Geocaching at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site

   We are onto our third year of Geocaching at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site. And this past summer was awesome! We have talked about the game of Geocaching in the past issues and the fun it can be, especially if you have a family and are looking for some outdoor adventure. I find it to be so thrilling to discover a secret hidden container that only Geocacher’s can find. If you like the idea of a high-tech scavenger hunt, this game is for you! (see for the rules of the game).
But there are other parts of the game that Geocacher’s enjoy, and one of them is Geocache Challenges. These take finding geocaches to a whole new level as you are challenged to find not just one Geocache, but a series of Geocaches. For the past three summers, Schoharie Crossing has participated in the New York State Parks Saratoga/Capital District Geocache Challenge.
The Challenge places 76 Geocaches in 18 State Parks in the region. They are only placed for a limited time, from Memorial Day weekend to Veterans Day weekend. The challenge is to find 40 of these Challenge Geocaches to receive a special Geocoin that features a different State Park in the region every year.

The way these Geocaches are different is that inside each of them there is a special stamp. When starting the Challenge, you download from the State Park Site or pick up (at the participating parks) what is called a “Geocache Challenge Passport”. You bring this Passport with you to find the Geocaches, and when you find them you stamp your Passport with the stamp that is inside. Still sign the log as if it were any other geocache. And go on your way. When you have the 40 stamps in your Passport, you can take it to one of the park offices to get your Geocoin. This summer Schoharie Crossing SHS was featured on the coin. What an honor for our site! 

There is also a smaller Winter Challenge that only includes 3 of the State Parks in the region, placing small, winter friendly caches. If you are interested in what parks are a part of the Winter Challenge this year go to for more information.

What makes the Summer Challenge so much fun, is the volunteers who place these temporary caches. The placing of these Geocaches has evolved over the years from just placing simple containers that are all similar in shape and size from one park to the next, to very elaborate and unique “hides”. The reason for these different kinds of hides is “Favorite” Points!
It has become a challenge within a challenge for the volunteers placing the Geocache’s to try and place Geocaches that garner as many “Favorite” points as possible. What’s a “Favorite” point? Well that’s a good question.    
Although the basic membership in Geocaching is absolutely free, there is also a “Premium” membership feature on the website. For every 10 caches you find you receive a “favorite point” to give out. When you find a Geocache that you think is really special or unique, you can give it a “favorite point” to let the person who placed the Geocache know you really liked it.  The Premium membership is $35 per year and offers other benefits as well. (Please see if you are interested.) If after trying the free membership you find you are hooked on the game, you may want to consider the Premium membership.

But with just the basic membership you can still see what Geocaches have gotten the favorite points. And you may want to consider getting out and seeing these unique Geocache’s before they become archived at the end of the challenge.

At Schoharie Crossing this summer we had two Geocache’s that received 47 “Favorite” points each, which is pretty good! We came in 3rd and 4th on the favorite points for all the Geocaches placed for the challenge. The most “favorites” went to a Geocache at John Boyd Thatcher SP with 65 Favorite points! It was placed by a good friend who goes by the Geocache name “C5Z”

For us Geocaching Volunteers it’s wonderful to read the different comments on the Geocaches we have placed. So, if you do go out and find these Geocaches, please take the time to log on line what you thought of the Geocache. I know it takes some time to comment on every Geocache, and with so many people logging on a Geocache app in the field, they are often eager to get on to the next find and throw out a brief “TFTC” (Thanks For The ­Cache). And move on. I prefer to take notes when I am out searching and then logging them when I get home that evening. But whatever you decide, get on out to Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site and find the adventure that awaits you in Geocaching.  

Small Geocache with trades & log
"Winged View"  2017 Summer Challenge Cache