The Illinois River Watershed encompasses 1.1-million acres in Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma and boasts over 3,000 miles of streams just waiting to be explored.  Some prefer to make their expedition by canoe.  Others hike, bike, or run.  There are numerous ways to get out and enjoy the natural splendor of our watershed, but Geocaching provides a unique approach to the adventure.

YouTubeGeocachingYouTube: What is Geocaching? 

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt in which participants use GPS coordinates to find a designated area where a “cache” is hidden.  Geocaches are containers ranging in size from 35-millimeter film canisters to large ammo boxes, and they usually contain a log sheet for lucky visitors to document their discovery.  Larger Geocaches hold goodies like bracelets, maps, magnets, and other trinkets that can be exchanged among participants.
Geocaches Nearby

Map of Nearby Geocaches

Over 2-million caches are hidden worldwide for a community of approximately 6-million Geocachers.  Approximately 2,000 caches are hidden within our watershed, and that number will continue to steadily grow as the Illinois River Watershed Partnership creates its own “Watershed Quest” cache circuit.
Unique Destination Loch Lono

Discover Unique Landmarks on the Geocache Circuit

Perhaps the greatest reward in Geocaching is discovering a new place that you never would have known about otherwise, whether it is an intriguing rock formation, an architectural marvel, a streamside hideaway, or a historical landmark.
Cache Log

Example of a Geocache Log

Our Watershed Quest Geocaches will be located at sites of significance to watershed education such as rain gardens, local tributaries, interpretive trails, and wildlife viewing areas.  Each cache will have an educational component tied into its description on the Geocaching website (www.geocaching.com) so that participants can learn while they play.

Unique Destinations Geocaches Will Span Unique Watershed Locations

Hidden Cach

 Example of  Hidden Cache

If you are already a Geocacher and would like to get started on the Watershed Quest, search the username “irwatershedquest” for an up-to-date list of our caches.  It’s time to get outside and discover the hidden wonders of our watershed!

 

Additional resources:

Geocaching website

What is Geocaching? YouTube video

Map of the Illinois River Salon Locations