Visitors use global positioning systems to find buried "treasure"
EL DORADO -- For those who visit El Dorado State Park to hunt, fish, camp, hike, or just relax and enjoy nature, there is now a new outdoor pursuit to add to this list of activities. "Geocaching" is a worldwide game for Global Positioning System (GPS) users. The game involves a GPS user hiding “treasure” and publishing the exact coordinates, so other GPS users can go on a “treasure hunt” to find it.

The treasure usually consists of a container that is often camouflaged to blend in with its surroundings. The container always holds a log for finders to sign, and depending on the size of the container, may have several miscellaneous trinkets for trade. The container may be as small as a 35mm film canister or as large as a 5-gallon bucket.

The only equipment required is a GPS receiver and internet access to obtain the coordinates of the caches to hunt for and enter discoveries for credit. The website keeps a running total of how many caches each user has found. Access the geocaching website . Once there, set up a free account and enter the zip code of the area you want to search.

At El Dorado State Park, there are eight caches within the park and seven more in the wildlife areas surrounding the park. More are being added all the time. The oldest cache was placed on Sept. 4, 2001, and the newest on Jan. 29, 2006. These caches have recorded more than 300 visits, and as knowledge of the game grows, visitors increase.

For a fun outdoor activity that the whole family will enjoy, grab a GPS receiver and head to El Dorado State Park for a day of geocaching. Other state parks also have caches, so be sure to check them from more information.