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Rest area geocaches


zuma!
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On behalf of the Wisconsin Geocaching Association, I am doing a little research on the policy of different states as it relates to geocaches being placed in highway rest areas. Personally, I have traveled to quite a few states and have found caches in rest areas in probably at least 20 states, so I know it is common.

 

Here is the WI DOT policy:

 

"The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, for safety and operational reasons,

discourages citizens from using any WisDOT site for geocaching purposes. Any

"cache" found by site staff will be disposed of promptly."

 

Here is the MN DOT policy:

 

"Mn/DOT wants to encourage positive use of its rest areas and feels that geocaching, if played in accordance with this policy, will not conflict with other rest area uses."

 

I have googled this and cannot come up with a policy for any other state, so this is a request for cachers in other states to refer me to a policy in writing in their state. Obviously, the intent is to work with the WI DOT to develop a rational policy. Please post here or email me with your state's policy on caches in rest areas.

 

thank you

 

zuma

ralphruok@yahoo.com

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I haven't heard of an overall policy in Texas but when I was in west Texas last year I found several and in most cases I was asked "did you find it?" by the workers at the stop. One would assume they were ok with the placement in those cases.

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I haven't heard of an overall policy in Texas but when I was in west Texas last year I found several and in most cases I was asked "did you find it?" by the workers at the stop. One would assume they were ok with the placement in those cases.

 

I think many of the workers enjoy seeing cachers attempting to nonchalantly look about for caches. I bet it's the one thing they most enjoy about their work, watching us. <_<

Edited by DragonsWest
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One more example of Cheesehead micro-management, Zuma! <_<

 

Seriously... they think that it would be unsafe?!? What? Do they think we hide the caches on the pavement? Don't they realize that people also stop there to use the restrooms? I never realized that might also be putting my life at risk! Somebody needs to educate your DOT, I think.

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One more example of Cheesehead micro-management, Zuma! :)

 

Seriously... they think that it would be unsafe?!? What? Do they think we hide the caches on the pavement? Don't they realize that people also stop there to use the restrooms? I never realized that might also be putting my life at risk! Somebody needs to educate your DOT, I think.

 

Maybe they think we pee on them and that would create a health hazard for the workers. <_<

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I have found cache at rest stops in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maryland. A few of them have been on Interstate "Service Areas" and the rest in smaller rest areas were often just a quick jaunt into the woods.

I can add South Dakota to that list, although I don't know what the official stance is. I LOVE rest area caches though, because the encourage me to stop and get my mind on something other than the road. I personally think that they enhance safety for just that reason.
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I have found cache at rest stops in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maryland. A few of them have been on Interstate "Service Areas" and the rest in smaller rest areas were often just a quick jaunt into the woods.

I can add South Dakota to that list, although I don't know what the official stance is. I LOVE rest area caches though, because the encourage me to stop and get my mind on something other than the road. I personally think that they enhance safety for just that reason.

 

Yep, nothing like a quick stretch of the legs and giving the eyes a break from staring at an endless succession of road, car back ends and unfunny bumper stickers.

 

When running between Santa Cruz, CA and northern Arizona, last November, I took a number of breaks and it really did improve the feeling of the long drive, while only adding about 1.5 hours to the trek. Did several on the return leg, including the Southbound Valley Wells cache on I-15 where I had picked up Northbound the weekend before. Next time I'll have to give myself a bit more time and tackle some of that presidential power trail which is nearby.

Edited by DragonsWest
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I have found cache at rest stops in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maryland. A few of them have been on Interstate "Service Areas" and the rest in smaller rest areas were often just a quick jaunt into the woods.

I can add South Dakota to that list, although I don't know what the official stance is. I LOVE rest area caches though, because the encourage me to stop and get my mind on something other than the road. I personally think that they enhance safety for just that reason.

 

I love rest area caches as well. Most of the week long vacations I've taken in the past 10 years or so have been 500-700 miles from home, which means that we're typically going to be spending 5-6 hours driving a day. That's about the limit of what I, and certainly my 6 year old son can handle. Two or three rest stops for 1/2 and hour each doesn't add significantly to the trip and is enough to break up a long drive and make a few quick cache finds along the way. My son also really likes grabbing handfuls of attraction brochures and we've actually discovered some interesting looking spots that we might visit in the future from those brochures.

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One more example of Cheesehead micro-management, Zuma! <_<

 

Seriously... they think that it would be unsafe?!? What? Do they think we hide the caches on the pavement? Don't they realize that people also stop there to use the restrooms? I never realized that might also be putting my life at risk! Somebody needs to educate your DOT, I think.

 

LOL, but at least we have a better pro football team in Wisconsin. :) back at ya.

 

Seriously, though, that is what I am working on, trying to educate the WI DOT of their misguided ways. It would be real helpful if I could find other states that have a policy on this, besides MN which has a good policy, except that I dont agree with their limitation of one cache per rest area.

