Located just a short hike down from the Ice Age Trail, you will find the hidden kettle pond of Lapham Peak State Park. Closest parking is at the top of the peak under the observation tower, then head down the steps to the Ice Ace Trail. Be prepared for some significant elevation change heading down to the pond, then climbing back up to the peak. Because this is in a state park, a daily or yearly permit is required.
About 20,000 years ago, two lobes of the Wisconsinan Glacier, the Green Bay lobe and the Lake Michigan lobe, met along a line extending from Walworth to Kewaunee County. In the encounter, large blocks of ice were broken off and buried in the glacial deposit or "till". So envision this block of ice sitting there under all this debris starting to melt as the climate warms. The sediment on top settles down as the ice disappears, forming a steep-sided depression in the earth. This is now a "kettle", which was named for the kettle pots used for cooking by pioneers.
When the bottom of a kettle lies below the ground water table, a permanent pond or lake will form. In other cases, a kettle might contain what is known as an ephemeral pool which appears after the winter melt and spring rains, but disappears later in the year. Yet other kettles remain dry year round. This particular kettle contains a permanent shallow pond full of aquatic vegetation and is an excellent habitat for reptiles and amphibians.
To claim this earthcache, you must complete these tasks.
1. Hike the Ice Age Trail until you reach the additional coords "Side Trail to Pond" (N43 01.789 W88 23.113). Make note of the man-made structure there, then descend down the small side trail to the bottom of the kettle.
2. Use your GPSr to determine the width of the kettle pond.
3. BRING YOUR DIGITAL CAMERA. Take a picture of yourself or your GPS in front of the pond and post this picture with your log.
4. Contact me through my profile and send me a message with these two pieces of information: the pond width that you measured and what the man-made structure is. Do this at the same time you post your log.
This earthcache is an "Ice Age Trail Cold Cache" and should only be accessed from the Ice Age Trail. Do not hike on groomed cross-country ski trails in this park during the winter. The Geocache Notification Form has been submitted to Ed Musik, Lapham Peak Property Manager, Wisconsin DNR. Geocaches placed on Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource 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/hiding .