The Southeastern Pennsylvania Resource Conservation and Development Council’s GeoTrail will consist of a series of geocache sites in the Southeastern Pennsylvania counties of Bucks, Berks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia. These unique geocache sites will provide local residents as well as tourists the opportunity to visit, enjoy, and learn about natural, cultural, historical, and other locally significant places in the region. The SEPA RC&D GeoTrail is an activity that can be enjoyed for an afternoon, a weekend, or through a series of day trips. This project will expose people to some of the region’s lesser known tourist attractions, but equally interesting and unique sites. This project is expected to generate an additional $800,000 for the region’s economy over a three year period.
There are currently over 900,000 active geocache sites located in over 200 countries around the world. A similar project in Northwestern Pennsylvania, The Allegheny GeoTrail, has logged over 48,000 individual visits to geocache sites in less than two years and will generate an estimated $400,000 for the local economy. Avid geocachers plan their vacations around geocaching. Over 5,000 geocachers from 32 countries participated in the 2009 GeoWoodstock in Tennessee. More information about geocaching can be found at www.geocaching.com or by searching the internet
A passport-like booklet will contain tourism information for each county and a page to record the validation stamps of their geocache site visits in each county. The passports can be obtained by visiting or contacting the SEPA RC&D office, county tourism offices, parks, and other local locations. A downloadable version of the passport will also be available on the project website.
The geocache sites will be selected and monitored by local geocache volunteers. They will be located in free, public locations. There will be a mixture of difficulty levels, including some that will be handicap accessible. At each site a SEPA RC&D GeoTrail identified waterproof container will contain a log book for geocachers to record their visit and comments, a unique SEPA RC&D GeoTrail self-inking stamp, and a small exchangeable trinket in keeping with geocache tradition. There will be approximately 15 geocache sites in each county.
Upon visiting at least 10 sites in a county, the geocachers will be eligible to receive a specially minted souvenir coin. The coin will feature a unique county design on one side and the SEPA RC&D GeoTrail logo on the other side. The coins will be individually numbered and trackable on the www.geocaching.com website. Besides a different design, each county’s coin will also be made of a different colored metal. The county coins will be approximately the size of a silver dollar. To receive a coin, the geocachers can visit one of six planned geocache events.
After visiting geocache sites in all eight counties and obtaining the eight county coins, a geocacher will be eligible to receive the SEPA RC&D GeoTrail coin.