The Niagara Region is known for its breathtaking scenery, award winning wineries and world class Shaw Festival Theatre in Niagara on the Lake. But now it has even more excitement to offer tourists – a diverse array of challenging geocaches.
Today, the entire Niagara Region is absolutely filled with outdoor adventure – all you need is a consumer brand GPS device, keen eyesight, and a decent pair of hiking boots.
What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is a fun 21st century treasure hunt where Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates are targeted to find buried caches of collectible goodies. The caches are hidden in Tupperware containers, empty peanut butter jars, or steel ammunition boxes.
Each geocache is an accumulation of rare and valuable geocoins, local pins, buttons and other traceable artifacts. It’s thrilling, especially if you set up an ‘amazing race’ with friends and family members to see who can find the booty first.
One international geocaching website binds the entire community together with remarkable unity. On this one site, ALL geocaches in ALL countries are listed, along with their coordinates and any hints you may need to find the booty. Best of all, membership is free. Register to follow the links below.
The Niagara Falls Urban Oasis geocache was created to accommodate the newbie to the sport; it requires an easy walk through a woodland park within a residential subdivision. The trail is well maintained, although the park itself is relatively small. This cache is easy find, hidden in a very traditional geocaching spot.
The Fort George Cache is more interesting, and it’s also easy to find. If you visit the website and read about this adventure you’ll find a strange history lesson. This cache’s progenitor, a user named Lakeport, has penned an entire history of Fort George, right off the top of his head. Such is the passion of geocachers for geocaching in this culturally rich region.
One of the most spectacular targets in the area is of course the infamous Niagara Virtual geocache, which combines with two other waterfall caches, Victoria Falls, Zambia and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in another related online attraction. Geocachers are citizens of the world.
A word to the wise, you should bring a rain jacket if you plan to visit this cache.
There is also a website disclaimer here to inform readers that in the winter months it may not be safe as “the logical access point to this cache may be chained off (final steps to the cache may be slippery). Some cache seekers duck under the chain to find the cache, but do your own assessment of this and if you feel that it is unsafe then do not proceed.”
Down the Canadian Gorge can be found somewhere on the trail leading down to the Niagara River. This cache is located on the Canadian side of the Niagara Gorge at the bottom near the whirlpool. Again there is a warning here that the terrain can be very slippery, muddy, and dangerous at times… but it’s worth it; the container full of great geocache items.
Finally the Toiypygmcela Tevral Bug Htoel is probably the most challenging geocache in the entire Niagara Region. Take note it contains a Bee-ware geocoin which I suspect might also be a warning to watch for live bees.
Typoglycemia is the informal name given to a purported recent discovery of the cognitive processes behind reading written text. Years ago, researchers at Cambridge University discovered that the human brain can comprehend words in context when only the first and the last letters are correct.
The clever geocacher that created this cache has challenged the membership to follow this logic and interpret the co-ordinates N40 59.398 W70 91.952 where only the first and last numbers are accurate.
As geocaching grows more popular, geocoins grow more valuable. Limited issue, traceable, geocoins in particular are attracting the attention of online collectors, and tourism promoters. First understand that a ‘geocoin’ is a special coin created by individuals or groups of geocachers as a kind of signature item or calling card. The pictures that accompany this article are images of the 2005, 2006 and 2007 official Ontario Geocoins, the first to be issued by the Province of Ontario. Each geocoin is assigned a unique tracking ID which allows them to travel from geocache to geocache or to be passed amongst friends, picking up stories along the way. There are no collectible Niagara Falls Canada geocoins yet, but rumors of immanent issue persist, as the Niagara Falls NY geocoins are already hot property.