DOOR COUNTY (NBC 26) — Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail is officially designated as a unit of the National Park System.
With this recognition, the Ice Age Trail will be better managed and receive access to federal funding.
According to the National Park Service, the Ice Age Trail is nearly 1,200 miles long. The trail stretches from Potawatomi State Park in Door County down as far as Janesville and then up to Interstate State Park in northwestern Wisconsin.
The North Country Trail, which goes through eight states including Wisconsin, is now also officially part of the National Park System.
In 2014, Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, introduced the National Scenic Trails Parity Act, which her office said is bipartisan legislation to grant unit status to the Ice Age and North Country trails.
"Along those hundreds of miles, local businesses, families, outdoor enthusiasts, and communities reap the benefits as visitors from all over come to enjoy Wisconsin’s great outdoors,” Baldwin said in a news release. “I was proud to lead the charge to support both the Ice Age and the North Country scenic trails new designations, unlocking additional federal resources to ensure generations to come can better enjoy Wisconsin’s wilderness.”
Wisconsin congressmen Glenn Grothman (R) and Mark Pocan (D) also commented on the announcement.
“As a lifelong Wisconsinite, I am proud to be from a state with such a beautiful natural environment,” Grothman said in a news release. “I am happy to support this bipartisan effort to ensure the Ice Age Trail has the opportunity to participate as a unit of the National Park System.”
“Every year, thousands of volunteers – including many of my constituents – contribute hours and hours to ensure their neighbors and visitors can enjoy these beautiful trails,” Pocan said in a release. “This new status levels the playing field among other National Parks, giving them more resources to maintain their natural beauty."