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Hidden in the Maine Highlands

Hidden in the Maine Highlands

You may have heard about geocaching but not yet participated in this international game of hide and seek. Geocaching began in Oregon in 2000 and now over 20 years later, there are more than 3 million geocachers worldwide, and geocaches hidden in 191 countries on all seven continents. Geocaching is played using a GPS device to find reference points that lead you to a hidden object containing at least a log.

No doubt if you are out and about in Bangor, hiking in the Moosehead or Katahdin areas, or biking one of the scenic byways, you will pass by many geocaches without realizing it. The Maine Highlands has many caches throughout the two county area so if you are an experienced cacher seeking a caching vacation this is a good find. It is easy to combine outdoor recreation adventures in the North Woods or a stroll through the Bangor City Forest and geocaching. Many geocaches are placed along popular hiking trails, water access points, spectacular viewpoints, historical sites and popular parks.

If you want to add geocaching to your Maine Highlands adventure, you only need a few things: a GPS device, a registered player name, and the waypoints of caches in the area where you will be recreating or staying.

Caches range in size from nano (less than a ½ inch) to a five gallon bucket. Geocaches are not buried in the earth, but may be under leaves or rocks, and must contain at least a log for the player to sign so their find is documented. Often there are small trinkets in the cache that you can take as your reward for finding the cache but never take anything without leaving something of equal value. Once found the player may also log the find on the website to keep track of their finds and to let the owner and other players know that they found the cache. Go to to register your geocaching name, find caches in your area, and obtain the waypoints of the caches you want to find.

On the website, you can also see the difficulty level of the cache. Some caches are easier to find than others. For instance, a mini cache hanging in an evergreen may be more difficult to find than a traditional cache hidden in the hollow of a tree. Also, a notation of the terrain is given in the cache listing to indicate if it’s a hike down a trail, a climb up a steep bank, or a quick roadside find.

Part of the fun of geocaching is the journey to the cache, you might see lots of interesting things—sculpted or live!

As always when recreating in the outdoors, be prepared for the weather conditions, wear comfortable shoes, bring some water and snacks, and tell someone where you are going. Specific to geocaching bring a pencil, some trinkets for trading if you wish, and your GPS.