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IATCC- Parnell Esker EarthCache

A cache by AuntieNae Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 10/9/2007
In Wisconsin, United States
2 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

This is not your typical geocache, it is an earthcache, you will not a "cache container" rather, an earthcache is designed to bring you to a geological feature. See for further details.


Your quest for this Earthcache is a visit to the Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit. Parnell Esker is located in a Wisconsin State Park so a yearly sticker or daily admission fee is required. Hours are dawn to dusk. A paved parking area is a short distance from this Earthcache with a short walk on a gravel trail and very gradual incline. Please be respectful as this is a State Natural Area so a regular geocache would not be permitted at this location. This Earthcache was planned to be as stroller and handicapped accessible as possible. A trip up the stairs would be a great way to take in the beauty of this area but not required. Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a leash no longer than 8 feet. To help prevent the spread of garlic mustard and other invasive species, before entering this area, please thoroughly clean your shoes and clothing. Seeds can lodge in the cracks of hiking boots and athletic shoes as well as in pant cuffs and socks.


There were four major stages of Ice Age Glaciations that left their mark on the topography and soils of Wisconsin. The last stage, called the Wisconsin stage, ended approximately 10,000 years ago. When the great glacial ice sheet that covered this area began to melt, streams spilled down through the holes and crevasses to the base of the ice. There the water eroded winding ice tunnels. Parnell Esker, the ridge that will be in front of you at the posted coordinates, follows the path of such a tunnel.

The stream that flowed past this point under the ice carried sand and gravel washed off the glacier’s dirty surface. Some of these sediments settled in the tunnel, and may have filled it completely. When the ice melted, the walls and ceiling of the tunnel disappeared, leaving on the streambed sediments behind. These sediments, still visible today, form a snake-like ridge called an esker.

Parnell Esker meanders across the landscape for more than x miles. At this point, a road cut has breached the esker. Climb the steps for a short walk along the crest of this intriguing glacial feature.

Enjoy your visit!

To log this earthcache, you must complete the following tasks.

1) ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION The coordinates given will bring you to an educational sign about the formation of an Esker. According to the sign, the Parnell Esker meanders across the landscape for more than xx miles. Email your answer when posting your "found it" log.

2) DETERMINE THE DIRECTION THE ESKER RUNS Bring your compass so while looking at the Esker, determine the direction it takes.. Email your answer when posting your “found it” log.

3) ESTIMATE THE HEIGHT OF THE ESKER Bring your yardstick, tape measure or similar measuring tool. Estimate the height of the Esker at the point of the stairs by a) measuring the height/ rise of a few of the stairs to determine an average height then b) count the number of stairs. Multiply the average height/rise of the stairs by the number of the stairs to get the rough estimate of the height of the esker.

4) BRING YOUR CAMERA (Optional). We would like a photo of your team with your GPSr at the Parnell Esker. You have the option of taking your photo from the bottom near the informational sign OR at the top of the Esker which can be reached via the stairs. If you are solo geocaching, a photo of your GPSr with enough of the location in the background that can be identified, will also be accepted. Please upload your photo(s) with your "found it" log. It would be really neat to see some photos from atop the Esker of the view.

Please be advised, failure to complete the tasks listed above may result in log deletion without notice.

You do NOT have to wait for comfirmation from me before logging your find. Please do not make any reference to these answers in your log.

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: 

 Want to be further rewarded for visiting EarthCache sites around our planet? Then why not become involved in the exciting new EarthCache Masters program. Just visit three or more EarthCache sites (view guidelines) to start being sent special collectable EarthCache Masters pins. There are four levels to strive to own - Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Its free and easy to participate! Come join in the fun.

To visit an Earthcache near you, click on the Earthcache Listings, and find a site that interests you.

This cache placed by a member of:
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As this a State Natural Area, A Geocache Notification Form has been approved by Thomas A. Meyer, Conservation Biologist, State Natural Areas Program, Bureau of Endangered Resources, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 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:

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Oevat lneqfgvpx be gncr zrnfher, pnyphyngbe, qvtvgny pnzren, pbzcnff

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



132 Logged Visits

Found it 128     Write note 3     Publish Listing 1     

View Logbook | View the Image Gallery of 111 images

**Warning! Spoilers may be included in the descriptions or links.

Current Time:
Last Updated: on 8/26/2017 7:06:23 AM Pacific Daylight Time (2:06 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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