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Cache it if you can: A different way to explore state parks

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Cache it if you can: A different way to explore state parks

San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area is one State Park in the Central Valley where geocaching is allowed.

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POSTED July 14, 2012 1:31 a.m.

You may have played pirates as a wee one in your backyard, digging up and burying hidden treasure. As an adult, you can relive those days of discovery by geocaching. Geocaching is an activity that involves using a Global Positioning System receiver to navigate and find or plant containers, called geocaches, that contain a logbook or small treasure. Presently, with an estimate of over a million such caches all over the world, geocaching is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreation activities in the world. Because of the popularity of the sport and its nature, the California State Parks became concerned about whether or not the searching and hiding of caches is causing damage to facilities or sensitive lands. These concerns have prompted California State Parks to set of geocaching guidelines. The California State Parks system has 278 units. Geocaching is appropriate within some units and inappropriate in others.

Caches are allowed where they do not affect natural, cultural and historical resources, visitor safety or other park users. Geocaching is generally allowed at State beaches, seashores, parks, recreation areas and vehicular recreation areas.  Caches are typically not allowed or encouraged in State cultural reserves, natural reserves or historic parks and monuments.

Virtual caches (managed at Waymarking.com) are encouraged and must adhere to the applicable requirements used for physical caches. With district superintendent approval, virtual caches will be permitted in those State Park classifications where physical caches are not generally allowed.

Caches may not be buried, nor may vegetation, rocks or other features be marked or damaged in the process of placing, accessing or maintaining the cache.

Physical caches are not permitted inside or upon any State Park facility or structure.

Caches may not be permanently attached (glued, bolted, or screwed) to any historic structure, monument, archaeological, natural or geologic feature.

Caches are not allowed within 300 feet of streams, marshes or sensitive water features or be placed more than 3 feet from a designated trail.

For more information about geocaching, visit www.parks.ca.gov/geocaching and www.geocreed.info.

— KRISTINA HACKER

209 staff

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