 

zuma

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LOL, but at least we have a better pro football team in Wisconsin. :) back at ya.

Seriously, though, that is what I am working on, trying to educate the WI DOT of their misguided ways. It would be real helpful if I could find other states that have a policy on this, besides MN which has a good policy, except that I dont agree with their limitation of one cache per rest area.

zuma

Yeah, well, we've got your aging quarterback, so there!

 

Back on topic, yeah! I've been trying a few searches and have not turned up a thing so far except for MN (the most visible) and WI.

 

Also I agree with you about the 1 cache limit in MN. The southbound rest area on I35 down by Faribault, MN, for example is huge. There used to be two (or was it three?) KB caches in there.

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Rest stop geocaches are an incentive for me to stop and step inside visitor centres where I can find brochures about area attractions. I can think of many museums, campgrounds, and other sites that I found out about because I was already stopping at a visitor centre to get a cache.

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On behalf of the Wisconsin Geocaching Association, I am doing a little research on the policy of different states as it relates to geocaches being placed in highway rest areas.

 

Sometimes it is best not to ask.

Did you read why he is asking for this information? His state already has a policy. He is asking so that he can hopefully educate them.
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On behalf of the Wisconsin Geocaching Association, I am doing a little research on the policy of different states as it relates to geocaches being placed in highway rest areas.

 

Sometimes it is best not to ask.

 

From the Groundspeak cache hiding guidelines: "By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location."

 

With the published policy of the DOT, it is pretty hard for reviewers in good faith to publish a cache in a rest area in Wisconsin. That is why we are seeking to get the policy changed, and why I am looking for policy statements from other state DOTs.

 

zuma

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I know North Dakota has banned caches at Rest Areas for absolutely no reason.
Since almost nobody drives through North Dakota, I'd have to agree that there is absolutely no good reason!

 

As a ND geocacher, you are right about nobody driving through the state. And we used to have a number of geocaches at our rest areas (I think there are only 3 or 4 actual rest areas in the entire state), but the state found out about them and banned them. I think you can get a "permit" for them, but that may have been canceled also. There is still one TB hotel at a rest area though... :)

 

Montana seems to embrace them, with at least one at every rest area on I-94 to from the ND state line to Billings in both directions. The Highline (US Highway 2) that runs along the north edge of the state has a string of historical markers along it, and I think every one of those has a cache at it also. I don't know if they have a formal policy or not, though.

Edited by StarDoc
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I know North Dakota has banned caches at Rest Areas for absolutely no reason.
Since almost nobody drives through North Dakota, I'd have to agree that there is absolutely no good reason!

 

As a ND geocacher, you are right about nobody driving through the state. And we used to have a number of geocaches at our rest areas (I think there are only 3 or 4 actual rest areas in the entire state), but the state found out about them and banned them. I think you can get a "permit" for them, but that may have been canceled also. There is still one TB hotel at a rest area though... :)

 

Montana seems to embrace them, with at least one at every rest area on I-94 to from the ND state line to Billings in both directions. The Highline (US Highway 2) that runs along the north edge of the state has a string of historical markers along it, and I think every one of those has a cache at it also. I don't know if they have a formal policy or not, though.

 

So call up the 15 or 20 voters in North Dakota and ask them to help you change the policy with a referendum.

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I know North Dakota has banned caches at Rest Areas for absolutely no reason.
Since almost nobody drives through North Dakota, I'd have to agree that there is absolutely no good reason!

 

As a ND geocacher, you are right about nobody driving through the state. And we used to have a number of geocaches at our rest areas (I think there are only 3 or 4 actual rest areas in the entire state), but the state found out about them and banned them. I think you can get a "permit" for them, but that may have been canceled also. There is still one TB hotel at a rest area though... :)

 

Montana seems to embrace them, with at least one at every rest area on I-94 to from the ND state line to Billings in both directions. The Highline (US Highway 2) that runs along the north edge of the state has a string of historical markers along it, and I think every one of those has a cache at it also. I don't know if they have a formal policy or not, though.

 

So call up the 15 or 20 voters in North Dakota and ask them to help you change the policy with a referendum.

Dude... that's insulting!! There are at LEAST ten times that many voters in North Dakota!!
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I know North Dakota has banned caches at Rest Areas for absolutely no reason.
Since almost nobody drives through North Dakota, I'd have to agree that there is absolutely no good reason!

 

As a ND geocacher, you are right about nobody driving through the state. And we used to have a number of geocaches at our rest areas (I think there are only 3 or 4 actual rest areas in the entire state), but the state found out about them and banned them. I think you can get a "permit" for them, but that may have been canceled also. There is still one TB hotel at a rest area though... :)

 

Montana seems to embrace them, with at least one at every rest area on I-94 to from the ND state line to Billings in both directions. The Highline (US Highway 2) that runs along the north edge of the state has a string of historical markers along it, and I think every one of those has a cache at it also. I don't know if they have a formal policy or not, though.

