Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache anywhere in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache's existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS device can then try to locate the geocache. More information about geocaching or how to get started in this activity can be found at www.geocaching.com or www.ontgeocaching.com .
Geocaching is an ideal way to discover Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) lands (see map below). However, it is important to keep in mind that these areas are some of the last fragile natural areas left in the Greater Toronto Area and need to be protected.
The following guidelines have been developed to ensure the protection of the Natural Heritage System when geocaching on TRCA park lands and conservation properties.
Geocaching activities are permitted on TRCA properties that are open to the public, provided they are in full compliance with the Conservation Authorities Act and its regulations, and follow the provisions and guidelines of this policy:
- Placement of Geocaches:
- Geocachers must apply to TRCA for permission prior to placing a cache on TRCA lands (see map below). Go to the application form.
- All caches must be placed within 1m of marked trails, or be within a maintained public area (e.g. picnic areas).
- Geocachers must travel on marked and maintained trails or in maintained public areas at all times. Caches may not be placed within any culturally, ecologically or geologically significant areas.
- No digging or disruption of the ground is permitted when placing a cache.
- If marked and or maintained trails do not exist, Geocachers must seek approval for this activity from the Conservation Area Coordinator, Superintendent or Land Manager prior to entering the property.
- All caches must be external to any building or structure on TRCA property.
- Geocache Contents
- Trade items are permitted in caches provided they are family and environmentally friendly (non-polluting).
- A cache shall not contain a trade item which attracts wildlife or is potentially harmful to humans, wildlife or the environment.
- A cache shall not contain food, alcohol, firearms, drugs, dangerous items, batteries, adult items or any other items deemed unacceptable by TRCA.
- Existing Conservation Rules and Policies
- Geocachers must pay all applicable fees and adhere to all rules and policies including: using only designated access points or parking areas; visiting only during regular hours of operation; and respecting all trail closure signs.
- Right to remove a cache
- TRCA may remove a cache if it fails to adhere to this or any other TRCA policy.
- Limits on Cache Numbers
- TRCA shall have the authority to monitor and limit the number of caches in specific locations on its lands.
- Cache in, Trash Out and Leave No Trace
- Geocachers are encouraged to follow the “cache in, trash out” (CITO) practice which contributes to the maintenance of Conservation parks and lands. For more information about this clean-up practice, please refer to www.geocaching.com.
- Visitors are also encouraged to visit the Leave No Trace website at www.leavenotrace.ca. This website offers helpful principles and practices for planning safe and environmentally respectful outdoor recreational activities.