75 AWESOME ideas for your next Geocaching trail (and cache)

What is better than a geocache? Indeed, it’s a trail of geocaches? The biggest value of this game is amazing places, views, and experiences it leads to. So much time, creativity and energy go into creating some of those trails.

I especially like caches rich with content and educational value. This way we can learn something new every day while traversing this beautiful planet Earth.

Below is a list of 75 thematic trail ideas for your consideration. Some are my own, some I was lucky to find whilst geocaching. If you have seen some top class trails & ideas – please let me know in the comments section bellow.

All trails are separated into categories: Nature; Architecture, buildings and engineering; Hobbies, personal and romantic; History; Fun & pleasure; Educational; Religious experiences.


Nature

  1. Pirate treasure trail: islands of a river

A pirate treasure trail may take you kayaking, canoeing or sailing from island to island to collect loot of a notorious pirate. Every self-respecting pirate must have a hideout or two. It absolutely must be marked by skull & bones. But why is the rum always gone?


  1. RiverWalk Geo Tour – hiking, rafting, and zip lining around town

RiverWalk is a 30+ cache trail near Chattahoochee RiverWalk in Columbus, Georgia. Creators present it as „urban whitewater course plus hiking, biking, and kayaking “. I find it an amazing idea and wish that more place like this would appear all around the world.


  1. Best swimming, bathing & fishing places

Finding a clean, safe, accessible swimming places in the summer is awesome, especially when you are away from home. A lot of geocachers will thank you if you map local lakes, rivers, and reservoirs for a quick cool-down.


  1. Off the beaten path – forest walks

Forest walks can be a fantastic way to recharge your inner batteries. The fresh air, the sights, the smells … Marking best forest walking trails can be your next trail. Caches can educate finders about nature, environmental protection and so on.


  1. The birdhouse & bughouse trail

Did you know, that different species of birds prefer and settle different birdhouses? Height, orientation, entry hole diameter – it all affects which species of birds will settle inside.

If you know some basic woodworking – a birdhouse trail made by you might be an option. You could also turn it into an educational walk about birds, bird watching, etc.


  1. Swamp & marshes trails

There are quite a few trails to enjoy – swamps, an essential part of the forest ecosystem. Mapping such trails in your area will attract more of the nature loving geocachers. Besides bugs, it can also help you attract more Travel bugs into your area 😉

Geocaching - swamp trail
There are many recreational and educational trails like these in the nature.

  1. Magical valleys: nightingales, butterflies, wildlife

There are special & rare places all around the world, where you can enjoy especially rich and lush wildlife. These are usually the places untouched by agricultural farming and harboring many species of birds, insects, and animals. Do you know one in your area? Put a trail there for some Geocaching nature lovers.


  1. The little people of the forest: fairies, gnomes, trolls and leprechauns

Did you know, that every forest is magical? It’s full of gnomes, fairies, trolls, leprechauns and all kinds of magical creatures. Just imagine following a trail of tiny gnome doors and finding a geocache behind every single one of them. The kids would absolutely love that.

Geocaching - little door in the forest
Home of the little forest people. They must be the ones muggling all the forest geocaches…

  1. Rafting, kayaking, canoeing trails

For an active day on the water. Yet info on good rivers, conditions, resting places can be tricky to come by. By creating a trail and marking such spots you would open up new corners of the world to fellow geocachers.


  1. Canals & waterways

These might be popular in countries with extensive canals/waterways system & culture. I have seen it in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium. Canals are usually quite long and will get you cache-count up by few dozen at least.


  1. Stargazing

Due to light pollution, it is much harder to find good spots for star gazing. Can you mark a few spots where the night sky is spectacular? Or maybe mark the local observatories?


  1. Deep dark haunted woods

There is a chilling sense once you enter deep dark woods. Are you brave enough? What’s that lurking in the shadows? Maybe you will discover a gingerbread house in the middle…


  1. A thousand islands

You might consider placing caches in the lakes with many islands. There is a 4 lakes area in my country (Lithuania) which is full of history and a castle on one of the islands. Every single island in the lakes has its own ancient legend.


  1. Chasing the bigfoot

For the bigfoot chasers – a trail through a forest full of “evidence”, like feet marks, pieces of fur, tent of branches, etc. At the end, every geocacher will be convinced there is at least one lurking in the forest nearby.


  1. UFO chasers

For those into the UFO theories and paranormal, marking sighting spots may be an option.


  1. Life‘s a beach

If you live near an ocean or a sea, marking the best beaches may be a way to attract fellow geocachers to the area. Not too far from my hometown, in the Latvian city of Ventspils, there is a beach dedicated to kids with tons of activities and entertainment.


