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High-tech treasure hunting at Glendalough

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A Global Positioning System (GPS) is most commonly used for directions while traveling in vehicles, but now a hand-held GPS is an important treasure hunting tool at all 72 Minnesota State Parks.

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This high-tech hunt is called geocaching. Glendalough State Park is one of the 25 parks designated as a demo site where people are invited to learn more about the program.

According to the DNR, geocaching is "an outdoor activity that combines hiking and exploring using a hand-held GPS to locate either virtual or actual treasure caches. The cache could be a water bottle, an ammo can, or any covered water-proof container."

The Minnesota State Parks' Geocaching Wildlife Safari uses Critter Caches containing an instruction card, a logbook, and a collectible critter card. Some geocachers leave trinkets behind for the next adventurer to find. In 2009, Jason and Sarah Geisel of Belle Plaine were the first to find all 72 geocaches.

In addition to the official park caches, private individuals may also obtain a permit to place their own treasure for people to find. Each one is given a unique name. One has been placed at Glendalough. It is named Molly Stark Overlook, and has latitude and longitude coordinates of: N 46° 10.053 and W 095° 40.543.

There are over 765,000 geocaches hidden around the world.

Join the high-tech treasure hunt by bringing your own GPS to Glendalough; or borrow a free unit from the park. More information is available at www.mnstateparks.info and www.geocaching.com.

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