Visitors to Cuyahoga Valley National Park can now participate in EarthCaching — one of the latest environmental “sport” activities whose popularity is sweeping the country. While some arm themselves with a portable Global Positioning System (GPS), most local residents and out-of-state visitors join the fun at Cuyahoga Park using nothing more than a map and their curiosity.
EarthCaching is treasure hunt for caches (treasures) that the Earth has created. The self-guided hikes are created by a team of educators, geologists, and naturalists and focus on interesting geological features that are specific to Cuyahoga Valley. Visitors participating in the earthcache program can logon to www.earthcache.org to learn the clues and activities needed to receive credit for your find.
The park has EarthCaches for Blue Hen Falls, Brandywine Falls, Ice Box Cave, and Lock 29 to Deep Lock Towpath Trail. Earthcaches are also available along the Old Carriage Trail, Riding Run Trail, and on the Towpath Trail from Lock 29 to Deep Lock.
The Geological Society of America administers the listing of EarthCache sites around the world including the sites at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The organization offers a “Masters Program” where you can receive a pin as a reward for learning more about the Earth. There four EarthCache Master Program levels are:
Bronze EarthCache Master – Visit and log three or more EarthCaches in two or more states/countries.
Silver EarthCache Master – Visit and log six or more EarthCaches in three or more states/countries and develop one or more EarthCaches.
Gold EarthCache Master – Visit and log twelve or more EarthCaches in four or more states/countries and develop two or more EarthCaches.
Platinum EarthCache Master – Visit and log twenty or more EarthCaches in five or more states/countries and develop three or more EarthCaches.
The Cuyahoga Valley Park’s EarthCache program is open to volunteers who are interested in the development of new caches. More information about the park’s goal in sharing information about its geological features can be found www.earthcache.org