The 100th year of Washington’s state parks is bringing them into the wide world of geocaching.
The state Parks and Recreation Commission and the Washington State Geocaching Association (WSGA) announced June 11 the launch of the Washington State Parks Centennial GeoTour, which features 100 geocaches in 100 state parks to celebrate the park system’s same number of years.
Geocaching is a family-oriented recreational activity where in which participants locate hidden containers, called geocaches, by using a smartphone or GPS unit and searching on foot. Park officials hope the GeoTour will encourage visitors to explore parks and experience the outdoors.
The geocaches may convey a historical story, reveal hidden vantage points or bring visitors to scenic locations. The first 180 participants to find 50 caches can earn a silver GeoCoin, and the first 30 people to find 100 caches can earn a gold GeoCoin. A printable map for the tour, along with rules and information, is available at www.parks.wa.gov/geocaching.
State Parks’ new activity joins nearly 20 other such tours around the world that are hosted by parks, convention and visitor bureaus, or local communities. They’re publicized on www.geocaching.com, which lists more than 2 million geocaches in more than 180 countries.
WSGA is the non-profit organizer of geocachers and geocaching across Washington. It was founded in 2002 to work with State Parks and other land managers on supporting geocaching.
Funding for the Centennial GeoTour comes from State Parks, WSGA and Groundspeak.
Established on March 19, 1913, Washington State Parks is one of the oldest and largest park systems in the country. Geocaching is one of several events or activities in celebration of the parks’ centennial year.