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L0ne.R

Quality Power Trails in Ontario

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I know of only one power trail in the area where most of the caches are water tight swag-size caches (i.e. you can leave at least a couple of travelbugs). Plus there's some variety to the types of hides and styles. That would be the Kissing Bridge power trail between Guelph and Millbank. Does anyone know of any other PTs in the area that are well maintained, use watertight containers, mostly travelbug size containers with a variety of cache hides and styles?

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A great caching couple in Niagara has placed a Power Trail on the Bruce Trail that may offer exactly what you asking about. See Stashes Between Caches as an example.

 

While perhaps not a traditional power trail in the sense that most folks might expect, there are a large number of them in a row hidden in various ways with the containers you seek on one of the greatest trails around.

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I know of only one power trail in the area where most of the caches are water tight swag-size caches (i.e. you can leave at least a couple of travelbugs). Plus there's some variety to the types of hides and styles. That would be the Kissing Bridge power trail between Guelph and Millbank. Does anyone know of any other PTs in the area that are well maintained, use watertight containers, mostly travelbug size containers with a variety of cache hides and styles?

 

Well, I was going to say the Bpach ones east of Brantford, as originally placed by Dark Tannion (or something like that) weren't too bad. But good thing I looked first, half of them are archived, and they've been adopted out. They were definitely a variety of styles and hides, a couple strung up in trees, a couple of minor tree climbs, a pile of rocks hide, etc.. True about half of the 50 or so I did were vitamin bottles, not big enough for most TB's, but considered small. Those are actually pretty good containers. Most of the regulars were not very good containers, I admit.

 

A lot of room for improvement, but anything beats identically hidden micros. And I actually have no problem with rails to trails PT's. Something like the London Loop, I would not be the least bit interested in, and they'd all be ignored if they were in my 50 mile notification range.

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I would say the Kissing Bridge power trail between Guelph and Millbank is somewhat a quality trail by your given definition because it does have quite a few micros along the trail. What percentage of micros to other sizes defines a quality power trail?

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A lot of room for improvement, but anything beats identically hidden micros. And I actually have no problem with rails to trails PT's. Something like the London Loop, I would not be the least bit interested in, and they'd all be ignored if they were in my 50 mile notification range.

 

Have you done the London Loop yet? There is probably more variety in the London Loop than any other power trail out there. I've been looking forward to my 3rd visit coming up in April.

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A lot of room for improvement, but anything beats identically hidden micros. And I actually have no problem with rails to trails PT's. Something like the London Loop, I would not be the least bit interested in, and they'd all be ignored if they were in my 50 mile notification range.

 

Have you done the London Loop yet? There is probably more variety in the London Loop than any other power trail out there. I've been looking forward to my 3rd visit coming up in April.

 

I agree. The variety of difficulty and creativity on some of those made the find gratifying.

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How many of the London Loop caches are "water tight swag-size caches (i.e. you can leave at least a couple of travel bugs)."

I honestly don't know the answer to the question (haven't visited the LL yet), so I'd like to know.

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How many of the London Loop caches are "water tight swag-size caches (i.e. you can leave at least a couple of travel bugs)."

I honestly don't know the answer to the question (haven't visited the LL yet), so I'd like to know.

 

I'll let you know after I do a few more hundred of them.

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I would say the Kissing Bridge power trail between Guelph and Millbank is somewhat a quality trail by your given definition because it does have quite a few micros along the trail. What percentage of micros to other sizes defines a quality power trail?

 

It's not so much about percentage but more about appropriate placement and placement with an intent to highlight a location (where a larger cache won't fit). Plus the CO used good cache containers and maintains the caches and the listings in a timely fashion when there's a problem.

 

But to answer your question, I count 30 KB PT geocaches, 5 are micros. One is at an old artifact on the trail which one would likely not notice if it weren't for the cache. Another at a bridge with a nice view. Another at a sugar shack. So they were placed to highlight a spot on the trail and a micro fit the location and could be well hidden near or on the item of interest.

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A lot of room for improvement, but anything beats identically hidden micros. And I actually have no problem with rails to trails PT's. Something like the London Loop, I would not be the least bit interested in, and they'd all be ignored if they were in my 50 mile notification range.

 

Have you done the London Loop yet? There is probably more variety in the London Loop than any other power trail out there. I've been looking forward to my 3rd visit coming up in April.

 

I did the 2 letterboxes on the London Loop and I was impressed by the stamps (the hides were roadside drivebys placed in their spots because they were 161m from the last cache). One was a handcarved stamp, the other a custom made London Loop stamp. The custom made box was in a lilac bush on someone's property. The container was a knock-off lock n lock. However the box was compromised by a nut and bolt through the plastic in order to secure the stamp. Later I read that the property owner asked that it be removed because they were bothered by all the traffic it was generating. (On the drive back to London from that LB I saw a group of about 10 people searching around a hydro tower for a micro.)

Edited by Solitario R

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i posted the link in the other thread but i guess you chose to ignore it

 

i do agree with Avernar, PT are about quantity over quality

Edited by t4e

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A lot of room for improvement, but anything beats identically hidden micros. And I actually have no problem with rails to trails PT's. Something like the London Loop, I would not be the least bit interested in, and they'd all be ignored if they were in my 50 mile notification range.

 

Have you done the London Loop yet? There is probably more variety in the London Loop than any other power trail out there. I've been looking forward to my 3rd visit coming up in April.

