Monday, August 5, 2013

Geo-Cachers Flock to Columbus, Georgia

I tried geo-caching, a pirate-like outdoor treasure hunting game, once. Players use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to locate hidden containers. The hi-tech device grabs a satellite signal and reports precise longitude and latitude coordinates.

GPS Device and Geo-Cache Container

Today, there are over a million active geocaches around the world. Many resorts, state parks, and convention and visitors bureaus are sponsoring geocaches as a way to lure and entertain guests. Columbus, Georgia's Convention and Visitors Bureau is one of the best.

Typically a small trinket is hidden in the container and finders replace it on the honor system. But in Columbus, geocachers are truly rewarded for their efforts.  First they download a grid sheet, then search for the 32 caches maintained by the Visitors Bureau.  They can win trading cards for completing specific categories such as finding the caches along the RiverWalk, dams or mills. For every ten they locate, they earn a coin. Those who find all 32 hidden boxes receive a golden coin.

Columbus, Georgia, Geo-Cache Prizes

While trading cards and coins didn't seem so grand to me, Peter Bowden, President of the Columbus CVB and avid geo-cacher, said, "This is a big deal for those who enjoy the pastime."

That reminded me, I'd run 26.2 miles in a marathon just to get a little medal placed around my neck. It's the participating that is fun. 

While the Good Girls did not have time for geo-caching while in Columbus, here's what you need to do if you want to hunt during a visit:

Columbus, Georgia Geo-Tour Coin

Steps to the Riverwalk GeoTour

Download your RiverWalk GeoTour Grid Sheet

1.    Obtain a RiverWalk GeoTour Grid Sheet from the Columbus, GA, Convention & Visitors Bureau (900 Front Avenue, 31901) or download it online by clicking here.

2.    If you are not already registered to geocache, go to, create a log-in and find the GPS coordinates and additional information for the RiverWalk GeoTour locations.

3.    Start your search and locate one or all caches using a hand-held GPS unit. The cache containers are labeled as a "RiverWalk GeoTour" geocache. Caches are located in 32 points along the 15-mile Chattahoochee RiverWalk in Columbus, GA.

4.    When you find a RiverWalk Geo-Tour cache, add your name and any comments on the logbook inside the container. Also, stamp your RiverWalk Geo-Tour Grid Sheet with the stamp unique to that particular cache, also located within the container.

There are six unique geocache SERIES in the RiverWalk GeoTour:
Complete each of the series and you qualify to win a limited edition RiverWalk GeoTour playing card.
•    RiverWalk
•    Dams
•    Attractions
•    Mills
•    Chattahoochee River
•    Whitewater
There are 5 to 6 caches in each of the series. Collect one or all six cards. Simply present your RiverWalk GeoTour Grid Sheet with the appropriate spaces stamped to the Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau during regular hours.

In addition, complete a specific number of caches to get a custom geo-coin.

Bring your stamped Grid Sheet into the Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau during regular hours to receive your coin.

- Post by Debi Lander

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