The Fayette County Historical Trail was opened Saturday with a ribbon-cutting on the courthouse lawn and residents joined in for the county’s first official digital Geocaching adventure.
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 with the members Kristy Bowers, Brenda Landis, Lori Moore, Erin Rickman and Joy Stanforth. 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. The Fayette County Historical Museum will be responsible for the management of the trail following its grand opening.
“I would like to tell you a little about the Fayette County Historical Trail to start and then would love you all to be a part of the ribbon cutting to officially open it up,” Bowers said during the trail grand opening Saturday morning. “Each team in the leadership class was tasked with coming up with a community service project. The projects were supposed to highlight the area, be family friendly, involve the outdoors and be economical for the family, educational and fun. With the help and support from Fayette County Travel and Tourism and the Fayette County Historical Society we are able to open the trail up.”
During the grand opening of the Fayette County Historical Trail, those who participated were able to use “Geocaching” to find a series of hidden “caches.” These caches, or hidden containers, were found by using a Geocaching app on smartphones (there is a free version for anyone still wanting to go on the trail). Each site has historical significance to Fayette County.
“This is our home and we are proud of it and the stories it has to tell,” Bowers said. “We were able to cover inventors, politicians, movements and the county’s involvement in humanitarian rights. We invite (the community) to spend some time with old friends and challenge you to make a few new ones as you tackle the trail.”
If you haven’t tried geocaching before, go online to www.geocaching.com and complete the steps. The Fayette Historical Trail uses a passport found at the Historical Museum. First, register your user name, basic membership is free. Second, pick a place, find the cache and write down your user name on the log sheet, remember to find and write down each code word for the cache. Third, record your finding on www.geocaching.com. Fourth, once you have completed the trail, fill in the information on the passport and send it to the museum, located at 517 Columbus Ave. in Washington Court House. Finally, keep a copy of your passport in case it gets lost and as a memento of the adventure.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy