Local photographer discovers small-town Wisconsin’s hidden gems during 1,200 mile hike

Local photographer Cameron Gillie is on a two-year journey to hike the Ice Age Trail. Gillie is capturing Wisconsin’s small-town hidden gems along the way.

“There’s a lot of interesting things in all these small towns,” Gillie said. Gillie is a former newspaper photographer who now spends his time taking photos during his explorations around the state.

Local photographer discovers small-town Wisconsin’s hidden gems during 1,200 mile hike

Gillie’s adventures on the Ice Age trail are mapped out as the trail goes through “Sturgeon Bay in Door County, goes down through Janesville, past Wausau, past Antigo, and curves around back to the Minnesota border, actually. So, it’s 1,200 miles in all.”

Gillie started his journey at the end of April and has hiked 400 miles so far. But this journey is about more than taking photos.

While he doesn’t miss a beat on his path, he’s making sure his heart doesn’t miss a beat either.

Look how awesome these pics are! These beautiful photos were taken in small towns around Wisconsin by a local photographer who is on a 1200 mile hike to discover some hidden gems in our state. Follow his journey here: https://t.co/IAmPtTq6rw pic.twitter.com/ghDCFDw2wv

— Jamie Perez (@JamiePerezTV) October 3, 2019

“I had open-heart surgery five years ago,” he said. Gillie said his heart conditions were unexpected at the time and doctors told him he was “basically having a heart attack” when he went to the hospital to get a checkup.

Gillie’s health motivated him to start exercising. What started as small walking and biking adventures around town turned into a bigger journey of exploring the entirety of the Ice Age Trail.

“The end result hopefully will be a photography book,” Gillie said.

Local photographer discovers small-town Wisconsin’s hidden gems during 1,200 mile hike

Gillie sometimes stays at home for an evening if the weather becomes too unbearable, but for the most part, he said he camps out on the trail.

Gillie’s adventures have led him into small towns he would have never otherwise explored. He said: “There’re all kinds of surprises. In fact, I’ve been surprised at the diversity, the interesting things I’ve found in small towns that you normally when you drive by at 60 mph it doesn’t look like much.”

To follow Gillie’s journey and stay informed on the stories he unfolds along the way, you can follow his Facebook page here.

Local photographer discovers small-town Wisconsin’s hidden gems during 1,200 mile hike

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