ATLANTA — Treasure-hunt fans will soon have a new quest that takes them from Georgia’s mountains to its marshes.
To celebrate its 85th anniversary this year, Georgia’s state park system is kicking off a new game called Birthday Bash Geocache. Using a hand-held GPS, players find hidden caches while exploring some of Georgia’s most scenic locations.
Park officials teamed up with Georgia Geo-Campers volunteers to create the quest, which includes trackable “geocoin” prizes. Only 1,000 of the limited-edition coins were ordered, so once they’re all claimed, the Birthday Bash Geocache ends. Participants can download a free game board from GeorgiaStateParks.org/85. They then must find caches at a minimum of eight participating parks, stamping their game board at each one.
They also must spend at least one night in a Georgia State Park campsite, yurt or cabin — or attend a Georgia Geo-Camper event during 2016.
Participating parks include Cloudland Canyon in northwest Georgia, Don Carter on Lake Lanier, Elijah Clark north of Augusta, F.D. Roosevelt in Pine Mountain, Fort McAllister near Richmond Hill, Fort Yargo in Winder, Gen. Coffee in Douglas, High Falls north of Macon, Magnolia Springs in Millen, Providence Canyon in southwest Georgia, Red Top Mountain on Lake Allatoona and Seminole on Lake Seminole.
Geocaching is a sport that can be played by nearly any age. Geocachers are known for their enthusiasm, and many of them enjoy friendly competition to be the first to find new caches. Georgia’s state parks and historic Sites have offered the game since 2010, with more than 35,000 documented “finds” by players. Inside each hidden box — or cache — are trinkets for players to trade, as well as log books.
Caches at historic sites require players to answer questions about Georgia history before they can unlock the box, making it a fun educational tool.
To learn more, about the Georgia State Park geocaching program, go to GeorgiaStateParks.org/Geocaching and to find GeoCamper events, go to Facebook.com/GeorgiaGeoCampers.