Geocaching and Letterboxing


    Geocaching and Letterboxing in Virginia are the ultimate treasure hunt.

    Add excitement and fun to your driving, camping and hiking experiences!

    Geocaching employs the use of a GPS device (global positioning device) to find the cache.

    Letterboxing uses clues from one location to the next to find the letterbox; sometimes a compass is needed.

    Both methods rely on the Internet - advertising the cache, providing basic maps and creating a forum for cache hunters.


    Geocaching | Letterboxing | Travel Bugs | Geocachers Corner 


    The Object of Geocaching

    The object of Geocaching is to find the hidden container filled with a logbook, pencil and sometimes prizes! When you find the cache, write your name and the date you found it in the logbook. Larger caches might contain maps, books, toys, even money! When you take something from the cache you are honor-bound to leave something else in its place. Usually cache hunters will report their individual cache experiences on the Internet.

    "One of our favorite caches took our family to Squashapenny Junction in Northern Hanover County."
    —Polly Hutchinson of Richmond, VA

    GPS Receiver

    You'll need a GPS receiver that will determine your position on the planet in relation to the cache's "waypoint" - its longitude/latitude coordinates. You can buy a decent GPS receiver for around $100. More expensive ones have built-in electronic compasses and topographical maps, but you don't need all the extras to have fun geocaching.

    Where are Caches?

    Everywhere! But to be safe, be sure you're treading on public property.

    Some might be hidden deep in a Virginia forest, on top of an Appalachian cliff or near a statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond. Some are in buildings and some are underground.

    Plenty of ecentric people love creating caches for your amusement. They also love reading your comments in the logbook!

    Geocaching continues to evolve:

    Offset Caches — The waypoint is a benchmark instead of the cache itself. From the benchmark, the hunter must look for more clues to find the cache.

    Multi Caches — Similar to Letterboxing, multi caches give coordinates to the next location and/or clues.

    Virtual Caches — The waypoint is a landmark. Visit, find the answer, and report back back to the cache owner.

    More detailed information about Geocaching in Virginia!



    The Object of Letterboxing

    The object is similar to geocaching — find the Letterbox — but instead of just signing and dating the logbook, use a personalized rubber stamp. Most letterboxes include another rubber stamp for your own logbook. The creator of the letterbox provides clues to its location. Finding solutions to clues might require a compass, map and solving puzzles and riddles! This activity is great fun for the entire family!

    More detailed information about Letterboxing in Virginia!


    Travel Bugs

    A travel bug is a trackable tag with its own tracking number that is attached to an item. It is removed and taken from cache to cache. You can track it where its been on Each travel bug has its own Web page!

    When you find a travel bug in a cache, take it on to the next cache(s) with you. Go online and enter the travel bug's tracking number and report where its been and where you left it.


    Geocachers Recommend

    Enjoy Outdoor Adventures with Quantico Orienteering Club. Participants walk or run between mapped checkpoints, alone or in groups. Beginner to advanced levels.

    The Gems of Rockbridge Geocaching Trail takes hunters on a treasure trek toward 10 strategically placed caches around Rockbridge County. Handheld GPS devices can be borrowed at the Lexington Visitor Center.

    Primland Resort in Meadows of Dan has created two caching trails - one for families with young children and the other on a more difficult level.

    Polly Hutchinson recommends the Hampton Roads Geocaching Association, the Crozet Cache Crew and the Central Virginia Geocaching Association.

    Michelle Childress of Southwest Virginia sent us the link to the TriCities Geocachers.

    Lynn Lafferty of Spotsylvania sent us this offical link to the Fredericksburg Geocachers. She said she loved geocaching because the game takes hikers to places they might not have visited otherwise.

    If you would like to share your geocaching experience in Virginia with others, please email Virginia Tourism Corporation! We look forward to hearing from you.

Last Updated: 2/27/2012 2:02 PM
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