  1. Environmental adventure series (GC1XP2W)

Venango Conservation District (VCD) at Two Mile Run County Park in Franklin, PA. created a trail of  6 caches in an “Environmental Adventure” series. Trail’s purpose is to educate visitors on sustainable natural resource management and focuses on erosion and sediment control, agricultural management, and water quality improvement.


Architecture, buildings, engineering

  1. Must see architecture pearls in the cities

If you travel to a distant city and have very limited time, a dedicated trail of “must see” architecture may be a geocaching life-saver. I realized this after visiting Barcelona. It’s a city of architectural wonder. Buildings by Gaudi are out of this world.

Chinese garden … Berlin! Gardens Of The World park and exchibition. A wonderfull place to visit.
A must-see architectural pearl, a monastery in Kaunas (GC54CP4)

  1. Abandoned military bases and installations

There are lots of military bases laying abandoned in various countries. Lucky ones got transformed into museums, like Plokstine’s nuclear missiles launch facility near Plateliai (GC3WE08), Lithuania. Yet many more lay hidden in the forests, inside hills, waiting for brave geocachers to pass by.

A nuclear missiles launch base in Plateliai, now turned into a cold war museum.

  1. Castles, hill forts, medieval history

Historical and ancient structures exist in many countries. For the history, exploration enthusiasts. Every castle is unique and usually has a long and rich history. Hillforts are perfect 3* terrain hiding spots in otherwise very flat countries.

We have met these history enthusiasts while searching for a geocache nearby.

  1. Urban exploration, abandoned buildings

Each city has a building or two that are abandoned, attracting urban explorers. The winner in this category is probably Detroit. You might create a trail marking best urban exploration targets in your city.


  1. Amazing feats of engineering

Each city has some small (or big) wonders of engineering – exceptional bridges, monuments, buildings. A trail of caches could tell a story how it was created: authors, difficulties, novel solutions, etc. Think Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, California, USA.


  1. Lighthouses

For the enthusiasts of lighthouses, seaside and wild forces of nature. Every lighthouse, it’s signals are different. For stronger experiences – geocache during a storm.


Hobbies, personal and romantic

  1. Childhood dreams

A typical forest. But only at a first glance. Our team called the trail “The dreams of my childhood”. It’s a trail of 6 hides showing the forest through the eyes of a “happy and wild gang of 10-year-olds” that grew up in nearby “communal flats”. Our forest was always full of adventure, fun, and mischief (from time to time).

Every single spot is special in one way or another – a sandy hill that reminds me of long hours of winter fun; large roots of a pine tree that were our tree fort. On the third spot, we saw deer roaming the woods for the first time.


  1. Valentine‘s day trip

Lead your loved one on a Valentine’ day trail – full of romance, poetry, and geocaches. Did you read about a guy who proposed to his fiancé at the end of such a trail? You will be a geocaching hero to every romantic soul who tries out such a trail.


  1. Movies, heroes, and villains: 007 series, Game of Thrones, etc.

There is a trail in San Francisco dedicated solely to the characters of Game of Thrones. Talk about hardcore fans of the series. Each character, each family get a separate cache. The same was done for all the James Bond, agent 007, movie characters.


History

  1. Napoleonic trails

On his paths of conquest, Napoleon visited a lot of places in Europe and even Africa. He event had some decent parties along the way. Marking such places, battlefields and the history behind them may lure some history lovers to your trail.


  1. WW2 / WWI places

Yet another trail marking battlefields, trenches and the forts of WWI and WW2. Guaranteed to satisfy any history fan. A good example is my hometown Kaunas in Lituania – a closed military city – and a class I military fortress for the Tsar’s army in 19th century. 13 forts, supporting buildings and many miles of trenches were constructed to defend against (mostly) germans.

Geocaching hide and anti-soviet resistance monument in Lithuania
A geocache hiding spot and a monument for the anti-soviet resistance fighters in Lithuania. GC: GC5X9ND

  1. Historic cemeteries

A trail leading you to historical cemeteries, marking the tombstones of famous historical figures. Not exactly my cup of tea. Yet I have seen quite a few trails exactly like this. And descriptions are often of high quality for this one. It’s good that geocaching rules forbid hiding the caches underground 😉


  1. Wild Wild West

For the brave explorers, gold diggers and wagon dwellers. A good set of caches on the trail would describe the life and challenges faced by the colonizers of the wild wild west. Fur trappers, railway builders, gold diggers, highwaymen, sheriffs, saloon girls, bounty hunters… All of them have tales to tell.


