A tradition started while geocaching on road trips and family vacations, our team has joined up with data-obsessed VaCacheners™ around the world—compiling 19 states and one lonely country to the statistics page in our team profile on Geocaching.com. Each time we make a new find in a new state, an electronic souvenir (similar to the Ohio state badge shown to the left) is added to the “Your Souveneirs” page online and the My Souveneirs tab on the Groundspeak smart phone app (go to the main page and then tap the “saved” button on the bottom of the screen).
Having recently stayed at four of Ohio’s Great State Parks, our group took the opportunity to “get off the beaten path” and see what hidden treasures Ohio has to offer. Normally traveling with a pre-loaded GPS unit, I did some pre-trip homework and knew each of the lodges had GPS units available at the front desk.
Programmed with both public caches and private coordinates shared with park patrons, geocaching at Ohio State Parks allows you to earn your electronic souvenir and cache for some real souvenirs too. Stocked with gift-shop themed goodies, private caches at the parks allow visitors to cache in the name of vacation memories. With the private caches, a family could easily otherwise spend $20 on the same items they discover while having an adventure of their own.
Not to mention, seasonal park lodging packages cleverly named “Explore S’more” are available to the general public and include accommodations, a kit for s’mores, firewood, a free movie, map, compass, coupon book, and two hours with a borrowed GPS unit. GPS units are also available for rent in each location for four hours at a somewhere between $20 and $25 (rates, dates, and availability varies per location). Having personally geocached at both Maumee Bay State Park and Salt Fork State Park, I enjoyed the splendor of Lake Erie and the mystery of the deep-dark woods.
Information on the Explore S’more packages can be found by clicking on each of these links: Mohican State Park Lodge, Punderson Manor State Park Lodge, Maumee Bay State Park Lodge, and Salt Fork State Park.