TALLAHASSEE — The availability of geocaching is expanding at many Florida state parks around the state. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s is now offering Operation Recreation GeoTour, hosted by Geocaching.com.
Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held GPS devices or smartphones. The game is an inexpensive, interactive high-tech treasure hunt that teaches geography and outdoor recreation skills. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Some caches are easy to find; others are more difficult.
“Geocaching is a popular activity at Florida’s state parks,” said Donald Forgione, director of the Florida Park Service. “The biggest reward is not finding the cache. It’s discovering a place where you’ve never been or seeing a familiar place in a new way.”
The new GeoTour stretches from Pensacola to Key West and includes 74 state parks and state trails. With Operation Recreation GeoTour, visitors will be inspired by the recreation opportunities and scenic beauty, which help strengthen families, educate children and foster community pride. The first 75 cachers to visit 40 different caches will earn the official Operation Recreation Geocoin.
Cachers can visit the GeoTours Web page to view each one of the 70 caches and download the official tracking sheet to begin the geocaching adventure. If you need help finding a cache, hiding a cache or understanding some of the geocaching vocabulary, visit the Florida State Parks Geocaching Web page.
Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land-use ethics should be followed when participating in the activity.