Explore-Geocaching from TheStatehouseFile.com on Vimeo.
By Allie Nash
MARSHALL, Ind. – Our latest adventure exploring Indiana was not as successful as others – but it was still a worthwhile experience.
My colleague Jess Seabolt and I went to the Turkey Run State Park to go geaocaching. What is that you may ask?
Geocaching in Turkey Run State Park
Location: Parke County
Activities: Hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing in the park
Price: $5 per car
Tips: Print a list of caches and coordinates in advance. Bring a GPS, snacks and drinks. Don’t rely on your phone; you probably won’t get service in the park.
Skill level: Ability to read GPS and hike
Medium. You’re not in the wild; it’s still a state park. But there are lots of beautiful things to see – and trying to find that cache can be quite a challenge!
Well here is how it works:
You can log on to a geocaching website and enter the zip code of the area you want to explore. It could be where you live or a park.
The website will give you a list of places where caches are hidden. An important thing to do is create an account to get access to the GPS coordinates detailing where the cache is hidden. While some of the easier ones may not require such detail, most do.
Turns out, we needed them and didn’t have them and that’s where our search started going wrong.
We did not start with the coordinates and a GPS – a global positioning satellite – that would allow us to use them, especially because we didn’t have any service on your phones. Only Jess’s phone had a little service while we were in the park, and even that wasn’t really enough to be helpful.
So we spent the day just hiking through Turkey Run State Park looking for something we were not going to find.
But that doesn’t mean we didn’t try. We went off the trails, walked out of the park and came back, went through brush and looked in rocky areas. We searched high and low for the cache and found nothing.
To say we were feeling a defeated would be an understatement. After all, the online log showed that people seemed to be finding the cache every few days.
What made up for our lack of geocaching success was how beautiful the park was and how much fun we had hiking through it. It was a great day – not too hot and not too cold either. Much of the trail we were on – Trail 1 – was covered by trees, making it very comfortable to hike.
We saw all sorts of beautiful nature including Sugar Creek, lots of flowers and a natural little waterfall. The trail had some large rocks we had to climb over and some narrow spots, but it was nothing too challenging. And I will tell you: I am not an avid hiker.
I wish I would have brought some snacks with me. I had water, which was really helpful. But there were plenty of places to sit on rocks and enjoy a little snack. By the time we were done, we were all starving.
Overall, our geocaching experience was not successful, but that makes me want to go again. Jess and I were both happy with day and talked about doing it closer to home. But we also said the 1 hour and 15 minute trip from Indianapolis to Turkey Run was worth it.
So, for your next adventure make sure to see if there are any caches to find along the way. And if you are looking for something to do outside, Turkey Run State Park should be at the top of your list.
It is only $5 to get in the park and it’s free to become a member on the geocaching website. It was an inexpensive adventure that let us enjoy the outdoors.
Allie Nash is a reporter at TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.