One of the world’s newest outdoor phenomena is geocaching, a sport combining treasure hunting with Global Positioning Systems (GPS). With more than 1,000 geocachers registered in West Virginia, our state is jumping on board and has created an official geocaching group named ExploreWV GeoChallenge.
Kick-off events for the WV Geocoin Challenge will be two-fold, the first being on Saturday, Sept. 18 from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Culture Center on the Capitol grounds. The second kick-off event will be Saturday, Sept. 25 from noon until 2 p.m. at Coopers Rock State Park near Morgantown. Both events will feature food vendors, guest speakers, state agencies, geocaching suppliers, and door prizes. Geocachers also will be treated to welcome packs and a visit from the geocaching mascot, Signal the Frog.
ExploreWV, a partnership among the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, the West Virginia Division of Tourism, and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, will allow geocaching enthusiasts to participate in coordinated challenges throughout the state with various prizes and incentives.
“Geocaching is educational, adventurous, and an excellent way to bring tourism to our state,” said Cabinet Secretary Kay Goodwin of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts. “It’s an adrenaline rush.”
ExploreWV takes advantage of that adrenaline and has developed a series of geocaching challenges throughout West Virginia. Their first challenge is the WV Geocoin Challenge, which will feature a total of 30 geocaches across the state in three categories: historical markers, museums, and tourism hot spots, plus a capstone geocache at the West Virginia State Museum. The first 250 people to complete the challenge will receive a coveted WV Geocoin.
For more information on geocaching and upcoming challenges, visit www.geocaching.com and log in with username ExploreWV and GC code GC2DWBK. You may also contact Robin Taylor at the WV Department of Education and the Arts at 304-558-2440.
Robin Taylor, Program Director
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, E., Bldg. 5, Rm. 205