A worldwide modern-day treasure hunt, geocaching is an activity in which people use GPS coordinates to locate hidden containers. Inside these geocache containers are often a number of tradable items — or treasure — including tiny toys and stickers. You might even find some more traditional treasure-like items like crystals and collectable coins.
But you can’t just take the treasure, as perhaps a pirate would. The items inside geocaches can only be taken if replaced with an item of equal or greater value. So bring along some items to trade. Those are the rules of the game.
Furthermore, some geocaches aren’t large enough to contain tradable items. But all geocaches — no matter how big or small — contain a logbook (or tiny rolled up piece of paper, if the geocache is small) for people to jot down their name and the date, proving they were successful in finding the cache.
Geocaching, like all activities, has certain rules and etiquette. To learn more, and to view a map that reveals the coordinates of geocaches all over the world, visit geocaching.com. And once you’re ready, here are 12 recreational areas that are great for geocaching in Maine.
Essex Woods in Bangor
Located right by the Bangor Mall, Essex Woods is a city-owned forest and wetland area that’s full of wildlife. Seven geocaches can be found throughout the trail network on the property, spread out in a network of over 2 miles of trails.
Sandy Point Beach Park in Stockton Springs
Three geocaches are located along the trail network at Sandy Point Beach Park in Stockton Springs, which also features a beach on a tidal portion of the Penobscot River. The trail network is made up of about 2 miles of trails that travel through a fern-filled forest to the shore.
Little River Community Trail in Belfast
A 4-mile hiking trail in Belfast, Little River Community Trail features 14 geocaches, including a multi-cache and mystery cache. Many of the caches are Boston Celtics themed. Though this trail is not far from downtown Belfast and the Belfast Municipal Airport, it gives the impression that it’s out in the wilderness as it travels along the river and through mature forest.
Dodge Point Preserve in Newcastle
The 500-acre Dodge Point Preserve is peppered with a dozen geocaches with fun names like “Passion for Purple” and “Not a Brick Trick.” To reach the caches, explore a network of 5 miles of traditional hiking trails and old roads. The property features more than 8,000 feet of frontage along the Damariscotta River, as well as an impressive stand of tall red pine trees, and a mature mixed forest that includes giant oak trees, maples, birches and massive white pines.
Aroostook State Park in Presque Isle
Maine’s first state park, Aroostook State Park is one of eight state parks that are highlighted by the Maine State Parks Geo Tour. The geocache at Aroostook State Park contains an abundance of information about the 800-acre park and its rich history.
Fuller Farm in Scarborough
Fuller Farm is a preserve that’s home to five traditional geocaches, including four Halloween-themed caches with unique containers. The property features about 2.5 miles of easy trails.
Sawyer Mountain in Limerick
Five geocaches are located along the trail network that explores Sawyer Mountain, which rises 1,213 feet above sea level in southwestern Maine. The trail network that explores the mountain consists of about 5.5 miles of trails.
Vaughan Woods in Hollowell
Covering 197 acres in the town of Hallowell, Vaughan Woods has long been known for its natural beauty and fascinating history. The preserve is home to more than 2 miles of trails and seven geocaches.
Tunk Mountain near Franklin
Rising 1,157 feet above sea level, Tunk Mountain is one of the tallest peaks in eastern Maine. Hiking trails lead to the summit of the mountain and visit pristine ponds at the foot of the mountain. Along those trails are four geocaches.
Ingersoll Point Preserve in Addison
The 145-acre Ingersoll Point Preserve features 3.5 miles of intersecting hiking trails that travel along the rocky shore of the ocean and explore a beautiful forest filled with moss, lichen, boulders and towering evergreens. Four traditional geocaches will lead you to the different trails on the preserve.
Little Moose Public Lands near Greenville
The state-owned 1,500-acre Little Moose Public Reserved Land Unit features Little Moose Mountain, Big Moose Mountain and a few remote ponds. Hiking trails explore this large swath of conserved land, and throughout you can find three traditional geocaches. In addition, the property is home to a multicache, which includes two caches. The first cache contains the coordinates to the second.
Brown Woods in Bangor
Five geocaches can be found in Brown Woods, a city-owned park that features some especially tall white pine trees and a walking trail that’s about 1 mile long. The caches include three baseball-themed caches and a mystery cache for which full sunlight is required to solve the mystery.
If looking for more recreational areas to geocache in Maine, here are eight more. Happy treasure hunting.