 

I agree. The variety of difficulty and creativity on some of those made the find gratifying.

 

No, I did not word my post very well. I did mean anything beats identically hidden micros, I did not mean to imply the London Loops was, although I definitely see how you would get that impression. From what I've heard the London Loop caches are much harder than most people are expecting.

 

What I meant is I like Rails to trails power trails that you hike or bike. I'm not interested in stopping the car every 528 along a rural road power trail.

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What I meant is I like Rails to trails power trails that you hike or bike. I'm not interested in stopping the car every 528 along a rural road power trail.

 

I like the trails over drive by because you can socialize along the way and not keep getting back in the car.

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Regarding the London Loop- I live close by and have done a few of them. Low quality cahces (almost all micros), not well maintained, and mostly on private property.

And they are all about 200 m apart. So what fun is driving every 200m to pick up a micro that is in poor shape and on private property. Not to mention some are in less than safe conditions with regards to traffic (busy intersections etc...).

I do not find these very fun to do, so will probably not do anymore. I suppose if you want the numbers then this is a good way to go, but I am not into this just for numbers- what fun would that be?

I try not to mention these issues in the cache logs, but since it was brought up here, thought I would share my experiences.

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What I meant is I like Rails to trails power trails that you hike or bike. I'm not interested in stopping the car every 528 along a rural road power trail.

 

I like the trails over drive by because you can socialize along the way and not keep getting back in the car.

 

That's something I agree with you on. Jumping in and out of the car kills the camaraderie, and I have concerns about caches placed along the highway right of way. It may be technically allowed but I've met enough people over the years who are unimpressed with people using the road in front of their property.

 

To me the one major benefit of a Power Trail is the ability to go out and socialize with the caches being the excuse to do so.

 

Mind you I also get that when I target a single cache with a long hike involved.

 

I was going to make a statement that Power Trails are taking over but then I got to thinking - many of the rail trails are certainly covered but Ontario has over 88,000 km of trails. We're nowhere near that number of caches.

 

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Further to my last, and this may be better saved for a different discussion. But these power trails (with their low quality caches) take up other good spots (i.e. by killing everything else within 161 metres) that could be used for some good quality hides and larger caches.

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I will disagree about the comments made about the London Loop series. I have done 126 of the London Loop caches, once in April and then again in September. Both times it was with a decent sized group (16 people and 27 people). There was plenty of socializing going on within our vehicles and at each of the caches. I found the caches very well maintained and I know one of the cache owners and know the amount of time and effort and money and planning that went into this series. There is also a lot of creativity in many of the caches and many are challenging to retrieve or find. They are definitely not all identical and you do get a variety with this series. This was not just a quick throw down series. Many non cachers such as land managers, opp, town of London were involved too. The caches are also placed along rural roadways that have wide shoulders making it very safe to pull over and be completely off the road. I plan on going back in April with a group of friends and I am very much looking forward to this. Based on what I have experienced with the London Loop caches so far, I would say that is one of the highest quality power trails that I have done.

 

For those that don't like the idea of hopping in and out of the car for the London Loop series, why not ride a bike as some have done or even walk it as you would walk to any other cache along a trail.

 

It's interesting that people will criticize certain caches or types of caches, yet they haven't even tried them or gotten the full experience out of it. The key thing as with me is variety. Like I have said many times, sometimes I want to hike, sometimes I was the drivebys and sometimes something in between. It all depends on the day.

 

As for hiking or driving to do 100 a power trail, since I like to hike and I can hike 40km in one shot easily, I would lean towards the hiking over the driving, however sometimes it is just not possible.

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For those that don't like the idea of hopping in and out of the car for the London Loop series, why not ride a bike as some have done or even walk it as you would walk to any other cache along a trail.

 

It's interesting that people will criticize certain caches or types of caches, yet they haven't even tried them or gotten the full experience out of it. The key thing as with me is variety. Like I have said many times, sometimes I want to hike, sometimes I was the drivebys and sometimes something in between. It all depends on the day.

 

As for hiking or driving to do 100 a power trail, since I like to hike and I can hike 40km in one shot easily, I would lean towards the hiking over the driving, however sometimes it is just not possible.

 

That's a great idea Ralph. I will stand by my earlier comment though that it's much easier to be social when walking as a group.

BFL nights have featured both the jump in and out of the car for the quick cache and the hikes so I do speak from experience that the socializing takes a hit when the group is breaking up into cars every few minutes.

 

As for the LL existing sure it's fine by me. I am cautious of the right of way hides mainly due to other places where I have had the nearby landowner come out yelling. Of course if the LL is setup in a way that all the adjacent landowners are aware of (and happy with) the cache placement then it's a non issue for the London Loop. It is still potentially an issue for other roadside power trails though.

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... (On the drive back to London from that LB I saw a group of about 10 people searching around a hydro tower for a micro.)

 

Here's the hunt at the hydro tower.

 

67e7a292-196c-4211-b2fd-08b20f9e31b8.jpg

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... (On the drive back to London from that LB I saw a group of about 10 people searching around a hydro tower for a micro.)

 

Here's the hunt at the hydro tower.

 

67e7a292-196c-4211-b2fd-08b20f9e31b8.jpg

Looks like a group of cachers enjoying a fun cache on a nice day. Wish I was there with them. Maybe I was as some of them look familiar...was this September 10th?

