There is nothing quite like the thrill of the hunt. The mere possibility of making a discovery rouses a sense of curiosity and excitement in many of us. As children, many of us enjoyed searching for a friend in hide-and-go-seek, digging for seashells at the beach, or following a trail of clues in a scavenger hunt. Often times the anticipation of the discovery is viewed as the best part. Today, some of us –young and old—are taking this experience one step further—exploring the great outdoors in a high-tech treasure hunt we have come to know as geocaching.
Geocachers—like traditional treasure hunters—are modern-day explorers who use Global Positioning Systems, or GPS, to locate the “treasure” better known as a geocache and record the discoveries. Here in West Virginia we have geocache trails, where explorers of all ages can seek, find, and log these special locations using their GPS. One geocache led participants down unique West Virginia Main Streets. Another took adventurers to our famous haunted locations, like the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville. And just this weekend, West Virginia’s official geocaching enthusiast group, ExploreWV, launched the Civil War GeoTrail.
This latest geocache celebrates our state’s 150th birthday and provides a wonderful opportunity to bring our history to life through a hands-on component. The best part—its history that surrounds us every day.
To date, West Virginia has over 5,000 geocaches—leading more than 1,500 people from 29 states and Canada to the Mountain State for geocaching. Worldwide, there are more than two million geocaches just waiting for the next group of treasure hunters to log their location into a GPS device.
I encourage you to recapture the spirit of adventure—go on a modern-day treasure hunt, and bring along the kids. You just might discover something new and unique about the place you call home. To learn more about the Civil War GeoTrail, visit: www.civilwargeotrail.wv.gov.