  1. The Founding Fathers

Most countries experienced declaration of independence in one period of its history or another. People responsible for preparation and signing of such documents are remembered and respected. Dedicating a quality trail for the signatories may help preserve the memory and educate the younger (and older) generation.


  1. The proud Scottish clans

A trail dedicated to the heritage of proud Scottish clans, their history, castles, and traditions. And kilts. And bagpipes. Good educational and informational value.


  1. Ancient places of worship

There are many places of ancient worship present in various countries. Think Stonehenge in England. There are quite a few ancient pagan worship places in the Baltic states in eastern Europe. It is very interesting to find these distant memories of the past in some deep dark forests.


  1. Heritage Trails – celebrating history and countryside.

There are many places seemingly untouched by time and civilization. Find out and celebrate country’s history and heritage. Such trail may lead you through some open air museums and museum-like towns, like Williamsburg, Jamestown and the rest in Virginia, USA.


  1. Minorities’ heritage

A trail telling stories about minorities in the country. I was very surprised after finding a cache hidden at the “Armenian weekend school” in my country, some 2200+ kilometers away from Armenia. It had me thinking – how comes we have a large variety of nationalities, religious and people in Lithuania. Apparently, the traders, mercenaries, refugees, invited craftsmen formed the face of my country quite a bit. This is a rich layer of history that was completely unknown to me and would form a perfect trail, packed with interesting info, education, and experiences.


  1. History now!

How are the existing places, buildings and people from history tied to today’s world? I had this trail idea whilst visiting Belfast. There is a hall where soldiers danced for the last time before being shipped to the shores of Normandy. Marking and describing such notable places might form a nice trail to follow.


  1. Heritage crafts & arts

A trail celebrating heritage crafts and arts. Think blacksmithing, glass making, woodworking, weaving, etc. In our fast moving society, most of such knowledge was lost to all but a few selected craftsmen. A trail like this would fit well in open air museums that celebrate history and heritage.


  1. In their footsteps

Following the steps of emigrants from the country. I had this idea after discovering a lot of countrymen re-locating after various wars and so on. I was interested – what became of them, did they do well in their new homeland, who are their children and so on. I.e. Leonard Cohen’s grandfather was a rabbi in my country who later emigrated to the United States of America. A trail would celebrate such countrymen and follow in their footsteps.


  1. Civilizations long lost

Most countries have traces of civilizations long lost. Take Vikings or Aztecs for example. They are gone, but the stepped pyramids or rune stones remain. Trails dedicated to such topics could pack a lot of education and exceptional experiences for the geocachers.

Geocaching - ancient stone of worship
Round stones with a hole in the middle was a worshiping place in ancient times.

  1. Trade routes: spices, tea & tobacco

Luxury goods drove exploration and trade from the ancient times. Think silk road, the discovery of naval routes or colonization of Americas. A good example is the Port of London, where wharves, docks, piers and warehouses played an essential role in the growth of empire. A trail could tell a tale of a spice trader: trade routes and goods, perils and danger, everyday life events.


  1. The secret societies

For the lovers of conspiracy theories – a trail presenting the secret societies throughout the history. Their meeting places, secret hideouts, and stashes.


  1. Uncomfortable history: Jewish holocaust, ghetto places

Europe (and my country – Lithuania) has a part of uncomfortable history, related to the Jewish holocaust – the shooting places, concentration and labor camps, ghettos. I would have never found a segment of ghetto wall in Warsaw. Yet a geocache led me there. Such events have to be remembered and prevented in the future.

Geocaching - memorial place of Jewish genocide
One of the places of Jewish genocide – located at a forest nearby to Jonava in Lithuania. Leaving stones at the site is a jewish tradition for the visitors of the monument.

  1. Old battlefields

For the military enthusiasts, a trail of battle places, memorials and such may be an attractive offer. A nice add-on would be short excerpts of soldiers’ memoirs in each cache, describing their life, experience, their thoughts, and dreams. Mark Knopfler has a perfect ballad about this called “Bonaparte”. And the song was written based on a diary by a soldier of the “grande armee”.


  1. The kings and queens

European usually like to remember their kings, queens and other rulers. Usually, a lot of castles, events, and places are associated with them or their activities. You might build a trail celebrating a good (or bad) leader and present his/her life and works in tiny geocaching steps.


Fun & pleasure

  1. Large sized map symbols

If you have lots of containers and a lot of patience, creating some geo art will be FUN and very noticeable 😉 Below are some of the ideas to help you start imagining:

Geocaching - shape of an eagle
Another nice example of geocaching art – an soaring eagle.

