Geocaching is one of life’s simple joys. It’s easy for all ages to enjoy, doesn’t cost a lot and taps into your inner adventurer spirit. It’s also a fantastic excuse for some exercise and let’s you learn about and explore new areas. Parkland County’s Explore Parkland County GeoTour will takes you to some unspoiled natural spots and explain the local stories of the area. In all, there are 30 different geocaches to find as part of the Explore Parkland County GeoTour, divided in two series – Series 1 & 2.
Here’s a closer look at 4 of them, that we think daytrippers from Edmonton will enjoy:
1. Explore Stony Plain Geocache
This small-sized geocache takes you to the trails around Stony Plain’s Rotary Park. Once called Eskatina or the Stoney Plains, the Town of Stony Plain’s name is derived from the language of the Nakota Sioux (Stoney) First Peoples.
When the Canadian Northern Railway built a track from Edmonton to Stony Plain in the early 1900s, they missed the original townsite by more than a country mile, as the saying went. The town decided to pick up and move to the railroad – using a corduroy (rolling logs) and 20 teams of horses.
While you discover this geocache, make sure to take a moment to take in the history of this place. There’s a storied past in Stony Plain. If you can make the time and would like to take in a bit more of the town’s history, the Stony Plain’s self-guided mural tour is quite amazing.
2. Explore Chickakoo
This Tri-Region natural paradise is somewhat of a hidden gem to the average Edmontonian. A vast 480-acres of lush forests and lakes make Chickakoo Lake Recreation Area an absolutely brilliant spot to take a walk or a leisurely afternoon day of fishing, kayaking or picnicking. In the winter months, the well-kept groomed trails and tracks are perfect for cross-country skiing enthusiasts.
The very nature of geocaching allows you to explore new spots and enjoy the great outdoors. Chickakoo offers both of those things and so much more!
3. Explore Columbus Park – City of Spruce Grove
Like Stony Plain, Spruce Grove moved with the railway. When the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway came through the town in 1908, many of the buildings moved locations to be a bit closer to the railway site, shifting the downtown and creating the vibrant Tri-Region city we now know and love.
Settled by Scottish and French families in 1891, Spruce Grove has always been a family-oriented place! What better way to discover this and take in some local heritage than at Columbus Park – Spruce Grove’s central hub for so much year-round family fun. From a wonderful array of events such as Taste of Spruce Grove and Winter Fest, to the popular Spruce Grove Public Markets, to so many individual family and friend get-togethers – Columbus Park is a family gathering place offering plenty of charm.
4. Explore Devonian Trail
This geocache takes you to Parkland’s newest trail! Connecting two of the Tri-Region’s most scenic spots (The University of Alberta Botanic Gardens and Prospector’s Point) this geocache is located in a nature-lovers haven. PS, there’s a geocache at Prospector’s Point as well. Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area is also accessible from the Devonian Trail – meaning there are even more aspen parkland woods, old-growth forests and wetlands to explore while here.
If you’ve never tried geocaching before, we encourage you to do so! If you’re a seasoned geocaching veteran, you know the thrill of the hunt and we know you’ll love exploring the 30 geocaches that make up the Explore Parkland County GeoTour. Each one offering a new adventure and a new story to tell. Happy caching folks!