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Geocache Trail Launches in Leonardtown
LEONARDTOWN - 1/13/2009
Maryland is the first state in the country to create a geocache trail state league in order to promote tourism. The Maryland Municipal League is using this innovative approach to promote awareness of and visits to Maryland’s cities and towns, with the goal of helping to stimulate economic development in Maryland’s municipalities
On Monday, Jan. 12, Leonardtown joined the fun and launched its entry into the geocache trail league in style. After mayor J. Harry Norris launched the event, a couple of geocacher teams decided to join in the fun.
Eric and Donna Wilcox are to new to geocache'. Santa brought them a GPS for Christmas. The same day they went to their first geocache'. It was Eric's idea so the couple could explore more places. So far they have 34 geocaches' and 22 of the 34 are Maryland Municipal League. They were also the first to find the Leonardtown Cache'. Their next goal is to find more in St. Mary's County.
Billy and Terri Doughty, of Lexington Park, have been geocaching since April 2004. So far they have over 600 caches' and have visited 28 states as they enjoyed their hobby. The couple brings their three year old grand-daughter Lily along. Lily already has more than 300 geocaches.
The geocache effort taps into the rapidly growing high-tech tourist trade that is not limited to any particular age group. Discovering a geocache, is very much like going on a treasure hunt using a hand-held Global Positioning System to plot map coordinates to locate the treasure or “cache.” The geocacher must access the official geocache website www.geocaching.com, go to the MML account and download or manually enter the map coordinates for each cache on the Maryland Municipal League Geo Trail; then use the GPS to find the caches. “It is deceptively easy.”
ML’s geocache trail is a series of geocaches tied together by a common theme. The theme of the first-of-its-kind Maryland League Trail is Celebrating Maryland’s Cities and Towns. The trail is comprised of 78 city/town caches located in the 11 MML Districts throughout the state. A collectible, highly coveted geo coin will be given to the first 500 geocachers who locate a minimum of 22 city/town caches throughout the state.
To be eligible for the coin, geocachers must pick up a passport at any participating visitor center, use the stamp in each cache on their passports and write in the cache code word. After at least 2 municipal caches in each district are discovered, geocachers may return to one of the county visitor centers and have their passports validated to receive a collectable coin.
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