 

Geocaching - shape of basketball
Lithuania’s second religion is basketball. It’s not a surprise to find a geocaching art – a basketball close to our capital city – Vilnius.

 

Geocaching - shape of train.
A choo choo trail. And insane amount of effort must have gone into making this.

 

Geocaching - shape of Lithuania
Another shape of a country – Lithuania

  1. Best parks and activities for kids

Geocaching with kids can sometimes become straining. I absolutely love trails and hides, that highlight parks, play areas and other entertainment where our kids can enjoy a short break from the cache-to-cache hopping. This really helps us balance the trip and turn it into a memorable event.

Geocaching - map of a park
A park full of geocaches – perfect place to rest and relax.

  1. Best local cuisine & pubs

When traveling to foreign cities, it’s a great pleasure to taste the local cuisine. Not the fast food tourist traps. A trail dedicated to best food and drinks would be very much appreciated by the hungry and thirsty geocachers.


  1. City special sights & views (must visit)

I had a chance to visit few foreign cities. And then there is a serious Geocaching problem – you have to visit the best Geocaching spots in, like, ½ days. Filtering those with highest “fav points” count might be tricky without premium account. Thus having a trail of “must visit” caches in a foreign city can be a geocaching life-saver.


  1. Bear Grylls: Man vs Wild

The fearless ex-SAS soldier traverses the wild, explaining survival techniques, tips, and tricks. You can create a similar trail too. Just please, please, do not eat the snakes and frogs unless you are really desperate and need to.


  1. An uphill battle

A Geocaching introductory trail, starting at 1* difficulty and 1* terrain, and growing to 5* difficulty and terrain. You can create a maximum length trail of 81 caches this way (you rank difficulty/terrain at 0.5 point increments). This would be perfect for Geocaching mega-events as a challenge (timed) trail.

Geocaching - difficult trails
We will …. NEVER…. GIVE … UP … GEOCACHING….. 😉

  1. The poetry trip

A trail where every hidden cache has a relevant poem attached. Be its praises to the beauty of nature, odes to love, history or friendship… You could ask all logbook entries to be in poetry verses.


  1. LEGO trail

LEGO is very popular toy amongst kids of the world. There is like a gazillion of different sets.

Why not create a trail of LEGO builds. I.e. a cache container near a fire station could have a LEGO firemen car attached to it. A cache near a police station… well, you get the main idea.


  1. Coffee lovers

Searching online for trails, I found one that I really liked – coffee lovers 😀

As the author puts it in the description:

“Is there such a thing as the best cup of coffee, or is it all a myth? (GC5P6E9)

This begins the quest for the best cup of coffee in San Francisco. As a coffee lover working in SOMA (South of Market), I’ve had the pleasure to frequent many cafes, each with their own points of interest. I know the taste for things, especially coffee, is highly subjective, but in this series, I will highlight those that have been most enjoyable to my palette.” I would absolutely love to travel such an urban trail 😉


  1. Fear of the dark

A nightly geocache hunt, where finders have to follow a trail of reflective stickers attached to trees, bushes and other objects. Forest differs quite a bit when traveling in daytime and night. A rush of adrenalin is guaranteed for night cachers.


  1. Geocaching race

Hide a trail of caches. Ask the finders to find, sign and log all of them. Take their start and end times. Compare the scores and post a monthly list of champions in the logbook as a note. I.e. visit the largest towns in the county, state, etc.


  1. Around the world in 80 Geocaches

Following the adventures of the “Around the world in 80 days” crew, an around the world trail would be an ultimate geocaching experience. Such a giant task would take coordination and efforts of multiple geocachers around the world, but would definitely worth it.


  1. Seaside: letters in a bottle

Finding a sea washed letter in a bottle is an amusement on its own. Creating such a trail might be an interesting option. Contents of each bottle could give clues for the next find, tell a continuous story or tell the same story from different people perspectives.


  1. Draw/paint the place.

A trail going through picturesque and scenic places. For the log, you could ask finders to draw this place in a logbook. Add a bunch of color pencils and you will have an exceptional cache attracting “favorite points” in no time.


  1. Dinosaur eggs

Grab a set of semi-round stones and paint it with bright colors. Describe the dinosaur within. Younger kids should love such a trail.


Educational

  1. Top 100 famous people of your country

A trail marking stories of top 100 most famous people in your country. Artists, engineers, poets, politicians, scientists and researchers, doctors, you name it. Their birthplaces, workplaces, other important life places, events, and stories. Creating such trail will be challenging, yet the value – enormous. There is one created in my country – Lithuania. And my geocaching team loves it.

The educational value of such trail is almost unmatched.


