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Geocaching

Keep your eyes open for other treasures while in the woods. Who left these tracks, and where are they heading?

ANSWER: An eastern cottontail, and he is heading to the left, in a typical stride the rabbit places his hind feet in front of his front feet.

From the age of 7 to 77 and beyond, mention a treasure hunt and everyone’s eyes light up. Adding a spice of adventure to a winter excursion could be just the motivation you need to get the whole family outside.

Geocaching is a fast-growing interest that provides an exciting way to explore the landscape, discover someplace new, and share special places with other outdoor enthusiasts. Groundspeak, whose mission is to encourage outdoor play using location-based technology, describes geocaching as ‘a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt’. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS, and can then share their experiences online.

Geocaching can be done on any kind of outing, whether that’s a day hike up a mountain, an afternoon stroll by a lake, or winter snowshoe adventure. The adventurous can climb Black Mountain in Dummerston and find the six geocaches hidden on this ancient volcano, take a summer stroll along Shelburne Pond to find the cache nestled along the shore of this protected oasis, or break up a winter visit to Montreal with a with a stop at our Birdland preserve in North Hero and find the geocache along Route 2!

Geocaching is a great activity for kids! It gets the whole family outside to explore the natural world, teaches kids about navigation with the fun reward of finding real hidden treasure, and once back home you can share your stories and photos of the adventure!

Once you get into finding geocaches, you can have the fun of placing your own! The Conervancy welcomes new caches on our natural areas, but please contact Lynn McNamara, Critical Lands Manager before you do, so that we can ensure the location is safe and accessible, and that it does not impact the natural resources the preserve is designed to protect. 
   
So this winter, as you wait for the snow to fall, get out on the Conservancy's natural areas and search for treasures hidden there!

Log on to www.geocaching.com to set up a free account and start the hunt! Then visit the following natural areas to find geocaches:

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