This is an Intermediate Level trip
Friday March 8th
Assemble at Backpacking Shelter 3 after 6pm as your schedule permits. The hike from the parking area to the shelter is about ¼ mile. With the short hike and assorted schedules we won't hike in as a group. The parking area for Shelter 3 is located on Division Road about ½ mile south off of County Highway F. Division Road is plowed up to the small roadside parking area that can usually accommodate 3 or 4 vehicles. If there are more vehicles than space we may need to shuttle vehicles sooner than later. DO NOT BLOCK THE ROAD! Although the road appears to end at the parking area it also serves as a snowmobile trail and that continues beyond the plowed portion. The trail to the shelter starts west from the parking area and joins the access trail from the Ice Age Trail (indicated by the dotted blue line on the KMSF-NU map), it then continues on to the shelter. I’ll drop some firewood ahead of time so weather permitting plan on a nice evening around a campfire. There isn't access to well water near shelter 3 like the other shelters so plan to bring enough for Friday night and half of the hike Saturday.
Saturday March 9th
In the morning we need to backtrack to get to the Ice Age Trail so we can hike out past the parking area and vehicles. This provides an opportunity to grab some extra water, exchange gear and dump off trash and extra weight. It will be easiest to shuttle vehicles in the daylight so we’ll most likely do it in the morning.
The hike from Shelter 3 to Shelter 4 is about 7.5 miles. We'll take the Access Trail to the Ice Age Trail and follow it to the Butler Lake parking lot; this part of the hike is about 3 miles. There we can refill our water and take a lunch break. Then we will continue on the IAT another 4.5 miles to Shelter 4. Again I plan to drop firewood ahead of time for a toasty campfire. The water source for shelter 4 is about a mile away at the Parnell Tower parking lot.
Sunday March 10th
We’ll hike to our vehicles and shuttle people as necessary. The Parnell Tower parking lot is about a mile away but isn’t plowed and will likely still be gated off. It may become an option but we’ll plan to continue north on the IAT another 3.75 miles to the Greenbush Ski Area parking lot since it is plowed through the winter. From there we’ll get everyone back to their vehicles and possibly stop for a bit to eat, time permitting.
The shelters do have a pit toilet/outhouse but do not have a water source. They don’t have a fireplace or stove but provide excellent protection from the wind and elements. I will bring a tarp to cover the door and windows. Participation will be limited to 10 persons based on the DNR shelter occupancy limit. There are benches along the walls to sleep on but they won’t accommodate 10 people. There is plenty of floor space and we are allowed to set up tents around the shelter. A parking sticker isn’t required for the roadside lot at shelter 3 but the Greenbush Ski Area or Parnell Tower parking lots do require a sticker. Self-registrations stations are available. Snowshoes and cross-country skis are welcome if the conditions permit.
Average temps for this time of year: High = 38, Low = 16
Your $25.00 participation fee includes the following:
Shelter Reservation (2 nights, $12.00/night) - $24.00
Reserve America reservation fee - $9.70
Meetup Fee (2 nights, $5.00/night) - $10.00
Firewood (10 units, $5.00/unit) - $50.00
Map - Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit
Feel free to contact me with any questions through the meetup site or directly at [masked]