  1. The chemical elements trail

The table of periodic elements consists of vast knowledge about the “building blocks” that nature uses to create everything around us. A great trail would explain each element or their groups,  properties, uses and benefits. I.e. what is the difference between magnesium, iron, and silver, why aluminum used to cost as much as silver in medieval times. Why are carbon and oxygen crucial for most forms of life.


  1. Around the country – contours & country facts.

A trail that encompasses the entire country following its borders. Latvia did this couple of year ago. Each geocache on the trail may hold a fact, a story, a riddle or a poem dedicated to the country, it’s people, culture, and history.

Geocaching - Latvia's borders
Latvian geocachers took the effort to places caches along the country’s borders.

  1. Greek myths and stories

Most of us read Greek myth of Argonauts – fearless travelers searching for the golden fleece. An educational trail on greek mythology, it’s creatures and way of life would be very interesting to visit. And maybe you will meet a nymph or two on the way.


  1. Manufacturing: How is it made?

I remember passing Newport News in Virginia, USA. There was a military submarine pulled ashore for repairs. It was HUGE. I would love to see a trail that would lead past observable industry/manufacturing complexes and explain the processes & production. How do raw materials are transformed into goods, etc?


  1. Flags of all nations

There are 195 countries in the world (Y2017). All of them are different and unique in their own way. A trail picturing their flags and short descriptions might have great educational value. Containers could be country-themed. Creating such trail will not be easy, but totally worth it.


  1. Lone shipwreck survivor

There is a number of books of shipwreck survivors. Most notable of them is Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. What about a fantasy trail describing challenges and hardships of such survivor. A seaside, secluded beach or a river bank would fit perfectly for a survivor trail.


  1. Distant shores

Have you ever stood on the shores of an ocean or a sea and wondered what’s on the other side? I.e. a Portuguese geocacher might hide multiple caches describing their thoughts on distant shores – American, African countries, etc. It would double nicely as an educational trail.


  1. Discover the earth science

Our beautiful planet is a little bit aged. In 4 543 000 000 years of existence layers upon layers formed. There is an entire branch of science researching this. Such a trail could also explain how oil, coal and other fossil fuels developed.

Geocaching - earth cache
GC55G11 – Earth cache describing the formation of Earth layers.

  1. Rocks, stones, minerals and other local resources trail

Which rock tastes good? There is only one – salt. Some of the rocks and stones, like diamonds, can cost a lot, some are nice and shiny. Some – very useful in industry applications, building constructions or creating fertilizers. A trail describing local resources might be interesting to follow.


  1. Animals, insects, critters, nature protection

We found an informational stand describing the numbers of creatures in our country. Some of the species are going extinct, some are thriving, yet they are considered as invasive and damaging to the ecosystem. There are multiple ways to help the wildlife. Such a trail could highlight such efforts.

Geocaching - beetles in the bottle
We found these beetles enjoying trash bottle. It is unclear if their are stuck or just enjoying the warmth and protection from birds.

  1. Get to know the trees

Oak, pine, cedar, maple, ash, fir… Did you know that there are more trees on planet Earth compared to the number of stars in the galaxy? Trees, woods, and forest are essential to life on planet Earth, home and shelter to a countless number of species of birds, insects, animals.  Yet each tree is different. A trail with caches describing each tree type can be a good educational resource.


  1. Circle of life

A trail describing a circle of life, and species dependence on each other. From ants to elephants, from plankton to whales.  And the impact human activities have on the species, their habitat and living conditions. All part of the nature education trails.


  1. Sea creatures

Seas and oceans are full of life. A seaside trail, introducing finders to main types of sea dwellers would be greatly educational and fun to find. It could also educate geocachers about nature and ocean protection, maybe bits of sailing/fishing history as well.


Religious experiences

  1. The pilgrim’s paths

Millions of pilgrims travel each year. Be it Jerusalem, Mecca, Bodh Gaya or any other places of religious pilgrimage. Creating a trail of caches commemorating pilgrim paths might be an interesting idea. I was very surprised not to find a serious trail of caches in Jerusalem.

Geocaching - photo of Jerusalem
Jerusalem – one of the holliest cities in the world. Could not find a single geocaching trail dedicated to religion…

  1. Apparition places of Blessed Virgin Mary.

One of Christianity’s traditions is marking and protecting of places, where Blessed Virgin Mary is said to have appeared. I was very surprised to learn, that in my small country (Lithuania) there are 31 such places. A tiny church or a place of worship is placed in all of them. The religious geocachers will certainly appreciate a worship geo-trail.


 

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Happy Geocaching!