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Winter Caching and XC Ski Trails

 
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Kurt Franke
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Joined: 22 Sep 2005

Posts: 413

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:22 pm    Post subject: Winter Caching and XC Ski Trails Reply with quote

I recieved this email today from a friend and park staffer:

Quote:
Kurt
I am looking for some suggestions. We are seeing a increase in winter walkers at Quarry Park. The interest in geo-caching is contributing to the increase in walkers. A problem that we are seeing is that the geo cachers like to walk right down the groomed cross-cross country ski trail. Is there any way to get to geo-cachers as a group and let them know they need to stay off the groomed tracks.

Pete


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casinoman
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Joined: 26 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a thought here. Could they not send a personal note or email to each of the cache owners in the park. To say change there cache page to note that the ski trails are not for walking in the winter.

I know that most of the cahcers that cache are not members this or any other forum sites. They find caching by word of mouth and then go for the hunt. I know that some people don't even read the page. Embarassed

but may be a cation at the top of there cache page may get seen.
Just a thought and it is only MHO.
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speedysk1
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Joined: 29 Oct 2007

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

casinoman wrote:
Just a thought here. Could they not send a personal note or email to each of the cache owners in the park. To say change there cache page to note that the ski trails are not for walking in the winter.

I know that most of the cahcers that cache are not members this or any other forum sites. They find caching by word of mouth and then go for the hunt. I know that some people don't even read the page. Embarassed

but may be a cation at the top of there cache page may get seen.
Just a thought and it is only MHO.


Or simply ask the cachers with caches "close" to the trails to disable their caches during the winter to discourage them being found. But in any case, this is the issue with many parks. It's difficult to impossible to have a public area and limit access to a certain group of people. I'm not weighing in on who's right, but it is public land and this is the issue all parks talk about. How to manage multi-use space. We happen to geocache, but we aren't the only ones that walk, etc on the ski trails. So while we might be an easy target this isn't generally geocacher only crime. Wink Birdwatchers, bikers, hikers, walkers, dog walkers, etc all share the same space. This issue was discussed in length when discussing the new park being planned in Dakota County. The same issue applies to mountain bike paths.

Thanks for the reminder though.
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Kurt Franke
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Posts: 413

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Just a thought here. Could they not send a personal note or email to each of the cache owners in the park. To say change there cache page to note that the ski trails are not for walking in the winter.


I have contacted all active cache owners and mentioned this to them. I told the park manager that I would be doing that.

I would hate to see the winter caches disabled. I love caching in the winter and the snow. Still, the XC ski season is short and there aren't that many groomed trails out there. At the same time I feel it is really important to maintain good standing with the park managers.

Personally, I think most of the hikers on the XC trails are NOT cachers. I own two Earthcaches in this park and have had no logged visits since the snow fell.
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bflentje
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Joined: 29 May 2006

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Winter Caching and XC Ski Trails Reply with quote

Kurt Franke wrote:
I recieved this email today from a friend and park staffer:

Quote:
Kurt
I am looking for some suggestions. We are seeing a increase in winter walkers at Quarry Park. The interest in geo-caching is contributing to the increase in walkers. A problem that we are seeing is that the geo cachers like to walk right down the groomed cross-cross country ski trail. Is there any way to get to geo-cachers as a group and let them know they need to stay off the groomed tracks.

Pete


Word to the wise...


How much do you think geocaching is REALLY increasing foot traffic on trails? Anyone pull the logs for those caches and see if they're actually being found? My GUESS is that it's just another angry CC skier. Wink
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Tuxedo Duck
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Joined: 08 Mar 2007

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been to a Three Rivers Park District park, and wanted to do geocaching on foot, so I asked the office and was told I could walk along the trails as long as I did not disturb the XC ski track.
The trails were wide enough so it was easy, and that was with a couple other guys with me.
I also XC ski, so I knew the importance of keeping off the XC ski tracks. And I did not want to pay to get their XC ski pass.
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King Boreas
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last winter I was at Cleary Lake hiding a cache @ 5:30 am. As I was walking back, I met a woman grooming the trails, explained what I was doing (which she totally understood), and she asked me to post a note on the cache page.

