This EarthCache is located along a section of Wisconsin's Ice Age trail. Expect to cross a prairie and enter the woods which will lead you to the escarpment. In summer Brady's Rock may be a bit overgrown and in winter there may be ice so use caution.
The trailhead and parking is available roadside at N42 54.560 W088 28.426. Be sure to pull completely off the road and watch for traffic. You should expect to walk about 0.60 of a mile to the Earthcache location. At no time will you be required to leave the trail. Fall, Winter or early Spring visits offer the the best views of the escarpment! You will take the left trail at the Brady's Rock informational sign.
As this is an EarthCache, there is NO container. To claim this as a find you will need to complete the tasks outlined below. Failure to complete the tasks may result in the deletion of your log without notice.
Niagara Escarpment seen here in red
The Niagara Escarpment
The Niagara Escarpment is a 650-mile long escarpment* in the United States and Canada that runs westward from New York State, through Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. The escarpment is the most prominent of several escarpments formed in the bedrock of the Great Lakes. It was named for it's most prominent feature, that being the cliff over which the Niagara River forms Niagara Falls. In Wisconsin the escarpment extends for approximately 230 miles.
*Generally speaking an escarpment separates two areas of differing elevation, often involving high cliffs. Most commonly, an escarpment, also called a scarp, is a transition from one series of sedimentary rocks to another series of a different age and composition. In such cases, the escarpment usually represents the line of erosional loss of the newer rock over the older.
Schematic cross section of a cuesta (the exposed portion of which is an escarpment), dipslopes facing left; the harder rock layers are shown in darker colors than the softer layers.
Formation and Composition
The Niagara Escarpment's primary bedrock type is dolomite. Dolomite was formed from accumulated sediments of an ancient sea 405-425 million years ago during the Silurian Period of the Paleozoic Era, it's main ingredient being calcium and magnesium carbonate which came from the decomposing shells and skeletons of primitive sea life.
The escarpment is rich in fossils including brachiopods, cephalopods, crinoids, and corals. These fossils represent creatures that lived in the sea and helped to create the materials that made up the escarpment. Wisconsin's state fossil the Trilobite is abundant in some old quarries.
The escarpment was carved out over millions of years through the erosion of rocks of different harnesses. The escarpment features a cap of erosion-resistant dolomite rock which overlays weaker, more easily eroded weather shale rocks, that when gradually eroded leaves a series of cliffs.
Erosion occurred in many ways including the actions of ice, wind and water. This process of erosion can be most dramatically seen at Niagara Falls, where the river has quickened the process. Also hastening the process of erosion was the Ice Age.
During the Ice Age huge glaciers advanced and retreated several times over North America. In Wisconsin the ice age, began 23 thousand years ago and covered Canada and the northern United States with a layer of ice 2 or 3 kilometers thick. In addition to the cutting action of the glaciers, when the ice melted away 10 thousand years ago the rivers and streams also helped to carve out the now visible cliffs of the escarpment. In some places the ground is shallow, because the glacier scraped away the cover and in other places furrows on rock surfaces can be seen where stones in the glacier gouged them. In many areas the glacier deposited huge masses of sand, clay and stones. Because of this, the Niagara Escarpment is not visible everywhere. In such places, only steep slopes can be seen.
Brady's Rock is one of a few areas in Southeastern Wisconsin where the Niagara Escarpment can be seen.
* To claim this EarthCache *
E-Mail me the answers to the following questions (Do NOT post in your log)
#1. From the informational sign you will pass along the way, what did Michael Brady do at this site?
#2. Estimate of the height of the towering rock formation at the posted coordinates; send me your guess.
(you are at the correct formation if the side of a large tree appears to be leaning/growing right into the rock tower).
Uploading photos is the best way to say thanks to the cache developer and to encourage others to visit this amazing location.
The Geocache Notification Form has been submitted to Paul Sandgren of the Wisconsin DNR. Geocaches placed on Wisconsin Department of Natural Resouce managed lands require permission by means of a notification form. Please print out a paper copy of the notification form, fill in all required information, then submit it to the land manager. The DNR Notification form and land manager information can be obtained at: http://www.wi-geocaching.com/modules.php?name=Wiki&pagename=Hiding%20A%20Cache
IATCC is the cache designation to highlight a series of EarthCaches along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail grouped into a special category called "ColdCache."
The Ice Age Trail is one of eleven (11) National Scenic Trails designated by the National Park Service. This unique trail is entirely within the state of Wisconsin and follows along the terminal moraine of the most recent glacier.
This project is supported by the Ice Age Trail Alliance. The goal is to bring more visitors to the trail and promote public awareness, appreciation, and understanding of Wisconsin’s glacial landscape.
More information on the Ice Age Trail Atlas, the ColdCache Project and Awards Program is available at: http://www.iceagetrail.org/coldcache.htm.