- Associated Press - Saturday, May 17, 2014

MANITOWOC, Wis. (AP) - This group is putting a new spin on geocaching.

For the uninitiated, geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt during which participants search for prizes using GPS devices. A spin-off is an Earthcache, a geocache that focuses on finding geological features in nature.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance group has come up with a coldcache, which is an Earthcache along the trail.

“Coldcache got started about six years ago. I was working with a group of people trying to think of ways to get more people involved. Geocaching came up as an idea,” said Dolly McNulty, volunteer for the alliance and coldcaching coordinator. “The Earthcaching variation really appealed to me because in addition to getting people out on the trail, we want to have an educational aspect and with Earthcaching you’re learning about geological features.”

The cold in coldcaching is an obvious reference to the trail, which follows the Wisconsin glacier’s southernmost edge, and is a takeoff on “cold cash” or treasure, although neither of those are involved. It’s natural treasures that this group will be pursuing in five upcoming events, three in Manitowoc County.

“It gets more people out on the trail, makes them aware of what the Ice Age Trail is,” she told HTR Media (http://bit.ly/1mnwAaw).

“The hikes I will be leading do not require participants to have their own GPS device because I know where all the sites are located. If they have their own GPS, I can certainly give them the coordinates so they can use them. At the hikes, I will be explaining how people can find more sites on their own,” she said.

And if members of the public don’t have the recommended items to bring, no worries -McNulty will have them along, she said.

The Ice Age Trail Alliance Lakeshore Chapter plans Manitowoc County coldcache hikes on May 24, Aug. 17 and Sept. 27. Other coldcache hikes on the Ice Age Trail are planned June 14 and July 19.

___

Online:

Ice Age Trail: http://www.iceagetrail.org

___

Information from: HTR Media, http://www.htrnews.com