 

Every land owner that has a cache placed near them received a letter explaining everything. There are even some land owners that will take cachers and show them where the cachers are. It's nice to see these land owners enjoy it as much as cachers do.

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... (On the drive back to London from that LB I saw a group of about 10 people searching around a hydro tower for a micro.)

 

Here's the hunt at the hydro tower.

 

Looks like a group of cachers enjoying a fun cache on a nice day. Wish I was there with them. Maybe I was as some of them look familiar...was this September 10th?

 

Small world, yes it was Sep 10. You may be in this photo. There was a lot of activity that day and there were other groups along the road besides this group.

 

Every land owner that has a cache placed near them received a letter explaining everything. There are even some land owners that will take cachers and show them where the cachers are. It's nice to see these land owners enjoy it as much as cachers do.

 

The landowner that had the letterbox in the lilacs got upset about the early morning and late night traffic: http://www.geocachin...69-962f382bceee

To the CO's credit they maintained the listing in a timely fashion and responded in the cache logs via an Archive log and reminded people not to do the London Loop at night.

 

That's one to the difficult things about cache placement - it's almost impossible to get everyone to follow "rules" or read the descriptions.

Edited by Solitario R

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That is correct, that the London Loop caches should only be done during the day. They also have that set as an attribute on the cache pages.

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In the other PT trail discussion, Dr House and Northern Penguin had good things to say about the Chippawa Creek Canoe Cache power trail. A few of the caches in the PT received favourite votes. And some scenic photos were uploaded:

 

e43f7cc7-2f4c-43d0-ab24-a531a9a091f0.jpg

 

ca3dcd72-f884-4997-b7c6-9a42be8539b2.jpg

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I will disagree about the comments made about the London Loop series. I have done 126 of the London Loop caches, once in April and then again in September. Both times it was with a decent sized group (16 people and 27 people). There was plenty of socializing going on within our vehicles and at each of the caches. I found the caches very well maintained and I know one of the cache owners and know the amount of time and effort and money and planning that went into this series. There is also a lot of creativity in many of the caches and many are challenging to retrieve or find. They are definitely not all identical and you do get a variety with this series. This was not just a quick throw down series. Many non cachers such as land managers, opp, town of London were involved too. The caches are also placed along rural roadways that have wide shoulders making it very safe to pull over and be completely off the road. I plan on going back in April with a group of friends and I am very much looking forward to this. Based on what I have experienced with the London Loop caches so far, I would say that is one of the highest quality power trails that I have done.

 

For those that don't like the idea of hopping in and out of the car for the London Loop series, why not ride a bike as some have done or even walk it as you would walk to any other cache along a trail.

 

It's interesting that people will criticize certain caches or types of caches, yet they haven't even tried them or gotten the full experience out of it. The key thing as with me is variety. Like I have said many times, sometimes I want to hike, sometimes I was the drivebys and sometimes something in between. It all depends on the day.

 

As for hiking or driving to do 100 a power trail, since I like to hike and I can hike 40km in one shot easily, I would lean towards the hiking over the driving, however sometimes it is just not possible.

 

There is little quality or thought given to these caches and the rules of Geocaching from what I have found. Wet/frozen cache logs. Full logs, misleading attributes (i.e. it is on the ground covered in snow but is listed as winter friendly). Many of the rural roads do not have the wide shoulders you mention. I know some landowners who have caches right in front of their houses. None of them received letters or notification- and not all are happy with the activity going on practically on their front doorstep. Most concerning of all I have found these caches placed on private critical infrastructure - like power poles and telephone junctions. I have occasion to climb these poles with my work, and the last thing I want to do is spike into a cache and loose my footing on a pole and fall- not pretty.

I am sure that a lot of work went into this trail, but it was not thought through very well and it shows. It is a trail solely for the sake of numbers, not what Geocaching is supposed to be about.

I am curious to know exactly how the OPP was involved? Was it a simple notification or did they play a bigger role.

From what I understand there are over 400 LL caches- how can the CO reasonably expect to maintain these properly? It would be a full time job.

Why not put your time, creativity and resources into making a smaller number of high quality caches, rather than a large number of mediocre ones. And more importantly follow the rules.

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It is a trail solely for the sake of numbers, not what Geocaching is supposed to be about.

 

There was a time when the later was correct, not any more. At one time Groundspeak did not allow power trails. A few years ago they changed the guidelines and now they are allowed. Look at the number of finds on power trails and they are most definitely an accepted part of geocaching.

 

As for the numbers, if winning wasn't important, they wouldn't keep score. At the end of the day, for some if not many, geocaching is partly about the numbers.

Edited by Keith Watson

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There is little quality or thought given to these caches and the rules of Geocaching from what I have found. Wet/frozen cache logs. Full logs, misleading attributes (i.e. it is on the ground covered in snow but is listed as winter friendly). Many of the rural roads do not have the wide shoulders you mention. I know some landowners who have caches right in front of their houses. None of them received letters or notification- and not all are happy with the activity going on practically on their front doorstep. Most concerning of all I have found these caches placed on private critical infrastructure - like power poles and telephone junctions. I have occasion to climb these poles with my work, and the last thing I want to do is spike into a cache and loose my footing on a pole and fall- not pretty.

I am sure that a lot of work went into this trail, but it was not thought through very well and it shows. It is a trail solely for the sake of numbers, not what Geocaching is supposed to be about.

I am curious to know exactly how the OPP was involved? Was it a simple notification or did they play a bigger role.

