Olmsted County Trails to Treasure Geocaching Contest

What is the "Trails to Treasure" Contest?

The “Trails to Treasure” Contest, brought to you by Olmsted County Public Health Services (OCPHS), is a fun, free contest designed to get you, your friends and family out having fun on area trails and possibly coming home with some great prizes. The contest highlights Olmsted County's extensive trail system through a sport called "geocaching". Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt where people use handheld GPS units to find secret stores of valuables called "caches" hidden in parks and other public areas. Each cache hidden for this contest is intended to be family friendly - with only a short walk or bike ride required - but we hope you'll use the opportunity to explore even more of our great trail system!

Contest ended October 15, 2011.
Prize winners:
Johanna Holter
Judy Malone
Molly Flentje
Gabriele Poole
Laura Flentje
Kylie Dettinger
How Does Trails to Treasure Work?
There are eight (8) special geocaches hidden throughout Olmsted County on trails and in parks. Don't worry, you don't have to find all eight to participate, you can find just one and still enter into the contest grand prize drawing. The goal is to simply explore the trails!

Participate with or without a GPS
The contest is designed to give you many options to participate; try any or all of these methods.

Hiking GPS Unit
If you have tried geocaching before you know the drill. Find the cache and log your find on Geocaching.com. For those of you new to geocaching there are opportunities to learn more and even borrow a GPS unit.
Most portable car GPS units, such as Nuvi or Tom Tom have a "coordinates mode." Just type in the GPS coordinates and change the "travel mode" to walking.
Smart Phone
You can use an iPhone, Blackberry or Android-based smartphone to find caches. There are several geocaching applications available; most recommended is the "Geocaching App" by Groundspeak. The complete application is $9.95, but there is a free version which restricts you to finding the three closest geocaches. If you choose this method, go to the general area of one of the Trails to Treasure caches and begin searching. There is a free app for android phones called c:geo
You can participate without any handheld device by simply using Bing  or Google maps. For each cache we have provided a link to the map location and provided a hint. These maps give a nice "bird's eye view" of the cache location.

If you have any questions about any of these methods, email:trailstotreasure@gmail.com

What are the Contest Prizes? 

Every participant can easily come home with a prize because every Trails to Treasure cache is stocked with small prizes for those who find it. 
Additionally, when you find one or more caches, you can submit your passport or enter online for the Trails to Treasure Grand Prize Drawing. Once you find a cache and enter the drawing, you'll be eligible to win one of these grand prizes:
  • Garmin Dakota Hiking  GPS 
  • Digital camera
  • iPod Nano

* Please take only one item per person from each cache. These are special Trails to Treasure caches, stocked with prizes (trinkets) just for this contest.  However, geocaching convention is to leave a trinket of equal or greater value whenever you take one.