Wisconsin hikers who traverse the Ice-Age Trail are sure to find scenic beauty, but until recently they didn’t have access to a scientifically based overview of the region’s geology. A new book provides that overview:
Geology of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, by David Mickelson, Louis J. Maher Jr and Susan L. Simpson, 2011 University of Wisconsin Press, 2011, 408 P.
The Ice Age Trail, one of eleven National Scenic Trails in the United States, is a thousand-mile footpath highlighting Wisconsin’s world-renowned Ice-Age heritage. Hikers have a new type of escort for the trail: it’s part guidebook, part resource text and part tribute to the trail.
Anyone who understands the intense satisfaction of learning to read a landscape, of discovering the eons of story hidden in the texture of land forms, will love Geologyof the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Geology nerds will discover enough scientific depth to satisfy their quest for a comprehensive study. Wannabe geology nerds will find they can access the information that is richly supplemented with pictures and graphs that unlock the secrets of the land. Find general information on the glacial periods and specific forces and impacts. Find exacting information such as where the hiker can find the best spot to view dramatic or fascinating formations.
Lead a hike
This is not a book that children are likely to use, but adults will find a metaphoric treasure map to entice the youngsters. Mickelson, Maher and Simpson offer comprehensive coverage of the specific segments of the trail, so adults and guides can read about a section before hiking and then lead the family to fun in the field. Find a big ball-like rock called a grinder that formed by spinning in an underwater pothole. Hike to Turtle Rock: yes—it looks like a giant turtle. Find rippled rocks that embody ancient waves. These earthy wonders make an imprint upon children and adults even before they [we] begin to make sense of them. The experiences help us learn to love our Earth.
Readers can make sense of scientific geologic realities that could lead to informed stewardship of the land. Once readers understand Karst topography, they access richer insight into the corresponding vulnerability of groundwater. After readers understand the eons of alchemy in creating fertile farmland, they might cherish this resource. This comprehensive guide adds fun and credible insight to any undertaking of Wisconsin’s Ice-Age Trail
This review previously appeared in the Sierra Club’s Muir View.