Ice Age Trail: Gibraltar Segment

Gibraltar Rock Natural Area is well-known across the Midwest, especially by rock climbers.  I've mentioned before that it's a happy spot for me. 

DNR closed Gibraltar at the beginning of the pandemic because the trails are narrow, and the crowds are often large.  I thought about sneaking in more than once, but never did. 


The Gibraltar Segment of the Ice Age Trail is from Slacks Road to the Merrimac Ferry.  Although the trail is open, I haven't hiked it much because it's been very busy throughout the summer.  I took a chance last Friday morning at about 8 a.m. and was rewarded with only one other car in the small parking lot.  

No hunting or unleashed dogs are allowed on this segment.  The absence of bullet holes in the sign was a comfort.

The trail starts out in heavy forest and then opens up into prairie.  The leaves are beginning to change, but we've also having windy days.  Fall colors may come and go quickly this year.

Eventually, the trail follows switchbacks down to the Wisconsin River and the Merrimac Ferry.

On the way to the ferry, we only passed one person.  On the way back to the trailhead, we passed about eight people.  Callie and I moved off the trail each time since none of the other people were masked.  The parking lot was now full.  Time to head home. 

Note: On the day after this hike, DNR decided to reopen Gibraltar Rock Natural Area.  I will try a sunrise weekday hike and see if I can beat the crowds.


  1. Not saying it's a bad thing since outdoor activity, when done appropriately, is one of the safer things we can do, but I find it a little puzzling that things are being opened back up at this point in the state's pandemic.

    They are about to open bars back up here in Texas and I'm not about to be frequenting any of them! Not that I ever did pre-pandemic either, but - well - you get the idea

  2. There has been a push in Wisconsin to open up more outdoor spaces as people start heading inside with winter coming. Restaurants in Milwaukee are asking for an extension of outdoor dining licenses beyond November 15th. The idea of dining next to a snow bank doesn’t sound too appealing to me, but at least the ice cream won’t melt.


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