From what I understand there are over 400 LL caches- how can the CO reasonably expect to maintain these properly? It would be a full time job.

Why not put your time, creativity and resources into making a smaller number of high quality caches, rather than a large number of mediocre ones. And more importantly follow the rules.

Talk with the cache owners as I have done on a number of occasions and perhaps you'll get a better understanding about the London Loop caches. You've only found 6 of the 400+ London Loop caches and those seem to be the easy ones. Do the caches with friends and maybe you'll enjoy them more. Caching with others is always fun. Of your 24 finds, you haven't found one greater than a 2 difficulty. Do the L.L. Bouncy Bunny cache which is unique as are many others. 3 of the 6 caches you wrote nice hide/spot, so it sounds like you enjoyed those. For the 2 that you found that were wet you should post a Needs Maintenance log in addition to the found it log so that the owners get notified that the caches need attention. The rural roads do have wide shoulders, but obviously in the winter these would be narrow due to snow banks. For me personally, I wouldn't attempt to do these in the winter and that is why we are waiting until April when the snow is all gone. We do month group caching events, so you are more than free to join us anytime and you'll probably find it's more about being out with like minded people than about the hides. There is NO Winter Friendly attribute. There never has been. It's called Available In the Winter, so it's accurately identified. Cache is there and available to be found. So you might have to dig in snow but that's part of the game living here in Canada. If you think the London Loop caches are not for you, then don't do them and find the ones you do. What I like personally about doing a variety of caches is that I never know what to expect and I get to experience a lot of different things. You never know when that wow moment comes and it could even be on a drive by.

 

What makes one cache higher quality over another cache?

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Seems like this thread is going off topic just like the last thread did.

 

We're here to discuss "Quality" Power Trail caches, defined by the OP as:

 

most of the caches are water tight swag-size caches (i.e. you can leave at least a couple of travelbugs). Plus there's some variety to the types of hides and styles.

 

I am hoping the Lingham Lake Power Trail caches that I visit this weekend fall into one or more of those categories. I'll post more on Monday or so when I've visited them.

 

One thing I have learned about myself over the last few days. If you asked me last week, I would say I was anti-power trail. Looking back, it seems that is not the case, I'm just picky about which ones (power trails) I visit ... but isn't that the case with all geocachers? We choose which caches we visit, and over time develop a taste for which caches we enjoy. I would say, look for those caches and let everyone play the game the way they enjoy it the most.

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I am hoping the Lingham Lake Power Trail caches that I visit this weekend fall into one or more of those categories. I'll post more on Monday or so when I've visited them.

 

I hate to break the news, but you'll probably be disappointed with the Lingham Lake power trail as they are all identical containers (specimen jars), hidden in similar ways and probably not big enough for most TBs.

 

For me, Lingham Lake Power Trail is about the adventure and challenge to do them all and share the adventure with friends. If the power trail was not there, I never would consider evening hiking that trail. I wish everyone a good day that is going this weekend and I look forward to reading the logs.

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I am hoping the Lingham Lake Power Trail caches that I visit this weekend fall into one or more of those categories. I'll post more on Monday or so when I've visited them.

 

I hate to break the news, but you'll probably be disappointed with the Lingham Lake power trail as they are all identical containers (specimen jars), hidden in similar ways and probably not big enough for most TBs.

 

For me, Lingham Lake Power Trail is about the adventure and challenge to do them all and share the adventure with friends. If the power trail was not there, I never would consider evening hiking that trail. I wish everyone a good day that is going this weekend and I look forward to reading the logs.

 

I'd probably consider hiking the trail if there were no caches, but the caches are providing that kick (and the same kick for like-minded individuals) to go out there and do it. The there with friends is a major motivator as well for me. Given the fairly easy winter we have been experiencing I am leaving the possibility open that I'll visit all of the caches instead of half.

 

 

Yes if they are all similar hides then the focus for me will quickly shift to the hike and my camera. I very much enjoyed my trip to Bushwacker and the original Lingham Lake cache by canoe from the north when I went there before.

 

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I know of only one power trail in the area where most of the caches are water tight swag-size caches (i.e. you can leave at least a couple of travelbugs). Plus there's some variety to the types of hides and styles. That would be the Kissing Bridge power trail between Guelph and Millbank. Does anyone know of any other PTs in the area that are well maintained, use watertight containers, mostly travelbug size containers with a variety of cache hides and styles?

 

Another one would be on the Elgin Trail, just west of St. Thomas. I held an Organized Cache Hunt type event here, and a group of very hearty souls seemed to have a great time walking from one end to the other on a awesome (but sloppy!) trail.

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When a CO takes up a whole trail with poor quality caches designed for groups of cachers to experience comraderie (i.e. not about the cache itself), that leaves me out. I'm deaf and have to read lips. I'm walking ahead but looking back to get a view of a face which means I'm more likely to trip over roots and rocks (or not participate in the conversation). Plus it gets tiring reading lips for more then about a half hour (and that's in ideal conditions). So I'm better off walking quietly on my own (with my dog). If the CO places swag size quality containers (which protect the swag from water damage), the group cachers can enjoy the numbers aspect and the comraderie aspect of the caching experience and so can someone like me who's deaf, caches alone and doesn't cache for the numbers. Otherwise I feel left out of that rail to trail experience. Sure I could just walk the rail to trail but I need the incentive of a potential quality cache experience.

Edited by Solitario R

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I can't speak for others, but I don not believe power trails are placed primarily for social caching. I just believe they are good for social caching.

