Organization gets people outdoors to celebrate its 25th anniversary
By Clayton Smith
There’s currently a worldwide treasure hunt taking place that includes people of all ages. This phenomenon, known as geocaching, is an outdoor pastime involving the use of a GPS unit to find caches — which tend to be Tupperware containers — holding trinkets such as keychains, pins, and rare coins, among the various possibilities. Hunters are led to a location based on GPS coordinates and then must find the hidden cache.
Each cache also contains a log book in which participants are encouraged to write. Many sign their geocaching code name or write a note about the day, type of weather, and overall experience.
The idea is to take what the last geocacher left and replace the treasure with a new item for the next person to find. Containers and log books vary in size, ranging from magnetic key holders to travel bags. It’s important not to leave anything edible in the cache due to the animals living in the area.
For the Hudson Highlands Land Trust (HHLT), the best way to mark their 25th anniversary was to hide 25 geocaches in the Highlands. Twenty-two of them are listed on geocaching.com, viewable by the entire geocaching community, while the last three are listed only on the organization’s website at hhlt.org. “We’ve hidden them in places that highlight the treasure that is all around us,” said Kathy Hamel, HHLT membership and public policy coordinator.
All the caches are hidden within an hour of the Hudson Highlands mission area, going as far south as Bear Mountain, north as far as Fishkill Ridge in Beacon, west as far as Black Rock Forest in Cornwall, and east as far as Taconic State Park. They aren’t placed in dangerous locations and everyone is encouraged to go out and explore the area.
Hamel described the experience as a “combo of gadgetry and nature,” underlining how the adventure involves exploring the environment and then continues online. Hunters are urged to be respectful of where the caches are hidden, as some are on private property. The goal is to get people outside to enjoy what’s around them. The first 25 hunters to find all 25 caches are promised a special prize from the HHLT. “Come to our office for a prize … we’d love to hear about your exploits,” said Hamel.
Philipstown Trails Featured
- Arden Point
- North and South Redoubts
- Little Stony Point Park
- Sugar Loaf
- Manitou Point
- Red, white, or blue trails at Manitoga
- Wilkinson Memorial Trail along Scofield’s Ridge
- Yellow Trail off Sunken Mine Road
- Appalachian Trail