Geocache / Letterbox

Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held GPS devices or by placing GPS coordinates into Google maps on smart phones. It is effectively an inexpensive, interactive, tech-related treasure hunt that’s a great way for all ages to learn geography, spend time outdoors together, and explore new sites and areas.  Participants use location coordinates to locate hidden geocache containers called caches. Once you find a cache, take a trinket and leave one of your own behind, sign the logbook, and share your experiences through

Geocache “treasure hunting” game is played in all 50 states and throughout the world by adventure seekers. Some caches are easier to find than others. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you perhaps have never been. Geocaching also has minimal impact to the environment.  

The District hosts an ongoing geocache series on conservation sites (go to, create an account and drop in zip code or area you want to treasure hunt), and hosts a GeoCache Challenge each year with a different themed geocoin as the end prize.

Cache Your Way 2022 - July 31st-November 30th.

otter coin
This year’s theme will be in recognition of the river otter returning to the Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park. Complete the sheet and earn the special coin by completing all of the caches for this year. There are a limited number of coins—first-come, first-served; 1 coin per household. All caches will be live on This is a separate series from the ongoing GeoSeries (see below).  Find us on Facebook Cache Your Way Across McHenry County Group

2022 Cache Your Way   Geo Series

Still working on the 2021 series and need a passport?  Find it here.

Cache Your Way Across McHenry County Ongoing GeoSeries
The District's ongoing GeoSeries, highlights the most scenic and diverse spots throughout Conservation District properties.  A GeoCoin is available for the completion of this program as well. To participate and earn a geo-coin, follow these simple steps:

1.) Download a McHenry County  GeoSeries Passport
2.) Go to and create a login – it’s free for basic membership!
3.) Start your search and locate a cache using a hand-held GPS unit or a GPS app on your smartphone.  Caches are clear plastic containers and will have official District labels and info cards.
4.) When you find a cache, log your name on the logbook inside. Write the answer to the question in your passport. (Information and your question is located on the cache’s page on Exception: Earthcaches*. There are no log books or containers at Earthcaches – and the two smaller-sized caches.
*If you have already found the 4 pre-existing Earthcaches you do not need to find them again! If you remember the answers, use those. If you do not, simply put the date and your geocaching ID down for staff to check the logs to see your recorded visit.
5.) Some of the caches may have travel bugs. Please move these bugs along and do not keep them! You will get your own to keep when you finish the program.

***Note on site closures or temporarily disabled caches***
If you are traveling from out of town and a cache is temporarily disabled either due to a site closure or some kind of issue with the cache, on the passport record disabled and the date. You will still be able to claim a coin!

Claiming Coins
Complete all the caches in the series and do one of the following:
In county residents should bring their passport to Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Ringwood or Prairieview Education Center in Crystal Lake to pick up their coin. Check the facility’s hours before heading out. Hours and days open vary depending on the site.
If out of county residents are not able to stop by in-person, they may E-mail a copy of the passport to and opt to have their coin mailed. 

Geocaching & Letterboxing Rules & Regulations:
  • All geocaches are required to be 12 feet or less from a designated trail.  You may leave the trail for the cache as long as you are within the 12' 
  • Geocaches may not be affixed to any natural or man-made structure with the exception of magnetic caches.  Magnetic caches cannot be placed on any electrical boxes, pipes or other mechanical structures.
  • Light pole caches ("lpc") are not allowed.
  • Certain areas may be closed to geocaching for a variety of reasons.  See the alerts page for any site closures.
  • District permission must be obtained prior to placing a cache. 

Complete list of geocaching /letterboxing rules.