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I think this thread by nature of the title is doomed to end up in a discussion of what constitutes a quality cache. I think you are going to have problems getting people to agree on what constitutes a quality cache.

Edited by Keith Watson

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I think this thread by nature of the title is doomed to end up in a discussion of what constitutes a quality cache. I think you are going to have problems getting people to agree on what constitutes a quality cache.

 

Well since you asked: (This is from another forum but I tend to agree and would add that it should be a good sized container that can hold swag- i.e. not a micro or nano. I take my kids out caching and there is no fun for them in a micro or nano.

 

I hope that every cache will have all of the following:

Pleasant setting

Good coordinates

The cache and its contents are in good condition, clean and dry

Prompt owner maintenance, when required

Appropriate attributes

Appropriate terrain rating.

A good hint that helps find the cache. Not a "You don't need a hint" or "Email me for a hint" hint.

I appreciate the following but do not expect all caches to have all of them.

A pen or pencil in the cache

A decent logbook and not a logsheet (unless it's a micro or nano)

 

Favourite points:

The more items under the previous heading that a cache has, the more likely it is that I will award it a favourite point. I also consider the following:

A scenic or historic location

Clever cache container

Clever hide

A cache that makes me laugh out loud.

An artistic/crafty cache in a pleasant location.

A letterbox with a hand carved stamp in a pleasant location.

A multi that has a pleasant setting, where the owner lets you know how many stages and how much walking or driving is involved, with relatively easy to find stages that, ideally, don't break the multi if they go missing.

 

Seems like a good start to me.

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The list says nothing about a preferred size. Not everyone enjoys a cache the same way. I would not use that as a ranking of quality. That would be like saying a s cache is poor quality because I don't like 4km hikes to find one cache.

Edited by Keith Watson

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I mentioned that I have a preferred size at the beginning of that last post. That is of course my personal preference because I tend to cache with my young kids- and they really enjoy trading swag, finding trackables etc...

I think the list is a good guide to consider for Cache owners though.

Just food for thought.

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And that is why determining cache quality is a problem. It comes down to personal preference. It is not something that is quantifiable across different cachers or caches. If you ask me for quality caches, you may end up with something you don't agree with. Size alone does not affect what i think about a cache.

Edited by Keith Watson

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And that is why determining cache quality is a problem. It comes down to personal preference. It is not something that is quantifiable across different cachers or caches. If you ask me for quality caches, you may end up with something you don't agree with. Size alone does not affect what i think about a cache.

 

You are absolutely correct, Keith, that quality is a subjective matter. For the purposes of this thread, the OP has defined what constitutes a quality cache:

 

I know of only one power trail in the area where most of the caches are water tight swag-size caches (i.e. you can leave at least a couple of travelbugs). Plus there's some variety to the types of hides and styles. That would be the Kissing Bridge power trail between Guelph and Millbank. Does anyone know of any other PTs in the area that are well maintained, use watertight containers, mostly travelbug size containers with a variety of cache hides and styles?

 

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And that is why determining cache quality is a problem. It comes down to personal preference. It is not something that is quantifiable across different cachers or caches. If you ask me for quality caches, you may end up with something you don't agree with. Size alone does not affect what i think about a cache.

 

You are absolutely correct, Keith, that quality is a subjective matter. For the purposes of this thread, the OP has defined what constitutes a quality cache:

 

I know of only one power trail in the area where most of the caches are water tight swag-size caches (i.e. you can leave at least a couple of travelbugs). Plus there's some variety to the types of hides and styles. That would be the Kissing Bridge power trail between Guelph and Millbank. Does anyone know of any other PTs in the area that are well maintained, use watertight containers, mostly travelbug size containers with a variety of cache hides and styles?

 

 

To expand on the above, what I mean is ideally the cache should be swag size to please the widest audience, but a watertight micro used appropriately (where a larger cache won't fit) can also be a quality cache hide. For example, from the photos I saw on the canoe PT, some of the locations on the water would not support a swag size cache so a bison tube makes more sense (e.g. a stone pillar in the water that once supported a bridge). But to place a micro in the hollow of a tree that could easily support an ammo can would not be a quality cache hide and to repeat this 100 times every 161m would not make for a quality PT trail, because it lacks variety and excludes people who enjoy the fuller caching experience.

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Here is a sampling of logs from one of my caches. It is part of a series of I believe over 70 caches along a rail trail. The last log I really enjoyed. Some of them also indicate the enjoyment of them by children. The section placed by me are mostly bison tubes that almost all of them can be reached without leaving the trail thus preventing the formation of geo-trails and other damage caused by cachers venturing further off trail to find a larger cache.

 

"Thanks for all the great hides along this trail!!"

 

"A lovely and uniformly well-maintained series. All caches were in good shape, with clean and crisp logbooks and good camo."

 

"Huge thanks for creating and maintaining the trail caches - I really enjoyed them!"

 

"We had a couple of bike problems on the way but saw some great scenery along the trail."

 

"Thanks for another great Mountain Series cache."

 

"I had a great time and enjoyed the hike, the caches, the companions, and the weather. It was a super day. Thanks for the cache, the visit to the mountains, and your contribution to our fun day."

 

"All the caches are well maintained and enjoyed checking out the great photos on the cache description page almost as much as the hike to the cache. Thanks for the series."

 

"Had a great night of caching with Sestary, RngrRngr, and ska8terdude1356. Thanks for the fun!"

