Geocaching on the Ridge Trail

 Newly minted trackable Ridge Trail travel tags are out!

  

Cache hidden in a trail post.What is Geocaching? 

Geocaching is a popular high tech treasure hunt game using GPS technology to pinpoint locations and hide and seek small treasures.

The basic idea is to find hidden containers outdoors (called “caches”), trade small objects within the caches, and then share the experience with an online community.

Caches are rated according to how easy or difficult they are to find, and the contents also have a specific hierarchy according to rarity or trading feature or value.  

 
Geocaching the Ridge Trail   

There are hundreds of hidden caches just steps from the Ridge Trail! (but please note: different parks have varying rules with regards to geocaching).

 Geocaching along the Ridge Trail is one more way to explore new parks and trails. So we minted some cool Ridge Trail “travel bug” dog tags (pictured right) and kicked off a contest to see how fast the tags can “move” from cache to cache thru parks along the Ridge Trail route.


Close-up view of a Ridge Trail Travel Bug.Ridge Trail Travel Bugs  

Each Ridge Trail travel bug has unique “goals” or rules, such as traveling clockwise or counterclockwise along the trail, visiting as many caches as possible within a County, or visiting Ridge Trail sites with ocean views, near high spots or campsites along the Ridge Trail. Please see the list at the bottom to see the current travel bugs in circulation.

Have a unique idea for a Ridge Trail travel bug goal? Let us know!  Email geocache@ridgetrail.org with your ideas and to request travel tags to launch.

To find out more specifics about the Ridge Trail travel bugs, log on to geocaching.com (you will have to create a free account, if you do not have one yet). Then search for Trackables by user “Bay Area Ridge Trail” to see a list of Ridge Trail tags launched (nearly two dozen so far).

The list shows the goals for each tag and which caches the tags are currently in. You can also see which geocachers have moved them, a list of caches the tags have traveled to, comments from fellow geocachers about the tags and caches, and a graphical map displaying the tags’ travels.


Contest
 

Adding to the geocaching fun, we’ve added prizes for the most active Ridge Trail geocachers.

Find and move some of our Ridge Trail travel bugs and log them on geocaching.com to win Ridge Trail items. Move 5 different bugs at least once, or move the same one 10 times (on different dates, with another geocacher moving it between your moves) and we’ll send you a Ridge Trail prize (bandana, lapel pin, etc.) while supplies last. Email geocache@ridgetrail.org to notifiy us when you have moved the required number of times.

Or post photos with geocachers and Ridge Trail travel bugs to our Picasa photo page. Periodically, we'll send Ridge Trail prizes for the best photos. Incorporate specific goals of the tag you are snapping into your photo; for example, if you are moving a Ridge Trail tag visiting every park or open space the Ridge Trail runs through, snap a photo with a sign indicating the park you are at, or if the goal of the tag is to visit caches with views of the Bay, show that view as well.

Before emailing, name the photo with your geocache name or "handle," followed by a number. For example, ridgetrailgeocacher1, ridgetrailgeocacher2. Email pictures to BayAreaRidgeTrail.photos@picasaweb.com. The email "Subject" line must state Geocaching to upload photos to the correct album.


Geocaching Classes
 

While participating in a geocaching class, these girls just spotted a hidden cache and are following the rule to step away and smile till others find it too.REI Outdoor School hosted a family intro to geocaching class with us at Almaden Quicksilver Park in October, and super volunteer Sam Drake recently hosted a family class with Santa Clara County Parks and Geocachers of the Bay Area at Santa Teresa Park.

Both classes were on the Ridge Trail. Class participants and other volunteers are releasing the Ridge Trail tags and we’ll be dispersing others out around the region. We hope to host more classes with REI, so watch for announcements.


Organized Geocaching
 

It is no surprise the Bay Area has a very active geocaching community and a great organization, Geocachers of the Bay Area. For more information on geocaching you can see their website.




Currently Launched Ridge Trail Travel Bugs

To find out more specifics about the Ridge Trail travel bugs, log on to geocaching.com

Tracking Code - Name - Tag Goals
TB3Z7X5 - Bart - travel clockwise; visiting every park with Ridge Trail in it
TB3Z7ZJ - Bart Jr. - travel clockwise; visiting every park in Santa Clara & San Mateo Counties with Ridge Trail in it
TB3Z7X7 - The Councilor - travel counter-clockwise; visiting every park with Ridge Trail in it
TB3Z7Z0 - The Junior Councilor - travel counter-clockwise; visiting every park in Santa Clara & San Mateo Counties with Ridge Trail in it
TB3Z7WQ - Ridge Trail Explorer - Visit as many caches along Ridge Trail as possible
TB3Z7ZD - Campsite Cacher - Visit caches near campsites on Ridge Trail
TB3Z7XC - I Can See the Sea - Visit caches on Ridge Trail with views of SF Bay or Ocean
TB3Z7YK - Birthday Bart - Visit caches near picnic areas on Ridge Trail (bonus points for pics of parties)
TB3Z7ZG - Ridge Trail History - Visit historic sites along Ridge Trail
TB3Z7ZA - Easy Barter - T:<=2 - easier caches along the Ridge Trail [T:<=2 is cache lingo]
TB3Z7Z6 - Family Snapshots - pics with families along the Ridge Trail
TB3Z7XQ - Flower Power - caches along the Ridge Trail near spots with beautiful wildflowers
TB3Z7XV - High Peaks Climber - Visit as many peaks / high spots along Ridge Trail as possible
TB3Z7WR - Trail Traveler: South Bay - Visit as many caches along Ridge Trail as possible - in the South Bay
TB3Z7YC - Trail Traveler: East Bay - Visit as many caches along Ridge Trail as possible - in the East Bay
TB3Z7ZE - Trail Traveler: Peninsula - Visit as many caches along Ridge Trail as possible - on the Peninsula
TB3Z7YQ - Trail Traveler: North Bay - Visit as many caches along Ridge Trail as possible - in the North Bay

 

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