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geocaching, apps, NY State Parks, Taconic Region, families, fun

Today, thousands of people around the world are having a blast through geocaching.  If you have not tried it, this is a great time of year for new adventures for the entire family.

Geocachers seek out treasures hidden by other players while exploring interesting locations. At its most basic level, geocaching is a game where players use GPS coordinates to track down a location that hides a container, or cache. Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using locations found by downloading a geocaching app on your phone.

Geocaching has no restrictions, can be done any day and with all ages.  Visit Geocaching.com for information on how to geocache. Then click here to download the NYS Parks Geocache Challenge brochure that contains the parks you need to visit to find the stamps.

Most locations are in the Hudson Valley including Taconic State Park or the Walkway Over the Hudson.  If you visit other regions like Central or Saratoga/Capital Regions, you can collect stamps and apply it towards the Taconic Region Challenge. Be sure to print the Geocache Challenge brochure and take it with you. Paste your collected stamps on the form.

Discover acres of trails, campgrounds, beaches, lakes, historic sites and more through your geocaching app. A great place to get started is Olana State Historic Site in Hudson. You can find six geocaches at the Olana location. Spend the day and see if you can find all six.

After researching this story, I encouraged my son Damien to join me on our first geocaching journey. I recommend bringing a pen with you so that when you find a cache you can sign in that you have been there. Also be sure to take water in order to stay hydrated. Wear comfortable shoes. You will need them if you find yourself in areas where you have to hike or walk, like at the state parks. The app will give you an idea of the difficulty you will have locating each specific cache. The app rates difficulty from one which is easy locate to five being the most difficult to find. It also rates the terrain you have to travel to get to the cache. So, when you are walking with little ones with short legs you have the option of starting with easy finds and work your way up.  

My son and I started out by opening the geocaching app and looking for something close to where we live. We instantly got lots of places to go and headed to the closest one. It was rated easy, and it really was. This one was a micro-cache, being very small. About the size of the tip of my finger. Inside we found a tightly rolled piece of paper with signatures and dates. We saw one that dated back to 2005. We signed and dated the paper, put it back and then logged our find into the app.

Read more: Geocaching: A Treasure Hunt for the Whole Family

Off we went to our next destination. This was more challenging and involved walking on a path in the Hudson Highlands State Park. After finding several caches in the park, my son declared our adventure a success. In fact, he was so enamored with geocaching, he invested in the app upgrade right in the middle of the woods. The state park had larger caches, which were exciting to find and discover what was in them.

Geocaching is like a treasure hunt and can be lots of fun especially with children. I can’t wait to take my grandchildren. The geocache containers often contain little toys, keychains, mementos, and the like, which kids love.

Also, when you go consider taking small trinkets with you so you can add to the geocache site you visit. You can exchange what you brought for something your child finds that they would like to have. Just be sure to leave a little something if you take something.

So, pack a picnic lunch, grab the kids and head out for some fun and adventure!



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