Geocaching in Anoka County Parks
Geocaching is a relatively new outdoor recreation activity that blends modern-day navigation technology with the concept of treasure hunting. Over the past decade, geocaching has evolved into a popular recreation activity that is enjoyed around the globe.
Geocaching is initiated by an individual hiding a cache, normally a waterproof container with small items inside, then recording the location with a Global Positioning Unit (GPS). The cache may be in a hollow log or under an object. The individual then posts the GPS coordinates, along with a description of the cache on the geocaching web site (geocaching.com). Other individuals then try to find the cache. When it is located, they sign a log book, then take or leave a small item. They also post their find on the on-line log book.
In addition, the Parks Department offers virtual geocaching programs and GPS rentals at Wargo Nature Center which is aimed at introducing the activity to new enthusiast's. If you have any questions or comments regarding geocaching in the Anoka County Parks and Recreation System, please contact Cory Hinz, Recreation Services Manager at 763-324-3411.
If you are interested in requesting authorization to place a cache in one of the above designated parks, please complete the Geocache Site Application Form. Submit the form to Cory Hinz, Recreation Services Manager via email or at 550 Bunker Lake Boulevard Andover, MN 55304. The estimated turnaround time of the application is two weeks or less.
Anoka County Park Ordinance: Section 14 – Geocaching
It shall be unlawful for any person to: Geocache in a park except in areas and at times designated by the Board or Director.
In accordance with the above ordinance, the Anoka County Parks and Recreation Department recently completed a year-long pilot scale project at Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve where geocaching was allowed, under certain conditions. The pilot-scale study attracted multiple geocachers into the park resulting in a positive experience. In an effort to expand upon the pilot scale study, five more regional parks, in addition to Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve, have been designated as geocaching areas. In total, the following six regional parks have been designated as geocaching areas, with certain restrictions in accordance with the geocaching rules:
- Riverfront Regional Park (Fridley)
- Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park (Coon Rapids)
- Bunker Hills Regional Park (Andover and Coon Rapids)
- Rum River Central Regional Park (Ramsey and Oak Grove)
- Lake George Regional Park (Oak Grove)
- Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve (Lino Lakes and Centerville)
- All caches must be approved and registered by the Anoka County Parks and Recreation Department.
- Caches must not be buried and must be accessible from a standing position.
- Caches must not contain items that are offensive, dangerous or illegal.
- Anoka County retains the right to remove, or have ordered removed, a cache it feels is in an inappropriate location or is causing undue impact on the natural habitat.
- Caches must be placed at least ¼ mile apart.
- Caches must be public, no member only or subscription caches.
- Unregistered caches will be removed.
- Individuals will be limited to two (2) caches per park and/or a total of five (5) caches throughout the designated parks.
- No more than 20 total caches will be allowed for each designated park that allows geocaching.
- Caches must be located within the designated geocaching park areas at Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve, Riverfront Regional Park, Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Bunker Hills Regional Park, Rum River Central Regional Park, and Lake George Regional Park.
- Caches must be placed so that existing trails can be used to get close to the cache. All caches must be placed within 1/10 mile of existing asphalt and/or mowed trails.
- Controlled archery deer hunts are conducted from October through December, therefore, all caches must be deactivated from October through December at the parks where the controlled hunts are being conducted. For 2009, hunts will be conducted at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve.
- Geocaching may only occur during normal park hours (5:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.).
- Caches are not allowed in picnic areas, play areas, golf course, water park, beaches or campgrounds.