Eager geocachers sign up at the June 30 launch of the Phase 2 GeoTourism sites in Ashcroft and Cache Creek. The launch was held in the pool park.

Eager geocachers sign up at the June 30 launch of the Phase 2 GeoTourism sites in Ashcroft and Cache Creek. The launch was held in the pool park.

New Ashcroft-Cache Creek geocache sites introduced in Phase 2

Gold Country Communities Society offers 12 more local geocache sites.

Geocachers and other members of the public kicked off the second phase of Gold Country’s GeoTourism program in Ashcroft on June 30 with speeches, grab bags, cookies and 12 new Ashcroft and Cache Creek sites to explore.

The Gold Country GeoTourism program was first released in 2009 and since then has drawn visitors from near and far, from Kamloops to friendly geocachers from overseas.

In 2012, Gold Country has added 72 new sites to its GeoTourism program. Phase 2 sites steer the geocachers towards local film sites, interesting views and  geological formations, “Rails and Trails”, agriculture and settlers and pioneers.

A book with all 72 Phase 2 caches will be published in English and French in the Fall. Sites can also now be logged as “found” on Geocaching.com.

GCCS Marketing Manager Terri Hadwin told those at the June 30 launch: “Geocaching is a worldwide game and by providing our region with one of the highest quality GeoTourism programs available, we are bringing in visitors that are geocache enthusiasts. Geocaching.com is the base geocaching website and we are the first Canadian GeoTour published on that site, that speaks volumes for how well established we are.”

“This program is fun and educational,” said Marcie Down, Program Coordinator. “It is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and to see the different areas that make up this diverse region. There is something for everyone, from the train enthusiast to the rock hound, to the beginner geocacher right to the avid geocacher. We have some easier to find caches and some more challenging ones. We have had a wonderful group of people help us with this second Phase and I look forward to all of our upcoming launches and to meeting those who enjoy this unique sport.”

Twelve lucky people claimed a stunning First-To-Find prize, a collectable GeoCoin. Vida Harris, a First-To-Find of two new release caches, said, “I love the program as is takes me and my family to places that we otherwise would not explore… I love the fact that the program is child friendly and teaches us about local history.”

“I like the hikes and trading stuff!” added her 7 year old son, Colton.

The next launch will take place in Merritt on July 13, followed by Lillooet on July 21, Logan Lake Aug. 4, Clinton Aug. 26 and Lytton on Aug. 31.

Phase 2 was made possible by the funding support of Western Economic Diversification, Northern Development Initiative Trust, Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust, Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition, Thompson Nicola Regional District and our communities.

For more information on the GeoTourism program visit www.goldtrail.com, for other Gold Country initiatives please visit www.exploregoldcountry.com.