Geocaching has been gaining popularity in recent years, including in the Lakeland. A group of treasurer hunters have formed Lakeland Geocaching (LG). Geocaching is the world’s largest treasure hunt, where participants use GPS coordinates to locate geocaches, which are small trickets and treasures. Once a treasure is discovered the hunter will replace the item with a treasure of their own and leave their name (usually a nickname) on a pad of paper to indicate who has been to the location. Geocachers also log their finds at geocaching.com or through the geocaching app. You can play along without removing the item or leaving your name, but it’s more fun if you fully participate.
Cold Lake City Councillor, Vicky Lefebvre, is a LG member and geocaching enthusiast. “People would be surprised to know, that within a 50 miles radius there’s over 1800 geocaches. There’s over 135 in Cold Lake alone.” To help discover all the caches out there you can download a smartphone app through geocaching.com for $9.99 or use the free version.
Caches within Cold Lake 138 – within 10 miles radius 416
Caches in Bonnyville 17 -within 10 miles radius 287
caches in Glendon 11 – within 10 miles radius 207
caches in St Paul 28 – within 10 mile radius 213
caches in Elk Point 14 – within 10 mile radius 199
Smoky Lake 11 – within 10 miles radius 218
Waskateneau 5 – within 10 miles 108
Iron Horse Power Trail 1400+ -Vicky Lefebvre
The organization is working on a summer Mega Event for July of 2016. To be considered a Mega Event there must be 500+ participants, the event, Sails, Rails & Tails, will stretch across the Lakeland area and incorporate the Iron Horse Trail. For now, that is all the group wishes to reveal, but hopes the anticipation for the Mega Event will help spark more interest in geocaching.
There is approximately 130 members of LG, Lefebvre says incorporating geocaching makes an outing special, “it’s fun for the family and you see what the area has to offer.” Lefebvre and her husband, Gilles, will often spend a Saturday afternoon Geocaching, recently the couple did Elk Point.
“There’s lots in the park in Cold Lake, it’s so cool and exciting!” Lefebvre says a family could spend a nice afternoon finding treasures, and sometimes there’s even geocaches for children hidden. If you visit geocaching.com you can download an app and it will have all the coordinates in your general area. The coordinates will indicate whether the geocache is a regular find or a child cache.
“If you take something you have to put something back,” Lefebvre says people who just take a cache are called “smugglers”
The Iron Horse trail is home to over 1400 caches, many of which were placed by a geocacher from afar, says Lefebvre, “we had a someone from Spain do our trail. He started in Waskatenau and worked his way down.”
There are economic benefits for communities in geocaching, says Lefebvre, “it brings people who stay in hotels and buy food. You’re showcasing an area that people may not normally go to. We put caches out at the Fish Hatchery because we want people to go down there. ” Lefebvre says a lot of the caches are perfectly located with a scenic view of the park or on the pier by the lake. There’s always something to discover along with the cache.
Lefebvre and husband Gilles, have found over 7000 caches; in multiple countries, including Kenya, Egypt, Costa Rica. And right here, in the Lakeland.
For $10 you can have years of joy -VickyLefebvre