Geocaching on Vacation


Thanks to advances in satellite technology, social media, and the Groundspeak Geocaching iPhone application, geocaching as a family hobby is wildly growing in popularity. Yes, you can enjoy finding all the caches in your neighborhood and even treasure hunt on a day trip or two. But what about geocaching as a reason to take a family vacation? At Road Trips for Families, we call it Going on VaCachen™.

Pendleton, Oregon

Over 200 Geocaches listed in the 97801 postal code is only one reason that Pendleton, Oregon makes a great family road trip. Only 209 miles from Portland, 206 miles from Spokane, 284 miles from Seattle and 221 miles from Boise, Pendleton is any easy drive for any family. Enjoy many beautiful sites and geocaching adventures along the way with a historic rich affordable community at the end of the trail. Many of the geocaches in the area offer historically significant sights, including the Oregon and Lewis and Clark trails.

Black Hills, South Dakota

The Black Hills of South Dakota have geocaches scattered all over the million-acre playground. On geocaching.com, over 995 geocaches can be identified within 100 miles of Rapid City and many are accessible for families with young children (400 of these are within 20 miles of Rapid City). While geocaching in South Dakota, you can explore old goldmines, rocky outcroppings and wilderness hiking trails. If you want to do some hardcore hiking, you can find some “extreme” geocaches high in the hills.

Lincoln City, Oregon

Lincoln City, Oregon is not just about the beach! Lincoln City has been involved in geocaching for over three years, and has opportunities for people learn more about the area through the guidance of their GPS units. Geocaching events in Lincoln City occur throughout the year and each event is slightly different (to keep it challenging and fun). Gathering answers from stores or signs can be one option and a spin off of “The Amazing Race” television program at local shops and parks is another. Geocoins highlighting different features of Lincoln City are created every six months and can be earned at a kick-off event or later, as supplies last. The last event in February drew 215 people for the chance at one of 300 coins.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Several different options are available for geocaching in Charlotte, North Carolina. On over 307 acres of scenic land, the U.S. National Whitewater Center has a geocaching program called “eco trekking. ” A GPS unit and passport are provided after after purchasing an eco trekking pass. The Charlotte Museum of History is also the home of a geocache and a great stop on your adventure once you’ve found it. A cache called “checkered flag treasures” is in celebration of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the area of the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Charlotte also has a geocaching club; visit the club website for more information on events and programs.

Highland Forest Park, Syracuse, New York

The 2,800 acre Highland Forest Park near Syracuse, New York is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The Park is well-known for its pristine cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter; but when the snow melts, hiking, horseback riding, and geocaching are popular happenings. Outsiders enter the park and set up the geocaching locations; waypoints are marked with baskets and you’ll need a GPS to find the points and the cache.


About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website RoadTripsForFamilies.com. She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine, Roadtrippers.com, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for TravelWisconsin.com, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at www.juliehenning.com.