For those who aren’t familiar, geocaching is essentially a real-life treasure hunting game, which involves using a GPS device to track and find hidden geocaches. A typical cache is comprised of a small, waterproof container enclosed with a logbook for signing, while larger containers usually hold a number of assorted trinkets. You’re free to take something, as long as you leave something of equal or greater value in return. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Best of all, you can often get within searching distance of a cache via your preferred method of transportation – be it hiking, bicycling, snowshoeing, etc.
Geocaching is a fantastic way to take in the outdoors, get some exercise, and experience new places. I’ve recently been itching to visit more of our local Quinte Conservation Areas, so it was the perfect opportunity to scope out the geocaching scene at these properties. Check out the best of the bunch below:
Vanderwater Conservation Area – Here you’ll find a wealth of caches scattered all along the Moira River, where calming water cascades over limestone steps. The views are so breathtaking, you may find yourself getting sidetracked from the hunt as you stop and admire your surroundings. With 15 km of trails to explore, you could make a day out of geocaching this conservation area alone.
Massassauga Point Conservation Area – Although the caches here are few, it still makes for a worthwhile stop during a day of geocaching fun. The park boasts over 1200 meters of shoreline, and two of its well-placed containers are concealed along this stunning coast. The scenery doesn’t stop there, as you’ll likely be captivated by Massassauga’s old wharf and abandoned limestone quarry during your quest.
O’Hara Mill Homestead & Conservation Area – The best part about geocaching at O’Hara Mill, aside from the thrill of uncovering its well camouflaged hides, is doing it amongst the rustic backdrop of a pioneer village. Once you’ve found all the caches, you’ll have even more to discover within the site’s fifteen restored buildings.
Potter’s Creek Conservation Area – Scour for caches along peaceful trails that wind through former farmland, sweet-smelling orchards, sweeping meadows and scenic woodlands. The tranquil setting makes Potter’s Creek an ideal spot for a picnic when you’re ready to take a break from treasure hunting.
H.R. Frink Conservation Area – There are plenty of caches to keep you busy within H.R. Frink’s panoramic forest, plus one that’s placed at the far end of the boardwalk, leading you across a serene wetland teeming with wildlife. This is an enjoyable trek from start to finish.
Sheffield Conservation Area – Sheffield is a truly spectacular location for geocaching, as the caches are arranged in a way that takes you on a tour of its five lakes. This unique habitat is rich with wildflowers, songbirds, waterfowl, amphibians, small mammals, and Ontario’s only species of lizard. Be sure to bring your camera!
To get started on your own Bay of Quinte geocaching adventure, check out www.geocaching.com to access the coordinates for caches within these conservation areas and beyond!