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First Cabell County Geotrail Kicks off March 14-15
Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it.
“The concept of Cabell County’s first Geotrail started with a Barboursville resident engaging the CVB online,” said Jake Sharp, sales manager for the CVB. “We are always looking for innovative partnerships to further Cabell County as a desirable destination, and we’ve found that local residents like Steve Adkins allow the CVB to maximize its potential as a regional marketing machine. Having a strong Geocaching community in the Tri-State Area has given us a foundation to attract new visitors to the county, create value for existing visitors, and generate pride for local residents.”
The trail officially kicks off at 11:00 am March 15, 2014 at the Visitors Center at Heritage Station, located at 210 11th Street in downtown Huntington. The event is free and open to the general public. Participants can register at that time while enjoying food, music, door prizes and other entertainment. Handouts will be distributed promptly at noon and the cachers will be off to explore the area. The final site at the CVB is mandatory as well as two others that are of special interest to county residents, including one that recognizes the Marshall Memorial. There will be various types of geocaches to experience, including traditionals, unknowns, multis, a letterbox, and an Earthcache!
Each site will have a code word to collect to fill in on a geocaching scorecard, which will be handed out at noon. For those that like a head start, one cache with a code word will be released at the Friday night event.
When these scorecards are turned into the CVB for verification, the cacher will be asked to fill out a short information card in order to receive a Cabell County trackable geocoin at geocaching.com (available to the first 200 finders, one per team and household please). Some sites will also contain SWAG, or free collectibles.
The weekend activities will open with a free event on Friday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at the Pullman Plaza Hotel. Seasoned cachers use this time for visiting, travel bug trading and exchanging, and photo opportunities. Those new to the sport will receive instructions, tips for the trail and can even take part in a newbie/muggle class. “So if you know nothing about Geocaching or would like to bring a muggle, we will happily teach you about our outdoor GPS addiction and help you set up a free account,” said Steve Adkins, who has partnered with the CVB to organize the event.
A third component of the weekend is a “Cache In Trash Out” (CITO) event. Cache In Trash Out is an ongoing environmental initiative supported by the worldwide geocaching community. Since 2002, geocachers around the world have been dedicated to improving parks and other cache-friendly places. Events might be focused on litter clean-up, removal of invasive species, revegetation efforts or building trails.
“Did I mention that we also have a bit of fun while we're at this?” joked Adkins. “We invite everyone to meet at the posted coordinates at 9:45 am and stay for about 45 minutes as we work together to remove trash from Harris Riverfront Park. We will provide trash bags and non latex gloves for those in attendance but cachers should bring their own work gloves. Enjoy the walk along the river while we all do our part to help clean up and give back to the community.”
“First and foremost, people can expect to have FUN during the weekend’s events,” said Sharp. “We want folks to feel good about where they live and enjoy showcasing their home. Plus, learning a healthful, life-long activity with the entire family enjoyed around the world is hard to beat. If one initiative can occupy hotels and give locals an opportunity to gain a new appreciation for their surroundings then it’s a win-win!”
Visitors are being encouraged to make an entire weekend of it. A free visitor's guide with a map is available at the CVB and will be helpful if participants want to search for more exciting and unique caches that are already within the county. For more information visit http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4WJFQ_cabell-county-geotrail-kickoff-event?guid=ce6aa0d3-d3c5-4684-8f5a-432f6977aaa4. You can also contact Jake Sharp at the CVB at 304.525.7333 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.