Geocaching Trend Hits Annapolis
The new ARPD program strives to get Annapolis families outdoors and active.
A new program at Truxtun Park aims to bridge the gap between screen time and green time. Geocaching, a popular trend that combines treasure hunting with GPS devices, started at the Annapolis location in the beginning of June.
“The goal is to get families outdoors,” said Marisa Wittlinger, environmental programs coordinator for the Annapolis Recreation and Parks Department (ARPD).
The idea was the brainchild of LeeAnn Plumer, ARPD director.
“She wanted to get more people to appreciate the parks system,” explained Wittlinger.
Several fans have already visited the trail and posted their comments on the geocache website.
Sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, the Ranger Rick Geocache Program includes three caches for prospective scavengers to find. However, Wittlinger says the APRD hopes to add two more in the future.
According to Wittlinger, the rules for the game are as follows:
- First, register a free account at https://www.geocaching.com/membership
- Second, download the coordinates for each geocache on the trail onto a GPS device.
- Third, stop by the Roger W. "Pip" Moyer Recreation Center to pick up a passport for the Ranger Rick Geocaching adventure.
- Fourth, hit the trail and find a cache! A geocache is a container and a log book or log sheet. People are allowed to trade items from the container, as long as they replace them with something of equal value.
The Ranger Rick website offers explicit directions for the treasure hunt. Every geocache along Ranger Rick's Geocache Trails contains a clue card and stamp. The website guidelines dictate that when a geocache is found:
- Answer the riddle on the card.
- Use the stamp to mark your passport with the correct answer.
- Locate other geocaches on the trail.
After the adventure:
- Log on to geocaching.com and record your findings for each geocache you discovered.
- Visit RangerRickTrails.com to check your passport answers and learn more interesting facts.
The entire event should last around 45 to 60 minutes and the shaded, tranquil setting along the 70-acre Truxtun Park allows for a secluded walk. Along the way, nature enthusiasts may spot squirrels, birds, raccoons, frogs, or lizards. Dogs can accompany owners as long as they are on a leash.
The caches are located on children-friendly locations; however, more adventurous travelers can continue onto the skate ramp park and boat ramp for more treacherous explorations of Spa Creek for views of ducks, Blue Heron and Osprey.
“It’s fun to get people outdoors into a part of Annapolis that they might not know existed,” stated Wittlinger. “There are not a lot of wooded areas in Annapolis but this is right in our backyard.”
Plan a day trip and pack a lunch, bring a basketball, or take a dip in the public pool afterwards. Make sure to wear the proper shoes and bring bug spray.
“This is a great experience for the young and the old,” said Wittlinger. “You can do it as a family.”
The park is open from dawn to dusk, and there is no fee for the geocaching adventure. The activity is for kids ages 6-14, according to an ARPD news release. For more information, watch this video about geocaching or visit www.geocaching.com.