Some parks are experiencing large crowds on certain days. Park staff may temporarily limit access to ensure social distancing and protect the health of the public and our employees. Please understand that admission may be limited for several hours and will reopen once there is available capacity. Click here to read our coronavirus response before visiting because some facilities & activities are limited.

I discovered the majestic Appalachian Mountains through geocaching.

By Dale Elzey

My first geocaching adventure in the Appalachian Mountains was finding “Cold Cache” GC3DF1. I thought my journey would end before it started...

The main road to the top was a seasonal road and the entrance gate was closed. Totally dejected, I turned around. I remembered on my way in, I saw what appeared to be an abandoned, logging road accessing the bottom of the mountain and going up towards the geocache; so I took a chance and turned in. Needless to say, I learned a lot about geocaching and the workings of my new GPS being in the Georgia mountains. By the way, some great tips to remember: create a waypoint to get back to your vehicle. Take a backpack with necessary supplies, have TOPO maps, tell someone your plan in case cell phones can't pick up a tower, be on the lookout and prepare for encountering wild animals like bears and poisonous snakes.

My first geocaching adventure in the Appalachian Mountains was finding “Cold Cache” GC3DF1. I though my journey would end before it started. The main road to the top was a seasonal road and the entrance gate was closed. Totally dejected, I turned around. I remembered on my way in, I saw what appeared to be an abandoned, logging road accessing the bottom of the mountain and going up towards the geocache; so I took a chance and turned in. Needless to say, I learned a lot about geocaching and the workings of my new GPS being in the Georgia mountains. By the way, some great tips to remember: create a waypoint to get back to your vehicle. Take a backpack with necessary supplies, have TOPO maps, tell someone your plan in case cell phones can't pick up a tower, be on the lookout and prepare for encountering wild animals like bears and poisonous snakes.

Another very popular geocache along the Appalachian Trail is at the state line where NC and GA meet, “AT Stateline” GCTE3F. Along the Benton MacKaye Trail, I discovered Georgia's longest suspension bridge,”Toccoa Suspension Bridge“, GC2680.

The Rich Mountain WMA in the Georgia mountains is where I really discovered how intriguing the mountains can really be. This area has elevations over 4k feet with awesome scenic views. I've placed several geocaches in this WMA that take geocachers to some of the wonderful point of interests. You can find the remains of the old abandoned, wooden lookout fire tower, a military airplane crash site, a very old and a giant buckeye tree, waterfalls, abandoned homesteads, and awesome panoramic views.

Out of my 4477 geocache finds, my favorite is “Mystery of Fontana” GCX87Q. I have vivid memories of an intriguing and historic journey to that geocache.

My favorite geocaching events have been with the Georgia Geo-Campers. The GG-C camp at several state parks and in the mountains. The GG-C teamed up with Georgia State Parks and tapped into the park's program which provides guided tours by a specialist. This also allows entry into areas that are off limits for normal park visitors.

In 2011, I met with State Parks DNR Management and together we initiated two Geo-tours that highlight Georgia's State Park & Historic Sites. For more than a year, “Cloudland Canyon State Park” GC27C9Y was in the top ten 'favored' geocaches within the state of Georgia.

2011 I felt it was time to give back to the geocaching community. I was asked to take over as the Community Volunteer Reviewer for Georgia and I accepted the role. Last year, (2018) I reviewed and published 1,543 new geocaches to the GC.com site. I also have 942 trackables to be moved or discovered by those that seem them.

LZ33
Caching since 2001
Reviewer since 2011