Liz & I have been geocaching around the world for several years now. We have heard about people discovering geocaches while on boats, bikes, and some with scuba gear (now that really is #AdventureCaching!). But we had never heard of geocaching on horseback; that is, until we attended the Going Caching 2013 event that was held last October. Imagine the looks on our faces when we heard that Roosevelt Riding Stables in Pine Mountain, GA was one of the first Geo-Horseback Tours in the world. Yes that’s right…a Geo-Horseback Tour!
The First Geo-Horseback Trail is in Georgia!
The Going Caching Crew were the masterminds who set up this Geo-Trail, which you could only discover by horseback, specifically for the 2013 Mega Event. However, the caches were left after the event as a great way to continue to share this unique experience with other cachers. Liz and I didn’t have a chance to do the Geo-Horseback trail during the Going Caching event, but this was a tour that we could not pass up!
So we were happy to return back to Pine Mountain, Georgia this last weekend for our first geocaching on horseback experience. Since I had never been on a horse before, I was a little nervous. Liz had ridden before, so she was a little more comfortable with hopping on a horse and taking off. But all my nerves went away once I got acquainted with my horse for the afternoon, Maddie-Lou. I could tell that Maddie-Lou was a geocaching expert, and that she knew exactly where we were going during this trail ride.
Horseback Riding Through the Georgia Mountains – at Roosevelt Riding Stables
Once we left the saddle-up area, it didn’t take long for us to be surrounded by the natural beauty of the Georgia mountains. This was not wide open trail on flat terrain, this was an adventurous mountain trail that took us into the woods, across streams (and a bit of mud), up and down hills in the mountains of FDR State Park.
At the Roosevelt Riding Stables, there are actually several trails and rides you can choose from. However, the Creek Trail is the Geo-Trail where the geocaches are hidden. All of the trails are technically located within the grounds of FDR State Park, so all caches are placed with the permission of FDR State Park. We love the fact that Georgia, and specifically FDR State Park, is so Geocaching Friendly!
How does Geocaching on Horseback work?
As we were getting deeper into the woods along the trail, we started to wonder how this was going to work! Would we get off the horses to go make the find? But we our awesome guide, Andrea, gave us the low down on how this all worked while riding the the Geo-Trail. She assured us that it would be a seamless experience, which we were about to discover for ourselves.
It was’t long before our GPS let us know that we were approaching the first geocache. We had used our Garmin Oregon 650T during our driving adventure through Mexico, but never on a horse! Liz and I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that you can navigate to destinations by motorcycle, hiking, mountaineering on our Garmin, but there was no setting to navigate by horse! Funny to think about, but we were able to navigate by using the hiking mode. Pretty accurate wouldn’t you say?
We quickly figured out how this geocaching on horseback experience would work. The geocaches are all placed at horse height, so you don’t have to get off your horse to discover the cache. Brilliant! Also, the way the caches were placed was very well thought out. They were all lock-n-lock containers that were attached, this way didn’t have to worry about dropping them. They also had pens and easily accessible logs to sign, which was good because we learned that horses prefer to keep moving when on a trail.
At times we had some difficulty getting the horse to stand still long enough to sign the cache, luckily our guide helped us out with this. She guided us to the caches and sometimes it was easier for her to get them for us, but a majority of the time we were able to get to them to sign and replace. She also used her magic to try and keep our horses cooperating while we cached.
Creative Caches on the Horse Trail
After a while of discovering the same type of caches on a single trail it could get a little boring, but not here. All the geocaches had a western theme to them and were decorated to the theme of the cache name. We loved seeing how creative these guys were in creating this Geo-Trail.
There were even multi-caches on the trail. Every now and then we spotted horseshoes hung to trees. We learned that the numbers on them indicated how many feet there were to the next stage, and eventually the final cache. The multi caches also had to be unlocked in order to get to the cache. So you will need to make sure you pay attention to the horseshoes leading the way, since those numbers were needed to unlock the cache. But watch out for some fake horseshoes too! Very clever and a nice way to break up the traditional caches on this Geo-Trail.
How Can You Go for a Horseback Ride on this Trail?
Be sure to visit the Roosevelt Riding Stables website, and give them a call to make a reservation. When booking with Roosevelt Riding Stables, make sure that you tell them that you want to go on the Geo-Trail. But there are 4 other great trails to experience at Roosevelt Stables too. So if you have time, stick around and book rides on some of the others. There is also a lunch ride and an overnight ride where you can campout too. Imagine riding on your horse through the mountains, sleeping under the stars, and enjoying a cowboy breakfast before riding out in the morning? Now that’s a true cowboy experience!
If you head to the Pine Mountain, Georgia area (southwest of Atlanta), make sure to include this Geo-Trail in your travel plans! We have actually dubbed this area a Geocacher’s Paradise because not only is there a Geo-horse trail, but FDR State Park and nearby Callaway Gardens are both fun attractions with hundreds of geocaches along beautiful scenery and trails. All these activities are within minutes of each other, so you should definitely put this area on your radar!
Geocaching on Horseback is a Must Do for all Cachers
Our overall experience with Roosevelt Stables Geo-Horseback Trail was just awesome. Everyone, including our guide, was welcoming and helpful. They enjoyed sharing with us the history of the area and the state park, while making us feel comfortable on the horses. They also made sure that we got the full geocaching experience while on horseback. This is such a wonderful concept that surpassed our expectations. This was a true #AdventureCaching experience that will always stay in our memory as we continue to travel and geocache our way around the world. * We want to thank both Keith and Andrea at Roosevelt Stables for hosting us. All opinions are our own, and we truly had a wonderful time and cannot recommend this experience enough. Be sure to like Roosevelt Riding Stables on Facebook too.
**We will also like to thank the Going Caching Crew and especially Joesbids and Harborspy for placing these caches along the trail.