Geocaching is one of my favorite activities. It encourages exploration and appeals to my natural curiosity. Many times while I\’m traveling, geocaching will introduce me to local hidden gems I would have never discovered without the generous sharing from another geocacher who placed the cache at the location. We\’ve found hidden swimming holes, waterfalls, and caves. Things you just can\’t find without local awareness. For more help understanding geocaching, I encourage you to visit the geocaching site.
Unlike other GPS based games, geocaching requires finding a physical container (most of the time) in the real world. As with any game, how you play the game is part of the game. I have learned that I enjoy events, geotrails, and geotours. I\’m presently working on five of the Clearfield county, Pennsylvania geotours: GT86 Visit Clearfield County GeoTour.
Clearfield county promotes itself as Halfway to Everywhere. And there is so much to see and do from Clearfield, PA. I love finding the geocaches hidden as part of the official geotour, which include Forgotten Clearfield County, Hometown Heroes, Wet n\’ Wild Waterways, Parks and Recreation, and Cemeteries.
The five separate tours are dispersed in the same region, so I\’ve decided to try and tackle all five at the same time and focus on one section of Clearfield County at a time.
Some of the more exciting finds included:
Rocks, State Parks, and more rocks
Panther Rocks, a collection of fascinating rocks with character and beauty. You will find bare rocks etched from time and exposure giving some really interesting photography options. But if you walk around the large rocks, you\’ll come upon a lush side of the rock covered in green and grey lichens and draped in ferns.
The forest leading into the rocks has a pretty clear trail, thanks to their popularity. But the trail is not officially cut or maintained – and it seems to be a water-path when it rails. So you cannot access with a wheelchair. But the path is relatively flat and can be navigated by young kids. (just watch for slick, round rocks!)
Along one of the trails there was a \’hidden\’ abandoned road that we found and explored. It was part of our geotour, so I would not have discovered this buried treasure without geocaching. And these are the reasons I love geocaching so much!
This road is abandoned and is being taken over by mother nature. The road still has the faintest yellow stripe down the middle of it – but the edges are encroached by plants and trees. I was surprised to find an overpass that crosses a stream – and it is amazingly good condition.
The road seems romantic with the soft green edges and moss covered bridge. I wonder how long this structure will remain before the trail is impassable (as a road)?
Clearfield County has plenty of outdoor activities and locations. Some are used for fishing, boating, or off-roading adventures. This small stream gurgles down a rocky ledge and leads into a larger stream. The cool, waters sound beautiful and relaxing. I wanted to sit here for a while and enjoy the sounds. And we did. For several blissful moments, we stood at the base of the small stream in silence – absorbing the sounds of nature and running water. What a lovely moment.
Clearfield has many beautiful memorials dedicated to the local people who served. Several of these memorials and memorial parks are part of the Geotour. I love exploring the small towns and finding all of the poignant memorials and dedications. These are beautiful and moving.
I still don\’t know how you are supposed to properly visit this particular park. It is located next to a major road, and is an exist lane for traffic from this road. There is a massive turn-around circle that you cannot park at, nor park near. But if you can find local parking, a short walk back will give you a lovely park with a water fountain, gazebo, and garden to enjoy.
Cemeteries are still my favorite places to explore. They are beautiful, serene, poignant, and (seemingly) eternal. Finding the old, decaying, or abandoned cemeteries double my interest. I try to read the etchings on the worn stone, and will often take photographs and submit them to the apps that collect cemetery information for their database. One of the beautiful and groomed cemeteries contained a beautiful dedication to an unknown Indian. This begs so many questions. Who, when, what happened?
But then one of the geotour locations took us to an abandoned family plot nestled in the woods. There is no clear path to this hidden site, and we had to bushwhack through thigh high ferns and prickly vines, ducking under low branches and finally finding the tombstones submerged in deep greenery. My curiosity is maxed out and I will be researching more about these two findings later.
Our weekends start very early, and we were very excited to experience a cool morning summer sunrise. The cool mist hung low to the shades under the trees and in the valleys. The warm summer sun was piercing the cool mist and would soon evaporate it. But for this brief moment, we had the entire park to ourselves, and just enjoyed the cool, misty air. Breathe deep, everyone. This is what outdoors is about.
Off to the side, we could see the mist hovering, just over the plants and clinging to the shadows of the trees. I kept an eye out for deer, but they seemed to be in another forest. Or they heard my noisy car coming from miles away and hid from view. I was just grateful there wasn\’t any wildlife darting in front of my car along this empty road.
Along the Susquehanna river there is a beautiful water side park. The park is full of whimsy and charm: carvings, art, bigfoot warnings, and a hidden geocache. We enjoyed exploring and walking along the river, watching kayakers paddling the calm river.
I don\’t know who this person is – but this person is a pun-master. A giant drain pipe used mark an address on Drane highway.
Well played, good sir/madam. Well played.
Halfway to Everywhere
I still find myself motivated and excited to visit. In addition to the geocaching tours, there are the Eastern Elk herd, State College, Pennsylvania Military museum, and an abundant of outdoor activities, events, and entertainment. I am not finished with the geotours – there are still so many left to find. I\’m really looking forward to returning to Clearfield County and enjoying the region as she slips out of her lush Summer outfit and puts on her Fall Finery.