Geocaching, an outdoor sport combining technology and recreation, has quickly become a popular activity at the Arboretum. Using a handheld GPS unit, visitors can navigate to a geocache and use hints and clues to find the geocache in this high-tech treasure hunt. The Arboretum is currently home to 10 total gecoaches under special permit by the US Forest Service. Experienced geocachers are encouraged to download the coordinates of these caches and trek out on their own. Beginners or those without their own equipment may choose to borrow a "Geocaching Packet" from the front desk of the Baker Exhibit Center. These packets contain information about each traditional geocache from geocaching.com, as well as a family friendly GPS unit.
Visitors wishing to geocache at the Arboretum may create a geocaching account for free at www.geocaching.com as well as view a simple video that explains the sport, and view geocache locations all around the world, and possibly in your own neighborhood.
Geocachers are encouraged to view geocaches on a map prior to beginning their search, and follow a route that includes walking on trails whenever possible. Please be careful not to trample plants in garden areas and to tread lightly any time when leaving a trail.
Please join us in thanking our Community Partner Diamond Brand Outdoors for support of this program.
I have never gone geocaching, what do I do?
Most people begin by creating a free account at www.geocaching.com. You will create a username, or nickname that you use to sign in, but also to be known by in the geocaching community. You will also use this name to sign the log book found in every geocache. To get started today without registering just yet, follow these steps:
1. Use your GPS unit (or borrow one from the front desk of the Baker Center) to choose a geocache to navigate to. Please note that only Arboretum staff may place geocaches on property, and no geocaches are allowed outside the Arboretum property in Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Geocaches are known by both their name and their “GC” code.
2. Look at the map and plan a route to get near the cache while using the trails. Please be careful of sensitive garden areas and stay on trails as much as possible.
3. Follow the GPS unit to the cache. Most GPS units can get within approximately 30 feet of the cache.
4. Look for the cache. You may choose to decrypt the hint if you have difficulty locating it.
5. Once you’ve found the cache, use the pencil to record the date and your geocaching username. If you brought an item to swap, put it in the cache and take an item out of similar value. If you find a “travel bug”, or an item with a special serial number on it that can be tracked, be sure to return this to another cache– these are not for keeps!