 

"Our thanks to all of the cache owners for their time and effort in placing and maintaining the caches. It all made for a great day of caching for us"

 

"Thanks to all for this great series."

 

"Great series..thank you so much for putting it together. My munchkins loved the bike ride along this trail."

 

"We've been looking forward to this biking/caching trail for a while, and it turned out to be a wonderful day. We met 3 groups of muggles along the trail, and I couldn't resist sharing my enthusiasm for geocaching with them. The first couple we met kept leapfrogging us as we stopped to find caches, so I decided to let them in on what we were doing. They hadn't heard of geocaching before today, but after a short explanation and demonstration they seemed very enthusiastic. Definitely potential cachers in the making.

 

The second group we encountered was a family of 4 hiking along the trail. We leapfrogged them a few times, so once again I explained that we were geocaching. They had heard of geocaching before but had never tried it, so I handed over my gps and let them give it a shot. The boys were concentrating on the screen a bit to much and walked right past it, but the dad spotted it immediately. A successful first find! They all had big smiles on their faces and thought it was "awesome" and "cool" to find a container filled with goodies out in the wild. Another successful introduction to geocaching!

 

They third group we met was a large family of about a dozen people enjoying a picnic right at the ground zero of (visit link) (1 of 7: Kambei Shimada). Belle and I were tempted to skip the cache and just continue along the trail, but I had such a fantastic time sharing my passion for geocaching with the other 2 groups, I figured I'd give it another shot. I walked over, told them we were geocaching and that there was a geocache hidden very nearby. Again, they all seemed very intrigued and even offered to help in our search. It was fun to see such a large group of people climbing all over the rock outcropping, searching for the cache. I was hoping one of them would make the find, but in the end I found it. Hopefully, another group of muggles converted to geocaching!

 

Thanks for the great set of caches along this trail which contributed to our very memorable day!"

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Here is a sampling of logs from one of my caches. It is part of a series of I believe over 70 caches along a rail trail. The last log I really enjoyed. Some of them also indicate the enjoyment of them by children. The section placed by me are mostly bison tubes that almost all of them can be reached without leaving the trail thus preventing the formation of geo-trails and other damage caused by cachers venturing further off trail to find a larger cache.

 

"Thanks for all the great hides along this trail!!"

 

"A lovely and uniformly well-maintained series. All caches were in good shape, with clean and crisp logbooks and good camo."

 

"Huge thanks for creating and maintaining the trail caches - I really enjoyed them!"

 

"We had a couple of bike problems on the way but saw some great scenery along the trail."

 

"Thanks for another great Mountain Series cache."

 

"I had a great time and enjoyed the hike, the caches, the companions, and the weather. It was a super day. Thanks for the cache, the visit to the mountains, and your contribution to our fun day."

 

"All the caches are well maintained and enjoyed checking out the great photos on the cache description page almost as much as the hike to the cache. Thanks for the series."

 

"Had a great night of caching with Sestary, RngrRngr, and ska8terdude1356. Thanks for the fun!"

 

"Our thanks to all of the cache owners for their time and effort in placing and maintaining the caches. It all made for a great day of caching for us"

 

"Thanks to all for this great series."

 

"Great series..thank you so much for putting it together. My munchkins loved the bike ride along this trail."

 

"We've been looking forward to this biking/caching trail for a while, and it turned out to be a wonderful day. We met 3 groups of muggles along the trail, and I couldn't resist sharing my enthusiasm for geocaching with them. The first couple we met kept leapfrogging us as we stopped to find caches, so I decided to let them in on what we were doing. They hadn't heard of geocaching before today, but after a short explanation and demonstration they seemed very enthusiastic. Definitely potential cachers in the making.

 

The second group we encountered was a family of 4 hiking along the trail. We leapfrogged them a few times, so once again I explained that we were geocaching. They had heard of geocaching before but had never tried it, so I handed over my gps and let them give it a shot. The boys were concentrating on the screen a bit to much and walked right past it, but the dad spotted it immediately. A successful first find! They all had big smiles on their faces and thought it was "awesome" and "cool" to find a container filled with goodies out in the wild. Another successful introduction to geocaching!

 

They third group we met was a large family of about a dozen people enjoying a picnic right at the ground zero of (visit link) (1 of 7: Kambei Shimada). Belle and I were tempted to skip the cache and just continue along the trail, but I had such a fantastic time sharing my passion for geocaching with the other 2 groups, I figured I'd give it another shot. I walked over, told them we were geocaching and that there was a geocache hidden very nearby. Again, they all seemed very intrigued and even offered to help in our search. It was fun to see such a large group of people climbing all over the rock outcropping, searching for the cache. I was hoping one of them would make the find, but in the end I found it. Hopefully, another group of muggles converted to geocaching!

 

Thanks for the great set of caches along this trail which contributed to our very memorable day!"

 

I have to agree with the folks that are especially pleased with the maintenance. Well maintained caches are appreciated and those comments prove it. There are levels of quality and maintenance is up there in importance.

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Well, I visited the Lingham Trail on the weekend.

 

From a "quality" standpoint:

 

Container Size - 95% of the caches are micros that could contain a small geocoin.

Hide variety - types - 95% of the caches are hidden in a similar manner

Hide variety - styles - 95% of the caches were hidden the same way, with the major variant being elevation.

