James Rada, Jr.
Geocaching is a fun way to find hidden treasures, not only locally, but across the world using a GPS device.
While you can purchase a GPS device, if you have a smartphone, you can download a free app that will allow you to get started right away. Once you enter the coordinates of the cache, the GPS device acts like a compass, helping you zero in on the cache’s location. The closer you get to the cache, the more it becomes a game of hot/cold since most GPS devices can only get you accurately to the cache’s hiding spot within 10 feet or so.
This article will highlight some of the caches hidden in The Catoctin area and allow you to add treasure hunting via geocaching to your recreational activities. You can find where hundreds of thousands of other caches are hidden at Geocaching.com. You can track caches you find, leave comments about caches, and upload pictures of your finds.
Thurmont Park and Grab (Difficulty: 1.0/ Terrain: 1.0)
Coordinates: N 39° 36.989 W 077° 25.180
This cache is a quick find in a Thurmont shopping center. Should be an easy park and grab.
Hint: Light post cache.
Moser Cache (Difficulty: 1.5/ Terrain: 3.0)
Coordinates: N 39° 36.474 W 077° 24.139
Hidden on private property with permission. Parking at this cache is minimal, so please use the following coordinates to park: N39’ 36.458 W77’ 24.205. The actual cache is hidden at the above coordinates.
The cache is a smaller ammo can (5.56mm) with NASCAR and GEOCACHE stickers on it. Since this cache was created by a huge Jeff Gordon fan, you’ll find a lot of J.G. swag, including a key chain, pictures from a race he attended at Texas Motor Speedway, Pez dispenser, log book, pens, official geocache congratulations “You’ve found it” notice, and a few other odds and ends. If you’re a NASCAR fan, you’ll enjoy this one.
Hint: Beware of the thorns and watch for the fallen tree and water.
FCMGT-Emmitsburg Doughboy (Difficulty: 1.5/ Terrain: 1.5)
Coordinates: N 39° 42.357 W 077° 19.954
This cache is part of the Frederick County Memorial GeoTrail.
Emmitsburg’s doughboy, the popular name for a WWI foot soldier, stands at the end of West Main Street in its own little grassy park about 10 feet square. The statue stands on the lawn of the Emmit House, once a hotel that frequently hosted Maryland governors, but is now an apartment house. It was erected in 1927. For more information, go to http://www.emmitsburg.net/archive_list/articles/history/stories/doughboy.htm
Hint: Fake rock at base.
Hatchery and Ponds (Difficulty: 1.5/ Terrain: 1.5)
Coordinates: N 39° 32.128 W 077° 25.976
The Lewistown Trout Hatchery and Bass Ponds are located near this cache. The property was purchased by the State of Maryland in 1917. The area is well known for fish ponds, some of which are no longer used. The cache you seek is located near the marker. As a side note, in the early 20th century, Frederick County was the leading goldfish producer in the United States.
Cache: The hidden item. Caches can take any form and be hidden or disguised. Some have a piece of paper in them that you can sign and date to mark that you found it. Others have cheap swag. If you take a swag item, you are expected to leave one of your own behind.
Coordinates: The location of the cache given in latitude and longitude.
Difficulty: On a scale of 1-5, how difficult is it considered to find this cache.
GPS: Global Positioning System. This is an electronic device that uses coordinates you enter to direct you to those coordinates. Think: Mapquest, where the address entered are latitude and longitude coordinates.
Swag: Small items, such as might be found in a Cracker Jack box, that are left as a small reward for finding the cache.
Terrain: On a scale of 1-5, how difficult is it to get to this cache.