ColdCache, Native American, Dells tourism

Five newcomers to notice this year:

You’ve heard of geocaching – treasure hunts for families or adults that require little more than a GPS and tips from geocaching.com. Now work has begun to develop a ColdCache program along the Ice Age Trail.

ColdCache refers to geological treasures – barrens to swales – that are found along the trail, which includes about 1,200 miles in Wisconsin. (In geocaching, the search typically involves manmade trinkets.) So the hiking results in geology lessons because questions are associated with each ColdCache site.

Says the Ice Age Trail Alliance: After registering for the program, “you can choose from a list of compelling Ice Age Trail landmarks (ColdCaches) to seek out. Once the ColdCache is discovered, you are asked to perform a simple task and/or answer a question related to the site to verify your find.” www.iceagetrail.org (search for “coldcache”), 800-227-0046

Work has begun to develop Highway 55, between Crandon and Keshena, as a Wisconsin scenic byway. This part of the highway follows the Wolf River, 24 miles of which were designed a National Scenic River in 1968. The area is home to Sokaogon Chippewa, Menominee and Potawatomi tribes.

The first conference to promote environmentally and culturally sustainable tourism in this part of northeast Wisconsin happens May 12-13 at Mole Lake Casino Conference Center, 3084 Hwy. 55, Crandon. Participants will learn about the history and culture of the area, hike along the river and network about tourism possibilities. www.wolfriverbyway.org, 877-764-9653

North American Indigenous Games – Around 5,000 teen to adult athletes from hundreds of U.S. tribal nations convene at several Milwaukee venues July 10-14, to compete in lacrosse, archery, dodge ball, canoeing, swimming and a dozen other sports.

Open to the public is a tribal village with Native American entertainment, crafts and spiritual ceremonies. Eleven Wisconsin tribes host the event; locations not yet announced. www.milwaukee2011.com, 920-217-0309

The International Crane Foundation, E11376 Shady Lane Rd., Baraboo, introduces An Evening with the Crane, 4-8 p.m. June 25, a fundraiser that includes crane talks, tours, wines, appetizers and music. Cost is $50 per ticket in advance.

The foundation, which added Spirit of Africa exhibits and an expanded viewing area recently, is the only place where the world’s 15 types of cranes can be seen. www.savingcranes.org, 608-356-9462

More than one dozen longtime performing artists in the Milwaukee area market themselves as Organic Arts Ltd., to make themselves more easily known to prospective customers, which include community festival organizers, educators, churches and other communities in need of entertainment. Specialties include bluegrass music to professional storytellers. www.organicarts.info, 414-486-1694

In Wisconsin Dells:

Noah’s Ark, 1410 Wisconsin Dells Parkway, during Memorial Day weekend opens a new 4-D movie based on “Pirates of the Caribbean.” That means take a seat in your swimsuit; the wavy motion, scent of salt water and cool splashes engage all senses at the nation’s largest waterpark. www.noahsarkwaterpark.com, 608-254-6351

The new, nightly Lost Voyage trip by Dells Boat Tours, 701 Broadway St., follows 1943 folklore about a boat full of tourists that went missing. Riders disembark at Cold Water Canyon and explore the area on foot; the outing turns into a game of “Clue” that participants can continue online and at home. Eerie special effects and the addition of ghostly actors make this venture unsuitable for children younger than 10 years old. www.dellsboats.com, 608-254-8555

For nightclubbers and fans of Jamaican food, Marley’s Club, 750 Wisconsin Dells Parkway, presents a new and bigger home with ship-to-shore decor that is enhanced by sophisticated lighting effects. Now the line between the family-friendly restaurant and the cocktail crowd’s lounge area is more distinct. Small to large groups can book private gathering areas on the second floor, overlooking the dance floor. Choices include the eye-catching Bubble Bar. www.marleysclub.com, 608-254-1800.

Illusionist Rick Wilcox intends to routinely make a full-sized helicopter appear on stage during his new magic act at Rick Wilcox Magic Theater, 1670 Wisconsin Dells Parkway. www.rickwilcox.com, 608-254-5511

The two dozen water skiers at the Tommy Bartlett Ski Show, 560 Wisconsin Dells Parkway, go retro – wearing 1950s costume designs and revisiting a few moves from the era – to celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary. www.tommybartlett.com, 608-254-2525

A new campground – Mykonos Village and Camp Resort – at Mt. Olympus, 1881 Wisconsin Dells Parkway – opens this year. A stay includes Mt. Olympus water and theme park admission; that includes the new “Night at the Theme Park” access and activities from 8-11 p.m. or 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on select summer nights. www.mtolympuspark.com, 800-800-4997

“Roads Traveled” is the result of anonymous travel, independent travel, press trips and travel journalism conferences. What we choose to cover is not contingent on subsidized or complimentary travel.