Light Up Eau Claire
By Anna Loritz, EC Insider
Alright, we understand. After a long week of waking up before the sun rises and running out to your cold car in the dark after a long day of work, you just want to be inside for the weekend. And we respect that…sometimes. But what ever happened to the yearning for adventure, Vitamin D, and…treasure hunting (okay, well, geocaching)?!
For you muggles (AKA non-geocaching folk), geocaching is a giant outdoor “treasure hunt” that spans the globe, but is also right here in Eau Claire. Whether you’re new to geocaching or an old pro, these local spots are consistent favorites if you’re brave enough to enjoy the Wisconsin outdoors.
(Coordinates for hidden caches and guidelines for playing can be found online at Geocaching.com.)
Part of the Chippewa Valley Trail system, the Chippewa River State Trail runs from Eau Claire to Durand. It is also home to several caches, most rated mild in terrain and difficulty. Please note, if you plan on biking or inline skating to a cache, a trail pass is required.
250 acres of park offers lots of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing. It also holds a lot of hidden caches. Wear sturdy shoes, as some caches have a more moderate terrain rating. NOTE: A county parks pass is required.
Nestled inside Half Moon Lake, Carson Park is a favorite for locals and visitors alike. What you may not have known is that this historic park also hides some clever caches. Most have mild difficulty and terrain ratings, but a few may have you feeling like a pro if you attain them!
The bike trail along Clairemont Avenue offers a series of caches (26 of them to be exact)! Mild in terrain and difficulty, they are well maintained by their owner and are “winter friendly.”
For those ambitious geocachers, looking to work hard for the prize, Putnam Trail has a handful of well-hidden caches that require scaling some challenging terrain.
Part of the fun of geocaching is discovering new locations to explore. So go online, find some coordinates, and see where they lead you!