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Geo-caching and GPS activities

If you love geo-caching and visiting Virginia State Parks, you'll love the Birding Adventures program. And you get special prizes just for taking part.

Geo-caching in a Virginia State Park is a great way to combine technology with good old-fashioned outdoor fun. The basic concept is that Find parks matching your amenity choices.someone places a cache in the woods, usually a small container with a log book, and people usemodern GPS receivers to find it. It has been described as, “Using a multi-billion dollar satellite system to find Tupperware® boxes in the woods.” Once a cache is found, the seeker goes to www.geocaching.com to log the visit, upload a photo and read what others said about the cache. This is also where participants find lists of caches and coordinates needed for the GPS unit (see How to Find Caches in Parks below).

Geocache contents.Geo-caching can be an activity that you use to add fun to a camping trip, or it can be the main reason to visit a park. Most state parks have at least one geo-cache. The caches range from simple quick grabs easily reached from a park trail to more challenging multi-caches that require one to solve a puzzle or collect information at one site before you can move on to the next. Some are Virtual Caches, Earth Caches or Waymarks, which locations without an actual cache box. Participants usually have to log a visit to this type of cache by answering a question only he or she would know as a result of the visit, or by sending in a photo taken at the site. Waymarking has its website at www.waymarking.com.

Letterboxes are an earlier type of treasure hunting that uses detailed directions and navigation clues to find the stash. A letterbox usually contains an ink stamp that the finder uses to record the visit, and the finder likewise leaves his or her personal stamp in the logbook. Visit www.letterboxing.org for more information.

Learn about rewards you can get by geo-caching in Virginia State Parks.

Before placing a geo-cache or letterbox in a state park, see:

State Park GPS Activities

Child points out cache.In addition to public caches, many parks have developed special games, nature trails and activities that use And there's usually a statewide geo-caching adventure that offers prizes. GPS technologies. Some activities are set up on a permanent basis so families and individuals can drop by to play while others are set up for scheduled groups. Contact individual parks for more information.

GPS Rentals

Don’t have your own GPS receiver? It’s not a problem if you want to go geo-caching in a state park. Each park has rental units available (except when they are being used by scheduled groups), and staff can help you program coordinates for caches within the park.

How to Find Caches in Parks

The best way to find caches before your visit to a park is to go to this website and search for caches by coordinates. Here’s a list of coordinates for each state park in Virginia:

Park          
Bear Creek Lake N 37 31.834   W 78 16.136
Belle Isle N 37 46.768   W 76 35.550
Caledon N 38 19.915   W 77 8.735
Claytor Lake N 37 3.449   W 80 37.266
Central Office N 37 32.261   W 77 25.896
Chippokes Plantation N 37 8.717   W 76 44.319
Douthat N 37 54.243   W 79 48.018
False Cape N 36 38.528   W 75 54.142
First Landing N 36 54.980   W 76 2.462
Fairy Stone N 36 47.921   W 80 6.574
Grayson Highlands N 36 37.406   W 81 29.903
High Bridge Trail N 37 18.427   W 78 23.208
Holliday Lake N 37 23.986   W 78 38.458
Hungry Mother N 36 53.039   W 81 31.608
James River N 37 37.418   W 78 47.969
Kiptopeke N 37 10.354   W 75 58.606
Lake Anna N 38 8.478   W 77 49.048
Leesylvania N 38 38.544   W 77 11.898
Mason Neck N 38 38.557   W 77 11.833
New River Trail (Foster Fall) N 36 53.035   W 80 51.379
New River (Cliffview Station) N 36 40.866   W 80 55.083
Natural Tunnel N 36 42.236   W 82 44.287
Occoneechee N 36 37.828   W 78 31.625
Pocahontas N 37 23.084   W 77 34.984
Sailor's Creek Battlefield N 37 18.609   W 78 13.316
Shenandoah River (Andy Guest) N 38 51.751   W 78 18.455
Sky Meadows N 38 59.139   W 77 57.546
Smith Mountain Lake N 37 5.498   W 79 35.478
Staunton River N 36 41.868   W 78 40.622
Staunton River Bridge N 36 53.002   W 78 42.368
Southwest Virginia Museum N 36 51.825   W 82 46.797
Twin Lakes N 37 10.539   W 78 16.725
Westmoreland N 38 9.255   W 76 52.351
Wilderness Road N 36 37.871   W 83 29.877
York River N 37 24.719   W 76 42.849
Breaks Interstate Park (Va.-Ky.) N 37 17.183   W 82 17.611

Safety and Stewardship for Geo-cachers

  • Use existing trails to travel to GPS waypoints whenever possible.
  • Do not damage plants, trees, animal nests, etc. Practice Leave No Trace™.
  • Comply with all signs and barriers.
  • Do not disturb soil or landscape. Geo-caches are never buried.
  • If the area looks unsafe, don’t go that way.
  • Pay attention to surroundings. Look back as you go in so that you’ll recognize the way out.
  • Cache In – Trash Out: Never litter, and pick up for those who may have dropped something.
  • Notify park staff if you see anything that needs attention.

Nearly all parks charge a parking fee. Failure to pay the fee, even if you only leave the car for a short while, will result in a fine. We have honor parking when the contact station is not staffed. Be sure to follow directions. Discount annual passes are sold at the park and through our Customer Service Center at 1-800-933-7275.