Jerry Lake via Ice Age Trail is a 11.7 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Medford, Wisconsin that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Disclaimer: I'm from New England and most accustomed to hiking in western Maine and the White Mountains in New Hampshire. This was my first overnight trip in the Midwest.
My dog and I camped at the primitive campsite near the trailhead on a Friday night, planning to spend an extended weekend in the woods. Parking was just off the road, and the campsite, just minutes from the road, was available--and very quiet! I would not count on getting water from the lake, though, as it's more of a mucky pond with no easy access from shore.
Heading out on Saturday morning, the sound of dogs grew louder as we moved along the trail. I didn't think it was hunting season (other than open season on coyotes), so maybe they were hunting dogs in training, but I was hesitant to encounter a bunch of off-leash dogs with my own leashed dog in tow, so we turned around and headed in the other direction, toward the Lake Eleven segment.
The Jerry Lake segment, from what I experienced, seemed nice enough, and not too overgrown, but I didn't get far before turning around and opting for the Lake Eleven segment. That trail turned out to be quite overgrown, with downed trees obstructing the trail in several places. It's also quite marshy in places, and there were lots of bugs--so be prepared with bug spray if you go in the summer! Between the bugs and the brambles, my dog couldn't handle it, so we headed home early.