered along this National Park Service trail. See Wildernet's description. Limited fishing is pursued. The study of geology, plant life observation and bird watching are park pastimes.
Climate - Northwest Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. Great Lakes Michigan and Superior tend to make summers cooler and winters milder close to shore. January's average temperature is in the single digits F (-teens C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F for several days (32 degrees C). Nighttime summer temperatures occasionally dip below freezing. The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Northwest Region have a wide range; the southern areas may receive 20" while the northern areas may receive in excess of 200". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.
Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area (Interpretive Center) is located seven miles east of New Auburn on Highway M and 1.9 miles east of State Highway 40 on County Highway M.