The Niagara Escarpment Resource Network’s “Waters of the Ledge Tours” program was created to offer people experiential education about the many jewels found in the lands and waters of Wisconsin’s Niagara Escarpment and Cuesta. Each year, NERN’s Steering Committee selects key destinations for guided tours which expose participants to unique aspects of the Niagara Escarpment corridor. We engage a number of expert volunteers to lead the tours and share their knowledge, passion and perspective with participants. With guidance from our Steering Committee and assistance from the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, we are expanding and growing these great on-the-ground and on-the-water adventures.
To cover expenses and support staff time organizing the tours, we charge participants but offer NERN- and LNRP-paying supporters a discounted rate. Pre-registration is necessary to keep group size ideal for participants’ enjoyment and our tour planning. We send out registration information by email through co-founder Eric Fowle’s news briefings and LNRP’s announcements.
Our first tour of 2016 on May 21 took place on a beautiful spring day, providing we lucky paddlers with a gentle and engaging kayak/canoe paddle of the delightful Killsnake Marsh and Manitowoc River, guided by Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership board member and Calumet County native, Rock Anderson.
Tour coordinator Dena Mooney of the NERN Steering Committee said,”We had a beautiful June day for the Breaking Bread in the Holyland Ledge Tour. The bus was full as we journeyed to “The Holyland” of northern Fond Du Lac and southern Calumet Counties. Tour leaders were Dr. Joanne Kluessendorf (Weis Earth Science Museum) and Karen Abler (Holyland Catholic Parish). We explored four churches with each being so different. St. Cloud had amazing stained glass windows, St. Joseph’s was simple but had an interesting story about the steeple being removed from the top of the church and moved to the side. St. John’s, the oldest church between Milwaukee and Green Bay at 175, was still as beautiful as the day it was built. Last but not least was St. Mary’s in Marytown with its breathtaking beauty and views. The last stop on the tour was at Roepke’s Village Inn in Charlesburg to experience one of the area’s most popular supper clubs.”
When we launched this program, our first tours included:
- Saturday, June 23, 2012 – A Trek through Fonferek Glen, Brown County (Led by UWGB Geologist, Dr. John Luczaj)
- Friday, September 7th, 2012 – The Ledges & Quarries of Oakfield, Fond du Lac County
And, those we offered in 2011:
- March, 2011 – Calumet County Park (geology & geotourism)
- May, 2011 – Washington Island Adventure (geology, land protection & food production)
- July, 2011 – Karst Landscape Tour (groundwater contamination, grazing, and farm management)
- September, 2011 – Bats, Mines & Iron Ore in Dodge County.
- November, 2011 – Wequiock Falls & Bayshore County Park: The Geology of Brown County with Dr. John Luczaj, UW-Green Bay.
If you have any questions about the Waters of the Ledge Tours, or would like to offer some suggestions or assistance toward this program, please contact us at Niagara@escarpmentnetwork.org.
We welcome your participation!