RCTC Geotrail

A Geotrail along the Rachel Carson Trail

geocache_gps.jpgThe Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy Geotrail was designed to introduce people to the Rachel Carson Trail by combining hiking with the fun sport of geocaching. Geocaching is often referred to as the “world’s largest treasure hunt.” Folks look for caches that are hidden all over the world using their GPS. Goecachers navigate to a location at a specific set of GPS coordinates with hopes of finding a hidden geocache – a container of some sort – at that spot. Caches can contain small treasures and other tokens including trackable items. Caches are rated on terrain and difficulty in locating to assist in planning.

geocache_tree.jpgCaches can be placed just about anywhere – in parks, along hiking trails, even in guardrails. In Greater Pittsburgh alone, there are over 30,000 caches! Cachers chose a fun name that describes them in some form or fashion for registering and logging caches. For more information about geocaching including how to register visit www.geocaching.com. You can also download the free geocaching app.

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Funded by the Conservancy, the RCTC Geotrail consists of 40 caches - one for each mile of the trail and the beginning and end - designed to get all geocachers out on the trail including those with young children. The RCTC Geotrail caches are all located along or extremely close to the Rachel Carson Trail and vary in difficulty and terrain. Each cache contains a clue about Rachel Carson or the trail. Cachers who collect any 26 clues from the 40 caches will receive a custom Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy Geocoin. All of the RCTC Geotrail caches have “RCTC Geotrail” in their name on geocaching.com for easy identification.

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Cachers are asked to keep a log of each cache and its corresponding hint to send in. Participants who have accumulated 26 or more hints and send them in a single email to geotrail@rachelcarsontrails.org will be sent the commemorative coin. The coin was designed just for this project and is a keepsake only for those who have completed the RCTC Geotrail.

The Geotrail was put into place by four avid cachers who are RCTC hikers and Rachel Carson Trail Challenge participants.