Geocaching is a great way of having fun in the countryside. It involves hunting out carefully hidden caches using maps and satellite navigation devices called GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers. If you find a cache, and some are very hard to spot, there are often trade items in them that you can swap and a log book for you to record your visit. Back home you can log your visit onto the internet at Geocaching.com. There are over 30,000 caches in the UK for you to find!
Coed y Brenin Time Trail
In Coed y Brenin Forest Park we have created a Geocache “Time Trail” designed to form a circular walk, starting and finishing at the Visitor Centre, using a combination of Forest roads and footpaths taking in secluded sites of historic importance hidden in the forest.
Either download the information onto your own GPS at home before setting off, or hire a GPS with the co-ordinates already loaded from the Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre, booking in advance though is highly recommended.
To book a GPS receiver call the Ranger on 01341 440747.
While searching for the caches you’ll walk along the Sarn Helen Roman road, visit the disused Goldmines at Gwynfynydd, discover a Medieval iron works and learn about the ancient droving routes that used to pass through the area. These traditional style caches also contain information sheets to explain some of the history of each site visited.
Full information on each cache, along with the downloadable co-ordinates can be found at www.geocaching.com. The trail is designed for walkers only as there is no access to the cache sites by vehicles. Stout footwear is recommended as the route has both steep ascents and descents on unmade uneven surfaces.
We also have a ‘travel bug’ Brenins World Wanderer which travels from cache to cache and left Coed y Brenin in June 2010 and has a mission to visit forests of the world. To find out where Brenin’s World Wanderer (he is a little wooden mouse with a ‘dogtag’ attached, and a unique code) is now visit www.geocaching.com and enter his code: TB3ETM8 or watch for updates on his travels.
Please be aware that there are fast flowing rivers, deep gorges and old workings in the forest – the caches are NOT placed in any area of obvious danger.