Submitted by the Great Lakes Seaway Trail
The Great Lakes Seaway Trail GeoTrail is the hot destination for geocachers – people and groups who enjoy exploring with hand-held GPS units. With a successful launch of the 518-mile-long travel initiative in New York and Pennsylvania in August 2010, Seaway Trail, Inc., Sackets Harbor, NY, has announced that it will extend the popular outdoor travel initiative through 2011.
Seaway Trail, Inc. will purchase more Great Lakes Seaway Trail GeoTrail logbooks and the five collectible GeoCoins that feature the St. Lawrence Seaway, historic Fort Ontario, Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse, Niagara Falls and the Maid of the Mist tour boat, and the Flagship Niagara.
Those who enjoy exploring with a hand-held GPS (Global Positioning System) unit qualify for each coin by finding at least 10 caches in the region for that coin: Thousand Islands/St. Lawrence River, Eastern Lake Ontario, Rochester/Central Lake Ontario, Buffalo/Niagara Falls, and Lake Erie in NY and PA.
“This new GeoTrail has created a geocaching ‘gold rush’ along New York and Pennsylvania’s freshwater shoreline. The economic impact statistics for the first three months of this tourism initiative show us that cachers are traveling the full length of the byway and spending two to three days in each of our five regions,” said Seaway Trail, Inc. President and CEO Teresa Mitchell.
A cadre of volunteers have hidden a total of 75 caches — used military ammo boxes emblazoned with the Great Lakes Seaway Trail logo — in collaboration with Seaway Trail, Inc. and GeoTrail developer Jim “Boots” Hooper.
Seaway Trail, Inc. Director of Business Relations Kurt Schumacher says, “In the first three months, geocachers made an approximately $100,000 economic impact throughout the Great Lakes Seaway Trail region with sixty percent of the participants saying that as a result of the GeoTrail they are now ‘much more likely’ to travel on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail.”
Mitchell says, “This ‘get outdoors on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail’ initiative is ideal for making healthy fresh air travel more available, accessible and affordable.”
A new supply of Great Lakes Seaway Trail GeoTrail logbooks and GeoCoins have been ordered for 2011 on the strength of the sponsorship of all 11 of the byway’s tourism promotion agencies:
• St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce (NY)
• 1000 Islands International Tourism Council (NY)
• Oswego County Promotion and Tourism Department (NY)
• Cayuga County Office of Tourism (NY)
• Wayne County Tourism Office (NY)
• Greater Rochester Visitors Association (NY)
• Orleans County Tourism (NY)
• Niagara County Tourism and Convention Corporation (NY)
• Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau (NY)
• Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau (NY), and
• VisitErie (PA).
Cachers can learn more about the Great Lakes Seaway Trail GeoTrail and where to pick up a logbook by visiting www.seawaytrail.com/geotrail. #