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Geocaching and Benchmark Hunting in the Finger Lakes


Geocaching is a popular recreational activity in the Finger Lakes with thousands of caches in public gardens, state parks, cities, and along rivers to name just a few general areas.


To get started geocaching or looking for geocaches in the Finger Lakes, here are some things you should know.


1. Geocaches are NOT permitted at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge or on properties owned by the Finger Lakes Land Trust.

2. To place a geocache in a state park, you must have a permit from the park office.


♥ Many of the convention and visitor's bureaus in the region have their own caches and some offer incentives for finding them. Check with the individual CVBs for their programs.


♥ The businesses along New York State Routes 5 and 20 have set up a series of geocaches. Since the 20 caches are all along the same route and you can mix caching with antiquing, dining, and other activites, it creates a great hunt where you don't have to slog through the woods. Click here to find out more.


♥  Combine kayaking and geocaching along the Sojourn Geocache Trail. Watch for eagles, otters, and black bears as you search for 25 caches hidden along Chemung and Susquehanna rivers.


♥ If you're looking for a geocaching tour guide, check out Cameron at Waymarking.


Doug Cameron, an avid Finger Lakes, New York geocacher, locates a cache in a woods near Owasco Lake. Watch out for skunks, Doug!Links Worth a View:

Geocachers of the Rochester Area

Southern Tier Geocachers

How to Geocache


Geocache listings:


Buxley's Geocaching Waypoint



Benchmarks are circular metal markers placed in the ground by the National Geodetic Survey. They can be easy to find if they're out in the open, but very difficult to find if they're in the woods covered with leaves or hard to access if they're on a mountain top. You never know where you'll find them. Here's an explanation of what benchmarks are and how to get involved in finding them.


A benchmark set in contrete from 1939 sits at the base of a tree in the Danby State Forest in Tompkins County, New York USA.


If you like benchmark hunting, you may also like gaging station marker hunting. Just like with benchmarks, gaging station markers are PK nails and washers, only these are used by the USGS Survey to flag high water levels. Look for them along the rivers in the region.


This is a relatively new gaging station marker placed in a concrete stair at one of the launch sites for the Tioga River in Steuben County, New York.

Postal/Zip Codes

To get started geocaching or benchmark hunting, you often need a postal/zip code


Updated 23 August 2009








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