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™.
If you are a seasoned geocacher or brand new to the game, Virginia State Parks Wildlife Adventure is just what you need to get out and discover the natural side of Virginia. Each of Virginia’s State Parks has a special geocache with a collector’s wildlife card that is unique to that park. Collect five cards from different parks and you can get a special prize; and there are more prizes at the 10-park, 20-park, and all-park levels. But wait, there’s more! Each park will have a small supply of “wild cards” that will be set out in caches throughout the year. So you never know if you are going to be one of the few who get there at just the right time.
Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park is one of the Finger Lakes Region’s Crown Jewels. The park spans over 14 thousand acres along the majestic Genesee River. Its stunning scenery and three dramatic waterfalls, one of which is 107 feet high, make this park one of the most notable examples of waterfall and gorge scenery in the eastern United States. Miles of multi-use trails, swimming pools, camping and cottage facilities, water-sports and even hot air balloon rides make it a perfect destination. It’s also a well known spot for geocaching, with over 40 “caches” placed in the park at present. Placing rules are available at the Main Office in the park. Approval is required for placing a “cache.” There is not approval necessary for looking for caches.
If you count yourself among the thousands of adventurous geo-caching types, you undoubtedly already knew that “B.Y.O.P.” is an acronym for “Bring Your Own Pencil.” For the Caching uninitiated, the biggest buzz centers around Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory, birthplace of geocaching. Starting on June 25th, three Territory communities (Canby, Estacada and North Clackamas) have combined forces to offer a highly-prized challenge in recognition of the 10th anniversary of geocaching. A required logged “find” of the original geocache site is included somewhere along one of these routes. Discover a determined number of the caches in each community, and secure one of the commemorative numbered coins provided by each town (while supplies last).
With the new Georgia State Parks Geo-Challenge, players download a PassPort from www.GeorgiaStateParks.org, find hidden stamps in each cache to spell out the PassPort’s message, and collect custom geocoins. Forty-two state parks have hidden caches with “first to find” prizes of a free night of camping. Three parks also have more elusive “bonus caches.”
Lawrence County Indiana
With man-made and natural wonders, Lawrence County, Indiana is known as the ‘limestone capital of the world’ and the center of Hoosier Heartland. Located between Southern Indiana’s recreational playgrounds: to the north, Lake Monroe; to the south, Patoka Lake, Paoli Peaks, and the French Lick-West Baden resort area. Intriguing limestone mills and quarries are surrounded by scenic hills and natural marvels. Visitors can check out a GPS unit from Lawrence County free of charge (each unit is preloaded with 37 local caches and accompanied with print-outs of their locations and descriptions).