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Contact: Susanne Thiede-Barnet, 608-242-8895
Geocaching Takes Wisconsin By Storm
Hobbyists discovering new caches and contests in West Bend and throughout Northwoods
(April 27, 2010) — Geocaching offers vacationers a fun and inexpensive excuse to get outdoors. This relatively new hobby is a high-tech treasure hunt whose participants use GPS devices to locate hidden containers called geocaches and share their experiences online. Around the world, geocaching is enjoyed by participants of every age. The sport encourages support for the environment and community involvement.
With huge events, hundreds of caches, and plenty of woodlands, the opportunities have never been better for Wisconsin-bound geocachers. Three hotspots for this “game of high-tech hide and seek” are the City of West Bend and the Northwoods towns of Rhinelander and Boulder Junction.
Known as the “Geocaching Capital of the Midwest™,” West Bend is home to a massive geocaching event each summer. An hour from Milwaukee and less than two from Chicago and Madison, West Bend’s $1,000 Cache Ba$h™ is the perfect way to get involved in geocaching. The Cache Ba$h™ is Wisconsin’s first-ever “Mega Event.”
This year’s event (August 13-14th) features an entire weekend of adventure: family friendly activities like a mystery and night caching, Geogolf, a pancake breakfast, beginners’ classes and much more. More than 450 caches are spread within a seven-mile radius. For the competitive geocacher, the West Bend Cache Ba$h™ prizes are among the region’s richest — $500 goes to the first place finisher.
Geocachers in West Bend also enjoy the community’s award-winning Museum of Wisconsin Art, the West Bend Sculpture Walk, and other attractions.
The Rhinelander Area
A virtually untouched wilderness filled with caches — that’s what the Rhinelander Area offers. With more than 80 caches in the area ranging in difficulty, geocachers in this Northwoods paradise have tons of choices.
The “Osprey” cache is among the area’s most challenging and rewarding, and requires crossing rolling hills along the edge of a cedar marsh. The cache is positioned with a wonderful view of the home waters of an annually returning pair of Osprey. Many Rhinelander caches are part of the Northwoods Treasure Hunt, and offer special prizes to diligent geocachers.
The best place to start is with the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce maintained caches, which are positioned throughout Rhinelander’s downtown and also in nearby Oneida County Forest and various county recreation areas.
Like its neighbor to the south, Boulder Junction offers geocachers a pristine wilderness waiting to be explored. More than 50 caches can be found in the Boulder Junction area, ranging in difficulty and accessibility. Boulder Junction’s abundance of lakes and woodland trails make geocaching in the area especially enjoyable.
One of the more unique caches in Boulder is “Fire Break,” located on Marsh Road (also known as “The Flats”), which serves as a man-made firebreak for the town of Boulder Junction. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a beautiful afternoon hike to the springs of North Creek to find the “Spring to the Springs” cache. A cache with an historical flair is “Old Boulder Tower.” Located near the town’s 84-foot-tall fire tower, which was built in 1932, this cache is accessible to the adventurous geocacher by hiking from a nearby road.
Learn more about the 2010 West Bend Cache Ba$h™ and register your team at www.westbendcache.com.
Get information for planning your geocaching trip to Rhinelander by visiting www.explorerhinelander.com.
For complete trip planning information for Boulder Junction, visit www.boulderjct.org.
Boulder Junction and Rhinelander are both part of the Great Northwoods Treasure Hunt. Find special caches at www.northwoodsgeocaching.com.
For additional information about the growing popularity of geocaching in Wisconsin, contact Susanne Thiede-Barnet at 608-242-8895 or Susanne@pilchbarnet.com.