An opportunity to embark on an educational adventure and help create a historical trail will be available on Saturday, June 18 on the Fayette County Courthouse lawn.
During the grand opening of the Fayette County Historical Trail, those who participate will be able to use “Geocaching” to find a series of hidden “caches.” These caches, or hidden containers, are found by using a Geocaching app on smartphones (there is a free version). Each site has historical significance to Fayette County.
Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers – geocaches – anywhere in the world.
A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook. The geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it.
Locally, this project was initiated by one of the teams participating in the Fayette County Leadership class: class members are Kristy Bowers, Brenda Landis, Lori Moore, Erin Rickman and Joy Stanforth.
Each team was asked to create a project that would positively impact our community, said Bowers.
“They chose creating a historical geocaching trail because it is not only an educational adventure,” she said. “It is also an activity that almost anyone can participate in with minimal to no cost. By use of a smartphone or GPS device and access to the internet, families, teens, seniors or anyone interested in spending time outdoors can participate. There is so much history in our community the group felt that this was a fun way to share it.”
With a grant from Fayette County Travel & Tourism, the leadership team was able to purchase the necessities for each cache site. It also allowed them to create and purchase a unique “Geocoin,” which depicts the Fayette County seal on one side and an outline of Fayette County on the other. One will be awarded to each of the first 100 people who find each cache on the trail.
“Geocaching has developed a following of millions spread worldwide over the last 15 years,” said Jolinda Van Dyke, executive director of Fayette County Travel & Tourism. “It’s great to have something like this in our community and we’re proud to support and sponsor it.”
The Fayette County Historical Museum will be responsible for the management of the trail following its grand opening.
“Thanks to their support and willingness to handle the project in the long run, the leadership team has been able to start a project that they hope can be enjoyed for many years to come,” said Bowers. “Please come and join us at 10 a.m. on June 18 for some light refreshments and the beginning of what we hope is a fun adventure in our own backyard.”
Those who participate will discover world-famous horses, history-making game wardens, underground railroad conductors and much more.
“It’s a community event that allows people to get outside, it’s family-friendly, and basically any age can participate,” said Bowers. “It’s very cost-effective and it will be a lot of fun.”