Maintenance - 100% of the caches were dry and in good condition

Interesting spot - Once you've started down the trail, it gets pretty similar. It's a trail in the woods. Local highlights are not specifically identified by the caches that are part of the power trail.

 

So, reading the above it sure sounds like a crappy power trail that has no redeeming qualities.

Except.

 

The day was one of the better geocaching outings that I have had in the last six months or so. While I am disappointed to see there's at least one "1 of 57 for the day" log now posted on the established cache that was there before the Power Trail, this particular trail nailed it on one major aspect, that I don't get on a rail trail like the Caledon Trailway. It wasn't the social aspect so much. For most of the day I hiked the trail with one other person, and only encountered groups here and there, for a few minutes at a time.

 

Why does this power trail deserve a "quality" recommendation to me?

 

That feeling of exploration.

 

I spent the day wandering an unfamiliar trail, and just when you would think it's going to get monotonous - my complaint about power trails in general - something interesting comes along. A river crossing. A fantastic picnic spot by a lake/dam. A well established hunt camp. The hits just kept coming. I got to lose myself in the wilderness, and that sort of appealed to me. I found 36 caches and took about 500 photos along the way.

 

So, while the power trail would strike out when measured with the quality stick as defined in this thread, it is still one I would recommend to those prepared for the adventure.

 

Which brings me back to what Keith and Ralph and others have been saying. It's hard to measure quality. Keith's Mountain series would fall into the lack of quality bucket for the fact it's typically a bison in a tree, yet they are well maintained bison tubes, with good write-ups - good write ups are just as important as placement to me - and I have to remind myself. I know every inch of the Caledon Trailway by heart. Most people who don't live nearby don't and they get to experience the feeling of exploration just as much. That makes it a "quality" series for the seekers who have stated so much in their logs.

 

So I'm going to fall back to the position of, simply asking power trail owners (or simply cache owners in general) to maintain their caches and have accurate co-ordinates. The rest is up to the person who wants to seek.

Edited by northernpenguin

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Well, I visited the Lingham Trail on the weekend.

I was there too with Micd, bggy, MrPirateCat and Team Goju and did the entire trail. I had an awesome time, adventure, fun and challenge. I am glad I was convinced and encouraged to go. If the power trail was not there, I would not have gone. The first 6+ hours we did in the dark so what we saw was limited, with the rest during the day in just over 17 hrs, so on the way out we saw what we didn’t see on the way in.

 

Scenery that stood out as memorable for me was tornado alley with the view to the large hill on the other side, the bridge a few km in, the hunt camps, the dam and lake, the cache on the island, the beaver dam to bushwacker, the long beaver dam to almost bushwacked. The many large and interesting rock formations, a couple of which I gave a closer look with a sense of curiosity, the bicycle. However it was just a long walk in the woods. What made this for me, was not the caches or location, but the people I was with sharing in the challenge of doing it all.

 

The only bad thing that I did not like about the whole experience was all of the negativity and nay sayers that was going on leading up to the day. It was bordering on the ridiculous as many others agreed with. Many people said this was not possible, or that it was dangerous, etc. People were clearly missing the whole point of this. I knew what I was capable of and knew that this would be no problem for me. I realized that all the people that said it wasn’t possible are those that could not do a 35-40km hike, but I know I can and have many times. Most people I know can’t hike that distance and that is fine, but there’s no reason to bring others down. I also had confidence in my friends that were with me. And most importantly, I never had a doubt in my mind that I couldn't do it...having a positive attitude and determination is everything in order to be successful. If I had any doubts of the possibility of not doing it, I never would have attempted it. I went 25km all alone to the highest mountain in Newfoundland and I was able to do it since I knew I could and this was one of the best experiences I ever had in my life.

 

The day was one of the better geocaching outings that I have had in the last six months or so. While I am disappointed to see there's at least one "1 of 57 for the day" log now posted on the established cache that was there before the Power Trail, this particular trail nailed it on one major aspect, that I don't get on a rail trail like the Caledon Trailway. It wasn't the social aspect so much. For most of the day I hiked the trail with one other person, and only encountered groups here and there, for a few minutes at a time.

I assume that was directed to me. My log on Bushwacker was as follows

Found at 8:52am.

Find #47 of 57 along these trail today.

This is exactly what I felt that cache deserved as there is absolutely nothing special about this one to make it stand out compared to the other ones. If this one deserves more of a log or a favourite point then the 2 caches past Bushwacker would deserve it even more. Bushwacker is a walk in the woods for a PB jar (with a hole in it) that hasn’t received the maintenance it needed since it was first mentioned. It is not even a 5/5. If anything a 1/4…we saw it from 20m away as we were approaching. But rating are subjective as is quality. But there are people who are happy to have found that one, including the cachers I was with and I respect that.

 

Why does this power trail deserve a "quality" recommendation to me?

I’ve done a lot of thinking on how to define quality since these 2 threads were posted. For me I would define quality as the overall experience I have. In this case I had an extremely quality experience. It was not about the caches that we found but about the people I was with and the challenge that we took part in to do it and the satisfaction of succeeding. Whether a cache is a micro or an ammo can would make absolutely no difference. I looked more forward to finding the Team Goju caches that he placed along the trail than I did to finding Bushwacker or the other caches here.

