The new South Mountain GeoTrail is a collection of geocache sites designed to encourage exploration of the region in a fun and unique way. Attendees of the Geobash will have the opportunity to participate in a "geohunt," enjoy wares from a variety of vendors, and to simply discover more about the area and its residents.
"Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit to locate ‘caches' hidden in out-of-the-way locations," said Susan Parry, Capital RC&D Coordinator. "These caches are usually waterproof containers that hold a logbook, as well as trinkets for participants to trade. It's like a treasure hunt."
The South Mountain GeoTrail features up to 50 geocache sites throughout the Blue Ridge Mountain Range and nearby towns. The Geotrail sites are located throughout York, Adams, Cumberland, and Franklin Counties covering a range of almost 50 miles.
"Caches can be found in some of the region's most spectacular natural areas and cultural sites," said Parry. "The trail was designed to highlight the uniqueness of the region. We have chosen sites that feature the natural beauty, agricultural landscapes and farmers' markets, and even hiking trails, like the Appalachian Trail; there's something for everyone," said Parry.
Geocache sites were chosen by Capital RC&D in collaboration with the South Mountain Partnership, with input from members of the communities surrounding the trail. The trail, sponsored by the South Mountain Partnership through a grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, will encourage tourism and interest in the area.
"We are anticipating wide public support and interest in the Geotrail," said Shireen Farr, Director of Tourism for Cumberland Valley Visitor's Bureau. "This is a great opportunity for residents and visitors to get outside and explore what this region has to offer," said Farr.
The Geobash will take place from 9:30 AM to 2 PM at the Iron Master's Mansion in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Attendance is free, but pre-registration is required by October 8th, 2010. The event offers concurrent educational programs, like "Geocaching 101" and "Caching with Kids." There will also be a Geohunt on-site and other opportunities for the novice or pro Geocachers.
"Geocaching is something that anyone can get involved in," said Parry. "In fact, it has become so popular that there is now a Geocaching Boy Scout badge," Parry said. Local Boy Scout Troop 121 from Shippensburg will be participating in the GeoBash to earn that badge.
"We have at least five Boy Scouts who will be attending the event," said Scoutmaster Dave Olah. "Geocaching is an excellent opportunity for the boys to explore the natural area while learning more about the history, culture, and agricultural heritage," said Olah. Scouts from the area will also be assisting The Capital RC&D in maintaining the trail.
For more information, or to sign up, please visit www.capitalrcd.org/events. The Geobash was financed in part by a grant from the Cumberland Valley Visitor's Bureau.