I disable my State Forest Rec Area Ski Trail caches, and my Three Rivers Ski Trail caches. That doesn't mean they can't be found. Disabling seemed to reduce or stop the traffic that might use the trails regardless.
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Arcticabn
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Joined: 30 Nov 2003

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kurt,

First off thanks for taking the time to contact the cache owners.

Second, if you are inclined, I would look at all of the active cache pages for the park and see how many finds and DNFs they have had since the snow fell.

If the number is low as I suspect it is, then I would also send the Park Ranger back a note stating that you do not believe that the walking issue is due to geocaching and then provide him the numbers. You know stay that there are X active caches in the park and that since the first snow on X date that only X logs both found and did not find have been noted. This is not to say that there are not cachers that didn't find the cache and didn't log a DNF but even if you double the number it should not be significant (at least that is my guess).

Arctic
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KRedEP
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Joined: 03 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A week or so ago I was going after a cache near a trail in the dark. I wasn't clear what type of trail it was. It looked to me that snowmobiles were using it, but it was dark and it also could have been the grooming for the XC ski trails. I'm just saying that sometimes it is tough to know. I walked on the edge but thought maybe I was being overly cautious.

I think if there are caches along a XC ski trail, people are going to walk on that to get to the cache, therefore if people shouldn't be walking on it, the cache should be disabled. Or maybe there needs to be more clear signage. Many cachers don't read the cache page unless having trouble finding the cache, so noting that on the cache page isn't going to solve the problem.
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Kurt Franke
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Joined: 22 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Second, if you are inclined, I would look at all of the active cache pages for the park and see how many finds and DNFs they have had since the snow fell.


I thought about doing some numbers on these caches and getting back to the Park Staffer. I am pretty sure that the logs will show very little activity in the park now. That seems to be the trend in this area in general I would say.

I know this park guy pretty well. I will bill interested to find out why he thinks the hikers are geocachers. At the same time, I am happy he thinks that geocachers are a signifigant park user group.

Seasons Grettings!
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bflentje
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Joined: 29 May 2006

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KRedEP wrote:
I think if there are caches along a XC ski trail, people are going to walk on that to get to the cache, therefore if people shouldn't be walking on it, the cache should be disabled. Or maybe there needs to be more clear signage. Many cachers don't read the cache page unless having trouble finding the cache, so noting that on the cache page isn't going to solve the problem.


I don't agree that the cache should be disabled. Cachers must be willing to understand and abide by the park rules, period.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5701

PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KRedEP wrote:
I think if there are caches along a XC ski trail, people are going to walk on that to get to the cache, therefore if people shouldn't be walking on it, the cache should be disabled.


Like Bart, I disagree.

If caches are placed near the freeway, where you can park on the side of the freeway and grab the cache rather than traverse the neighborhood streets to get it, then should we disallow those caches because people may illegally park to get them? Cachers need to follow the rules like everyone else, and this is no exception so long as the cache is still accessible while staying off the trail. It may be harder to get to while staying off the trail, but it's still accessible.

Quote:
Or maybe there needs to be more clear signage. Many cachers don't read the cache page unless having trouble finding the cache, so noting that on the cache page isn't going to solve the problem.


I tend to agree here as well - some of the ski trails I've seen do not indicate very clearly that hikers are not welcome. Some do, but others don't.
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MNMizzou
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Joined: 23 Feb 2005

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprisingly someone tried for one of my series of caches in Eagle Lake Park that are along a ski trail. They did them while skiing, go figure. They batted .250 on the series of 4, which is about what I expected, the one is right on the trail, the others are off in the 25 foot range, which with all the snow I'm guessing was an adventure, even skiing back to them. They seemed to have fun with all of them though which is why I left them active. I did go back and put a disclaimer on them that in the winter they are on a ski trail, which I really didn't initially know, and follow the rules if you're going to go look for them... but to me it wasn't a reason to disable them totally.
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