XENIA — Geocache enthusiasts from throughout the tri-state region are expected to travel to Ohio for Greene County Parks & Trails’ (GCP&T) second annual “Choose Your Own Adventure,” which will begin with registration at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 17, at Caesar’s Ford Park, 520 S. Stringtown Road.
“We’ll be offering daytime geocaching throughout our local parks, trails and businesses, as well as a night geocache at Caesar’s Ford Park,” said GCP&T Chief Naturalist Cris Barnett. “Geocaching is becoming extremely popular with individuals of all ages and families. We think of it as a modern-day scavenger hunt. We’ll be placing more than 100 caches for the event. It’s a great way to spend time outdoors together.”
Geocaching is searching for caches within unknown locations using longitude and latitude coordinates with a GPS unit or even a smart phone. The caches usually contain small trinkets, toys, books and more, she adds.
“As long as it is legal and moral, it can be placed within a cache,” said Barnett. “One gentleman dispersed his personal coin collection in a cache. Caches are not hard to find but are not in plain view; sizes of the caches can vary as well.”
Participants will register at Caesar’s Ford Park to receive their GPS coordinates for the geocache. A Silent Auction will also open at 10 a.m. and include such items as swag bags, geocoins and local gift certificates. A track and trade table will also be set up for travel bugs, geocoins and cache boxes.
The start of the geocache begins at 10 a.m., Barnett said, and participants can complete puzzle caches, multis, nano’s and traditionals throughout Greene County.
Cache trails will include two beginner’s trails; traditional trails; bike trails; businesses to be announced; as well as a night trail(s) at Caesar’s Ford Park.
Two trails will be handicapped-accessible, Barnett adds.
“It really is a design your own adventure event,” she said. “You can participate on foot, in your car or on your bicycle. Participants can search for as many or as few of the caches as they want.”
For those new to geocaching, a Geocaching 101 seminar will be held beginning at 11 a.m. at Caesar’s Ford Park with a limited number of GPS units available for training only.
Geocache participants will return to Caesar’s Ford Park for Meet-and-Greet with dinner available by local vendors. Participants can enjoy the geocoin and travel bug trading table, as well as a make-and-take your own cache containers session.
An event Silent Auction closes at 7 p.m. and all prizes must be picked up by 8 p.m. or arrangements can be made for pick-up at Greene County Parks & Trails, 575 Ledbetter Road, during normal working hours.
Caches are left in place for one week, she adds, with some becoming permanents. If participants cannot participate that day or discover all the caches that day, they can pick up coordinates on May 17 and search at any time during the following seven days.
Pre-registration is requested; cost for the geocache event is $10 per person over the age of 16. The first 100 registrants will receive a geocoin. To register or for more information, call Greene County Parks & Trails at 937-562-6440, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log on gcparkstrails.com and click on the activity guide link.