As geocachers who are passionate about tourism, Liz and I love it when organizations combine these two in order to create fun and inexpensive family activities. As we explained in our story How We Fell in Love With Geocaching, Geo-Tours or Geo-Trails are a great way to get out and have fun together. So we have been wanting to check out a Geo-Trail or Geo-Tour Kickoff Event, and recently we had the opportunity to attend an event to launch the Jackson County, Georgia Heritage Geo-Trail near Atlanta, Georgia.
This special Geo-Trail is set up with 30 creative gadget caches and takes you all around the county to explore the countryside and history of the area. On this morning we met up with our really good friends Andi and Jim, The Waysiders from the Going Caching Mega Event to see first hand what this geo-trail was about. Jackson County Heritage Geo-Trail Event Page HERE.
All the cachers met at 9 am at the Crawford Long Musuem in Jackson, Georgia for the inaugural start to the Geo-Trail and we were surprised with the registration gifts. Everyone who signed a “Will Attend” on the cache page received a goodie bag. We weren’t expecting this, but everyone appreciated the thoughtfulness of the goodie bag. It was filled with local businesses brochures, path tags, water, water bottles, and of course our Geo-Trail Passport for the event. The county also had free coffee and breakfast pastries to get the geocachers going for the day! We loved the hospitality and welcome to the city of Jackson, and looked forward to the day ahead!
The Jackson County Heritage Geo-Trail Provides Inexpensive Family Activities
The launch of the event consisted of a few announcements and giveaways, then we were let loose! The first cache on the trail was located right next to the museum where we had the kick off. After discovering this cache, we realized that these geocaches were not going to be a normal ammo can in the woods. This first cache was hidden inside a converted chester drawer, with an elaborate maze built into the back of the case! You needed to maneuver a heavy magnet to guide a metal ball to the right hole, then out poped the geocache! Wow! We knew this was going to be a fun-filled geo-trail full of awesome geocaches! When it comes to family activities, you can’t get more fun and inexpensive than this! Heading out on a Geo-Trail is a great way to spend a beautiful day.
What is the Jackson County, Georgia Heritage Geo-Trail?
The Jackson County Heritage Geo-Trail is a series of 30 different caches that take you on a tour around the county to points of interest, such as historic & local sites. Each geocache on the trail told a brief history of each location, providing a glimpse into the culture and heritage of the area. In fact some locations you wouldn’t think much of, but then reading the cache page we better understood why they choose the location. Each of the geocaches on this Geo-Trail had a stamp in it that you would place on your passport to get credit for the find. This is one of the aspects of geocaching that we enjoy, because it combines family activities with learning and adventure!
Each geocache on the Jackson County Geo-Trail is well thought out and carefully disguised. We also enjoyed the craftsmanship and care that went into the caches. Each ammo can was a work of art, with unique hand painted designs on them! And many other caches were elaborately crafted from wood. The workmanship was incredible! This is a well thought out Geo-Trail, and we could really see the love and care that went into creating these geocaches.
Some of our Favorite Geocaches on the Jackson County Historic Geo-Trail
There were so many great gadget caches that it’s hard to single out our favorites, but there is one that stood out a bit from the rest. We love geocaches that really make you think, and work for it! We ran across a cache that all of 4 of us had never seen before. As soon as we opened the doors to the cache we see that this was a game. The only way to describe it is that it is similar to Plinko from the Price is Right, but played in reverse! Liz stepped up to the challenge and was determined to beat this game so we could get the code to unlock the cache.
Liz had to beat the game to win the lock combo for the cache. There was a metal ball inside the case at the bottom, and she had to use two strings at the top to guide an oddly-shaped horseshoe to pick up the ball and carry it up the board. She had to guide it carefully with the strings to avoid the ball falling into one of the many holes, which would have made her start over at the bottom. She had to get the ball all the way to the top and drop it into the designated hole, which would then spit the ball out the side for us to grab with our hands. When we picked up the ball, it opened and gave us the code needed to unlock the box that contained the geocache! As you can see her determination paid off for us. We were able to get the combo and open the lock for another stamp on our passports. This was an awesome cache and one that will be a favorite for a long while.
Another favorite geocache from this Geo-Trail was one that many muggles walk right by, because it is hidden in plain sight. Disguised as a mailbox, this cache is hidden right behind a downtown shopping plaza. After discovering about 10 of the geocaches already on this day, we kind of knew what we were looking for. So we followed our Garmin that led us to this completely normal-looking mailbox. Only this was not a normal mailbox.
We first opened the door and noticed that it was filled with empty boxes, which were not the geocache. Of course, that would have been way too easy! So we started poking around (as geocachers do) trying to figure out what else could move on this box. Ultimately, we noticed that the entire mailbox was on a hinge. You pulled the mailbox out just a bit, and rotated it to the side, which revealed a secret compartment built into the wooden stand under the mailbox! This revealed the ammo can hiding inside. “Wow,” we all said with huge smiles on our faces! Everyone got a big kick out this one. This rates on up there with one of the most creative geocaches we have discovered. This is a great representation of the types of geocaches that you will find on this Geo-Trail. The creativity was out of this world, making it so much fun!
Great Geocaches to be Discovered Around Jackson County, Georgia
Discovering many fun and creative caches on this Geo-Trail was a great way to spend a beautiful Saturday! But to Liz and I, the most fun during the trail was being able to spend the day caching with our friends Andi & Jim, The Waysiders. These two are “puzzle-masters” in the geocaching world for us. They are the masterminds behind the ever growing Going Caching Mega Event held every Fall in Georgia, and they continue to set the bar high with their creativity and demonstrating how a Geocaching Mega Event should be ran. To learn more, check out our review of the 2013 Going Caching Mega Event here. It was so nice to be able to ride around the county discovering all of these wonderful caches on the trail with our friends. Truly the highlight of our journey to Jackson County.
Don’t Miss Exploring Jackson County, Georgia & Discovering Awesome Geocaches!
Being passionate about tourism and geocaching, we really love it when organizations use our hobby as a way to create family activities that bring business to their towns. Jackson County really set the bar high with their Heritage Geo-Trail. They took time to really consider the people who would be coming to find these geocaches. Not only did they create a fun tour, but they created quality caches that visitors will remember for years to come. The Geo-Trail in Jackson County was done right! All 30 caches on the trail were a bit different, but all made you work a bit to discover the cache. And once you had cracked the code or opened the cache, you were rewarded with a great piece of Geocaching Art.
**We want to thank everyone involved in creating such a wonderful Geo-Trail that geocachers can enjoy. And we hope these caches can inspire others with creativity.