I also have to wonder about people who complain about caches. If you are not enjoying caches that you find, don’t find them. Northernpenguin enjoys the hikes so that is the type of caches he does as opposed to the drivebys. Lone R (OP) enjoys the larger containers that are maintained well so that is what she looks for when picking caches to find. All I ask is don’t put down certain types of caches because you may not enjoy them, as there are others who do. For me, I enjoy them all. I like the variety. There are not many times in my 9+ years of caching that I haven’t enjoyed. There are some days that I am caching and these days are rare, that I may not enjoy the caches or caching experience that I am having and in that case I stop and go home. Me personally, doing the same type of caches every time I go caching doesn’t sound too exciting and even boarding on the monotonous. The one thing I know for sure that I do not enjoy and that is caching alone. I enjoy caching with my wife and kids, with friends and in groups. It’s all about enjoying the day and the experience. A couple weeks ago I enjoyed going caching with my daughter and wife doing driveby caches in the rain. Last summer when we were vacationing in Newfoundland, it seemed like an unusual high # of caches were wet inside. That didn’t bother us, as we just enjoyed the experience of being able to cache in a place we have never cached in before. People that know me, know I don’t let things bother me. I am all for just enjoying things and having fun doing so.

 

And finally, it’s not all about the numbers, but numbers ARE part of the game, whether it be the number of finds, the number of smiles that caches put on your face, the number of great people you get to know, the number of places you discover if it wasn’t for geocaching…the list goes on.

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Well, I visited the Lingham Trail on the weekend.

 

From a "quality" standpoint:

 

Container Size - 95% of the caches are micros that could contain a small geocoin.

Hide variety - types - 95% of the caches are hidden in a similar manner

Hide variety - styles - 95% of the caches were hidden the same way, with the major variant being elevation.

Maintenance - 100% of the caches were dry and in good condition

Interesting spot - Once you've started down the trail, it gets pretty similar. It's a trail in the woods. Local highlights are not specifically identified by the caches that are part of the power trail.

 

So, reading the above it sure sounds like a crappy power trail that has no redeeming qualities.

Except.

 

The day was one of the better geocaching outings that I have had in the last six months or so. While I am disappointed to see there's at least one "1 of 57 for the day" log now posted on the established cache that was there before the Power Trail, this particular trail nailed it on one major aspect, that I don't get on a rail trail like the Caledon Trailway. It wasn't the social aspect so much. For most of the day I hiked the trail with one other person, and only encountered groups here and there, for a few minutes at a time.

 

Why does this power trail deserve a "quality" recommendation to me?

 

That feeling of exploration.

 

I spent the day wandering an unfamiliar trail, and just when you would think it's going to get monotonous - my complaint about power trails in general - something interesting comes along. A river crossing. A fantastic picnic spot by a lake/dam. A well established hunt camp. The hits just kept coming. I got to lose myself in the wilderness, and that sort of appealed to me. I found 36 caches and took about 500 photos along the way.

 

So, while the power trail would strike out when measured with the quality stick as defined in this thread, it is still one I would recommend to those prepared for the adventure.

 

Which brings me back to what Keith and Ralph and others have been saying. It's hard to measure quality. Keith's Mountain series would fall into the lack of quality bucket for the fact it's typically a bison in a tree, yet they are well maintained bison tubes, with good write-ups - good write ups are just as important as placement to me - and I have to remind myself. I know every inch of the Caledon Trailway by heart. Most people who don't live nearby don't and they get to experience the feeling of exploration just as much. That makes it a "quality" series for the seekers who have stated so much in their logs.

 

So I'm going to fall back to the position of, simply asking power trail owners (or simply cache owners in general) to maintain their caches and have accurate co-ordinates. The rest is up to the person who wants to seek.

 

Thanks for this report. It looks like variety is another key ingredient. If not variety of the cache containers and hide styles, then variety of the scenery along the way. And maintenance plays another key role. It's always nice to find dry caches in good condition.

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The only bad thing that I did not like about the whole experience was all of the negativity and nay sayers that was going on leading up to the day. It was bordering on the ridiculous as many others agreed with. Many people said this was not possible, or that it was dangerous, etc. People were clearly missing the whole point of this. I knew what I was capable of and knew that this would be no problem for me. I realized that all the people that said it wasn't possible are those that could not do a 35-40km hike, but I know I can and have many times. Most people I know can't hike that distance and that is fine, but there's no reason to bring others down. I also had confidence in my friends that were with me. And most importantly, I never had a doubt in my mind that I couldn't do it...having a positive attitude and determination is everything in order to be successful. If I had any doubts of the possibility of not doing it, I never would have attempted it. I went 25km all alone to the highest mountain in Newfoundland and I was able to do it since I knew I could and this was one of the best experiences I ever had in my life.

 

Ralph, when the trip was being planned the lightness of this winter had not been established yet. Normally you should have expected 3 feet of snow on the trail, not 3 inches. We were all incredibly lucky to have the winter conditions that we experienced.

 

Planning is required for any winter backcountry trip be that 500 metres or 50 kilometres. Do something stupid and you're not coming out of there. That's the part that makes it dangerous.

Now, you proved it was possible to hike in and out in one day and you should be proud of your accomplishment. But some of the negative thinking was constructive and intended to assist in worst case planning.

 

Always hope for the best but plan for the worst. Double true in the back country.

 

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And finally, it's not all about the numbers, but numbers ARE part of the game, whether it be the number of finds, the number of smiles that caches put on your face, the number of great people you get to know, the number of places you discover if it wasn't for geocaching…the list goes on.

 

Exactly.

# of smiles / outing is my favourite metric these days

 

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