Geocaching is a form of recreational treasure hunting, where geocachers using GPS receivers locate hidden outdoor caches containing a log of past geocachers, notes and possibly trade items. While geocaching has the benefit of encouraging people to go out into nature, caches often receive a large amount of foot traffic which can cause increased environmental disturbance.
There are a number of geocaches already on the rare property (the most recent maps of rare caches can be found at www.geocaching.com). At least once per year, each cache on the property is located, the contents of the cache recorded and the site photographed. The suitability of each existing geocache should be assessed using the guidelines detailed below. Caches deemed unsuitable will be removed or relocated, with notification and explanation sent to the cache creator (if known) and the geocaching websites listing the cache. When possible, the cache founder will be contacted and given the opportunity to retrieve the cache and reposition it to a new location approved in consultation with rare staff.
Geocache location guidelines (adapted from the Parks Canada Geocaching Guidelines):
- When placing or seeking a cache, geocachers must travel on marked open trails or in publicly accessible areas (e.g. Lamb’s Inn Garden, Springbank Farm) at all times. All caches must be accessible from the trail or the public area.
- Geocachers are required to complete a geocache identification form and submit it to rare staff for review. Once approved, the geocache is permitted to be placed.
- Caches are permitted in low and moderate priority protection areas and possibly in high priority protection areas provided the cache will not cause any significant disturbance to sensitive natural or cultural resources. Digging of holes or damage to vegetation, rock faces, or any other feature when placing the geocache is prohibited.
- No geocache is to be placed further than 1.0 metre from a marked trail.
Any questions about geocaching at the rare Charitable Research Reserve should be directed to rare at raresites.org.