Happy 100th Birthday US National Park Service! Let’s Celebrate with a GeoTour!

Five Featured Geocaches from the Find Your Park GeoTour

DID YOU KNOW that in the year 1916:

….and the National Park Service (NPS) was born? That’s right. Since August 25, 2016, the NPS* has preserved America’s special places, “for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations”. To celebrate this impressive milestone, the NPS is sponsoring a Find Your Park GeoTour to engage communities and help people discover nature through geocaching.

The Find Your Park GeoTour launched with 61 geocaches, and now it’s up to 87. Will we get to 100 by the end of this year? We hope so! In the meantime, here are five fantastic geocaches from the GeoTour to peek your interest:

Washington
Rainier100 1: The Glaciers are Restless, EarthCache GC5W946

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The Mt. Rainier National Park is so incredible that it’s no surprise that this geocache is in the Find your Park Geotour and The Rainier Centennial GeoTour. Kevin Bacher, Mt. Rainier’s Volunteer and Outreach Program Manager, says:

For geocachers, Mount Rainier offers many opportunities. We have Earth Caches and Virtual Caches scattered throughout the park, some of them easy to get to, and others at the end of long hikes. Measure the temperature of warm springs at Longmire. Learn about glaciers at Paradise, floods at Ohanapecosh, and lava flows at Sunrise. Or train for the arduous climb to Camp Muir to claim one of the most remote virtual caches in Washington State! Along the way, hike through old growth forests and subalpine meadows with spectacular views. We also sponsor an annual CITO on National Trails Day, which is June 4th this year.

Maine
ACADIA: Mind-Blowing Geology, EarthCache GC11M7T

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Rugged.
Beautiful.
Diverse.
These are some of the words used to describe the Maine’s stunning Acadia National Park. Geocacher hedgeslammer‘s log is what every cache owner hopes others will experience:

A great way to highlight the interesting formation of the land that makes the park! Like so many caches, this one brought me to some places I’d never have gone (but some are must-go). I pegged away at this one over a few days while some muggle friends went back to the cabin. A great experience, nabbed a few other caches in the process, and benchmarks too! Thanks for this excellent, scenic and educational EarthCache program! Of course, a favorite!

Virginia
CJS – Watermens Museum, Letterbox Hybrid GC2F40P

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Cindy Chance, Cultural Anthropologist for the National Park Service in Chesapeake Bay, is a big fan of geocachers discovering their area:

Rangers here at the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail love how the adventure of geocaching introduces people to significant and beautiful places, often close to home. And we’re thrilled that geocachers can now more easily see where the game is played at national parks. So get up, get out, and Find Your Park!

Florida
BISC: Biscayne National Park, EarthCache GC32CDG

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According to the Biscayne National Park site, “Biscayne protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands, and fish-bejeweled coral reefs. Here too is evidence of 10,000 years of human history, from pirates and shipwrecks to pineapple farmers and presidents. Outdoors enthusiasts can boat, snorkel, camp, watch wildlife…or simply relax in a rocking chair gazing out over the bay.”

But Gary A. Bremen, Park Ranger for the Biscayne National Park says it best:

What’s worth celebrating? As the largest marine park in the National Park System, Biscayne is “bi-seasonal!” We get loads of visitors from across the country all winter long. The snowier it is up north, the busier we get at our mainland visitor center. Lots of those folks enjoy tracking down our caches here, all of which have been created by and for experienced cachers. But most of the park’s half-million visitors come in their own boats, so we are very excited about new caches that are going to be placed where boaters can access them on the park’s islands.

Arizona
HistoricAZ66: Painted Desert Inn, Traditional GC3EPH7

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Part of the Petrified Forest National Park, The Painted Desert Inn is also close to turning 100 years old! The original building is from the 1920s and was made of petrified wood, but today’s adobe facade is from the 1930s.

Geocacher harbhippo had this to say in a recent log:

After touring PeFo for free thanks to my handy dandy senior pass, and scoring several virtuals and earthcaches, we saw this traditional coming up and parked the car. I didn’t even bother looking at the hint because it’s so much more fun to try without first, and a ranger pokes his head out the door of the Inn and says “found it yet?” – which is geo-speak for “are you a cacher too?”

He had a little fun with us for a while because of course the hand held Garmin doesn’t work indoors, then he led us to the cache with a smile. We spent an hour or so talking about the history of the Inn, probably more than we would have done had we stumbled on the cache without being caught, Very interesting place. If you stop by, be sure to look into the windows to see the tiny apartments the employees lived in back in the day. And check out the history, it’s really interesting.

So what are you waiting for? There’s an entire country full of geocaches, national parks, and adventure. Fill up the tank, pack the cooler, and make sure to BYOP!

*Official representatives of parks, land management organizations and law enforcement agencies should know that they’re eligible for a free Premium Membership.** Premium membership allows these organizations the ability to identify geocaches currently placed in your region, receive notifications when new geocaches in your area are placed, and communicate with the geocachers who are playing in your area. Win Win!

**These accounts are not meant for the personal use of employees of such organization

Additional Information: Find more about the Find Your Park GeoTour right here!GeoTours

 

 

 

 

 

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