The following article is a paid collaboration with Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.
There’s a whole new way to discover one of West Virginia’s most popular regions: the Greenbrier Geocache Trail.
Never heard of geocaching? It’s kind of like a treasure hunt, where you follow clues and GPS coordinates to uncover hidden treasure tucked away in Mother Nature. There are enough curated caches in the Greenbrier Valley for a full-blown geocache trail.
Hit the Greenbrier Geocache Trail for a unique way to explore West Virginia, and keep these tips in mind, especially if it’s your first time:
1. Know What You’re Looking For
Before you head to the trail, search for the "Greenbrier Geocache Trail" at Geocaching.com to find all the information and coordinates you need.
Park in the lot near the junction of Route 3 and Route 107 in a neighborhood just outside of Hinton. Then make your way to the trail, where you’re looking for 9 hidden caches between Caldwell and Hinton** **along the Greenbrier River. The caches come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but are usually in small tupperware containers. When you find a cache, sign the logbook (if it has one) and take some time to look at the items and history of the location.
2. And What to Avoid
During the summer, keep your eyes peeled for poison ivy. Vines can grow over the cache locations, so once you rule out the itch-inducing ones, don’t be afraid to brush foliage aside during your search.
3. Don’t Forget Your Trinkets
The informal policy of geocaching is "take something, leave something," so load up on tiny, non-perishable trinkets before you take off, in case you want a fun souvenir from your trip. Things like unique coins, small pins and buttons, and similar objects make excellent cache items.
4. Keep Your Phone Powered Up
If you’re using your phone as your GPS (and most people do), make sure it’s fully charged and cut out any unnecessary battery usage so you have enough juice to make it all day.
5. Ditch Your Car
The entire route is about 40 miles, and wandering around to look for the caches will add on extra miles. Turn it into a weekend adventure and camp a night or 2 along the way, or bring a bike to move things along a little faster. If you decide to camp, plan ahead so you know where to stop.
Discover more in the Greenbrier Valley.
Originally written for West Virginia .