Geocaching Avian Adventure

A new geocaching program offers modern-day treasure hunters an exciting adventure filled with a variety of challenges, rewards, and bird-brained fun!

The Minnesota State Parks and Trails Geocaching Avian Adventure will take you across Minnesota—discovering the hidden gems of the state and revealing exciting facts about Minnesota’s favorite friends of flight.

Centered on Minnesota bird life, Geocaching Avian Adventure will begin this Saturday, June 9 (National Get Outdoors Day), offering long-time and novice geocachers the chance to learn about native avian life and the challenge of finding new caches in state parks, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Adding to the incentive, all state park admissions will be free on Saturday, in celebration of Get Outdoors Day.

A Geocaching Avian Adventure Bird Cache has been hidden and waiting to be discovered in all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas, as well as on one state trail. Your challenge is to locate the Bird Cache using a hand-held GPS (global positioning system) unit.

Most sites have multi-caches featuring several hidden caches with quizzes and puzzles to solve; all have a collectible Bird Card in the final cache.

Each camouflaged Bird Cache includes an instruction card, the Bird Guestbook (logbook), and a collectible Bird Biome Card specific to the state park, recreation area, or state trail.

Each Bird Card is color coordinated to one of the states four distinct natural communities or biomes. Also included in the cache may be small trinkets left by a previous geocacher. If you find a trinket, it’s your to keep. If you choose, leave a trinket in return for the next Avian Adventure geocacher to find.

The clues to their exact whereabouts will be posted at 8:00 a.m. June 9 on the DNR website, mndnr.gov.

“The Geocaching Avian Adventure will be fun for new and experienced geocachers alike,” said Kathy Dummer, interpretive services coordinator for the DNR’s Division of Parks and Trails.

“Everyone who participates will get a little better acquainted with Minnesota’s birds and biomes along the way.”

GPS demonstration parks provide free tips and equipment for beginners.

At 25 designated geocaching demo parks, GPS units can be checked out for free, and Geocaching 101 workshops will provide hands-on instruction for first-time geocachers.

Geocaching 101 programs are scheduled in each region of the state:

  • Northeast Region – Friday, June 8, 1:00-1:30 p.m. at Gooseberry Falls State Park (Two Harbors)
  • Northwest Region – Saturday, June 9, 2:00-3:00 p.m. at Buffalo River State Park (Glyndon)
  • Central Region – Saturday, June 9, 10:00-11:00 a.m. at Interstate State Park (Taylors Falls)
  • Southern Region – Saturday, June 9, 1:00-4:00 p.m. at Camden State Park (Lynd) and 7:00-8:00 p.m. at Sibley State Park (New London)

Since the Geocaching Wildlife Safari began in 2009, the interpretive naturalists at Minnesota state parks have offered 325 Geocaching 101 programs that have reached more than 9,000 participants. GPS units were checked out from the demo parks more than 2,754 times in 2011 alone.

What Is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure-hunting game played by people with GPS devices throughout the world. The object of the game is to find the cache and then sign the logbook to show other geocachers that one has found the location. Some geocachers leave items near the cache for others to have.

What Is a Biome?

Minnesota is rich in natural diversity, providing essential habitat for a variety of plants and animals, especially birds. Minnesota is home to four major biomes, named for the dominant or most common plants that grow there: prairie grassland, deciduous forest, coniferous forest, and tallgrass aspen parkland.

Some birds are found in only one biome while many move between or across different natural communities. Minnesota State Parks and Trails preserve and manage significant fragments of these essential natural landscapes, making them great sites for birds, and for parks and trails visitors, too!

Worth Pondering…
There’s gold, and it’s haunting and haunting;
It’s luring me on as of old;
Yet it isn’t the gold that I’m wanting
So much as just finding the gold.
—Robert Service, The Spell of the Yukon

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Alabama State Parks 2012 Geocaching Challenge

Alabama State Parks kicks off its 2012 Geocaching Challenge at Lakepoint Resort State Park in Eufaula next Friday, April 13.

The kickoff event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with a reception in the Magnolia room at the park Lodge. The event continues Saturday morning, April 14, at 9 a.m. with Geocaching activities planned at pavilions two and four in the campground day use area, according to a state park news release.

Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game in which players hunt for hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and can share their experiences online.

For the Alabama State Parks Geocaching Challenge, geocaches are being hidden at each of the 22 state parks. The caches will have a log book, trade items, and all are kid friendly.
Each cache will also contain clues to a puzzle cache.

When geocachers complete the statewide challenge and successfully open the puzzle cache they will be rewarded with a specially designed Alabama State Parks Geocaching coin. The only way to receive this coin will be to complete the challenge.

A second Alabama State Parks coin is being produced and will be sold in each park gift shop.

A special Alabama State Parks geocaching coin is being produced during the challenge and will be sold in each park gift shop. There will be two versions of the coin available, a trackable and non-trackable coin.

There will be two versions of the coin available, a trackable and non-trackable coin.
During the kickoff event, geocahers are invited to participate in a cache contest to be held at pavilion four on Saturday, and a Cache In-Trash Out (CITO) event at 9 a.m. at pavilion two.

Registration for the cache contest is at 9 a.m., the contest begins at 10 a.m.

Various prizes will be awarded for the best cache including a free weekend at Lakepoint Resort State Park, and a weekend of free camping in the Chewacla State Park Campground during football season.

Attendees will vote on the best cache, and winners of the contest will be announced during the noon event as well as the cache coordinates for all 22 state parks.

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching (pronounced GEE-oh-cash-ing) combines treasure hunting with outdoor recreation and hiking, as well as technology (a handheld global positioning system, or “GPS,” device is needed).

Weatherproof boxes are hidden in specific locations (caches) marked with GPS coordinates, and individuals navigate to hidden locations using the provided coordinates to find each box and its contents.

Details

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.

Address: 64 N. Union Street, Suite 468, Montgomery, Alabama 36130

Website: outdooralabama.com

Alabama State Parks

Lakepoint Resort State Park has a lodge, convention center, modern campground, vacation cabins and lakeside cottages, picnic areas, 18-hole golf course and a marina complete with launch facilities and boat slips. (Source: alapark.com)

Alabama State Parks have it all…

golf, fishing, boating, swimming, camping, hiking, nature craft, biking, horseback riding, family fun, and just plain ole’ relaxin’. There are great places to stay and great places to eat plus beaches, mountains, and everything in between.

Do a little or do it all!

Phone: (800) ALAPARK (1-800-252-7275)

Website: alapark.com

Geocaching in Alabama State Parks

Website: alapark.com/Geocaching

Worth Pondering…
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

—Lewis Carrol

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