 

So call up the 15 or 20 voters in North Dakota and ask them to help you change the policy with a referendum.

Dude... that's insulting!! There are at LEAST ten times that many voters in North Dakota!!

 

We just formed the ND Geocaching Association to address problems like this. Stay tuned...

 

And sure, there may be ten times as many voters, but only half of them vote anyway.

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On behalf of the Wisconsin Geocaching Association, I am doing a little research on the policy of different states as it relates to geocaches being placed in highway rest areas.

 

Sometimes it is best not to ask.

 

From the Groundspeak cache hiding guidelines: "By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location."

 

With the published policy of the DOT, it is pretty hard for reviewers in good faith to publish a cache in a rest area in Wisconsin. That is why we are seeking to get the policy changed, and why I am looking for policy statements from other state DOTs.

 

zuma

 

Also point out posts like Narcissa's. Sometimes pointing out a potential fiscal benefit to the state will tip the scales in favor of geocaching. Get the local chambers of commerce on your side. They have been pro geocaching in many places and they usually have some say when it comes to government policy.

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While the WiDOT may not allow caches in the rest areas, I have found quite a few in these rest areas.

Also, most rest areas are closed during the winter here. Exceptions being interstate and major highway rest areas.

 

The Wisconsin DOT differentiates between interstate rest areas and state highway waysides. The waysides are maintained by the counties and geocaches are allowed there. Caches are not allowed on the interstate rest areas, and that is the problem I am trying to correct.

 

zuma

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While the WiDOT may not allow caches in the rest areas, I have found quite a few in these rest areas.

Also, most rest areas are closed during the winter here. Exceptions being interstate and major highway rest areas.

 

The Wisconsin DOT differentiates between interstate rest areas and state highway waysides. The waysides are maintained by the counties and geocaches are allowed there. Caches are not allowed on the interstate rest areas, and that is the problem we are trying to correct.

 

zuma

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While the WiDOT may not allow caches in the rest areas, I have found quite a few in these rest areas.

Also, most rest areas are closed during the winter here. Exceptions being interstate and major highway rest areas.

 

The Wisconsin DOT differentiates between interstate rest areas and state highway waysides. The waysides are maintained by the counties and geocaches are allowed there. Caches are not allowed on the interstate rest areas, and that is the problem we are trying to correct.

 

zuma

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I haven't heard of an overall policy in Texas but when I was in west Texas last year I found several and in most cases I was asked "did you find it?" by the workers at the stop. One would assume they were ok with the placement in those cases.

 

Gots them decision makers and policy makers out there picking up them gum wrappers, do they?

 

Astounding.

 

They?

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I haven't heard of an overall policy in Texas but when I was in west Texas last year I found several and in most cases I was asked "did you find it?" by the workers at the stop. One would assume they were ok with the placement in those cases.

Gots them decision makers and policy makers out there picking up them gum wrappers, do they?

Astounding.

They?

Hey... it could happen!
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Maybe Wisconsin feels that geocaching interferes with clandestine deviant hookups in rest areas.

 

That's the only reason I can think of as to why they wouldn't allow geocaching.

 

That's the only thing I can think of too. Maybe they're trying to keep people out of the bushes. Dangerous indeed. :D

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On Ontario, I went to the owner of the property and asked if it was ok. Even though it was a rest stop, it was still owned by a single guy (well, a company) and he said it was ok, so I placed one.

 

Perhaps in Canada we do things differently, but many of the rest stops I know of around me are privately owned and managed.

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My one and only hide is at a scenic rest stop on the Trans Canada Highway on Vancouver Island. It is at the summit of the Malahat and if you are lucky, you get to see the Bald Eagles also. Plenty of elbow room in the "facilities" too - just ignore the gas mask stenciled on the door!

I think it is important to take a break and stretch when driving any distance - why not grab a cache too?

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Here is Michigan policy-

 

Geocaching

 

Geocaching is a new recreational activity that brings technology and nature together.

 

 

It is similar to treasure hunting and is initiated by an individual hiding a cache, normally in a waterproof container with small items inside. The location is recorded with a Global Positioning Unit (GPS). The individual then posts the GPS coordinates along with a description of the cache on the geocaching Web site (www.geocaching.com).

 

 

Other individuals then try to find the cache. When it is located, participants sign a logbook, then take or leave a small item. They also post their find on the on-line logbook.

 

 

Mn/DOT wants to encourage positive use of its rest areas and feels that geocaching, if played in accordance with this policy, will not conflict with other rest area uses.

 

I don't think you can find a rest area without a cache in Michigan. :D

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