30 Aug Geocaching is Fun!
State parks in the Old 96 District keep us entertained throughout the year. Hiking, biking, canoeing and camping can keep even the most active person busy. With all that the Old 96 District has to offer, treasure hunting can be added to the list. Hidden behind a rest room, under a picnic bench or in a tree — are containers of gems to be found. You may see treasure hunters hiking with you at Sumter National Forest or milling around your camp site at Modoc Campground.
These 21st century pirates are called geocachers. Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
Geocaches can be found all over the world. South Carolina has become a popular spot for trinket hunters. The web site www.geocache.com will connect you with geocaches all over the Old 96 District, from downtown Laurens to Lake Greenwood State Park. You can choose geocaches based on your skill level and terrain. The flat bridges and view of Lake Russell at Mariners Nature Trail may be more your skill set rather than the more rugged trails of Baker State Park. Search for caches at Lake Thurmond or Turkey Creek Trail. Also, www.trailink.com has a list of geocaching sites throughout South Carolina.
If you are hoping to get rich on this treasure hunt, you will be disappointed. The caches you find are more in the Dollar Store category than Tiffany’s. For these GPS Genius’ it’s all about the hunt rather than the loot.
Be aware, the containers can be as tiny as a ring box or as large as a tackle box. If you locate a cache, you can take something from the container as a memento, but you have to leave something for the next player. Finders are asked to sign a log and return the cache to the same hiding spot. Their successful searches can be entered in the geocaching website, allowing others to share in their adventure. Players also comment on the geocaches they participate in. So, you can find out how they enjoyed hunting at Savannah Valley Railroad Trail vs. Ten Governors Trail before you start out on your next adventure.
Geocaches are another way to enjoy the state parks in the Old 96 District. It’s just one more way that the Old 96 District is out of the ordinary.