Fort Wilkins Historic State Park in Copper Harbor will host the park’s sixth annual Geocaching 101 event Friday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 22, during the peak of the Keweenaw Peninsula’s fall color season.

The weekend event will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21, with a campfire and complimentary bread-on-a-stick at the park’s picnic shelter. After dark, geocachers will have the opportunity to search for a temporary cache by flashlight.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, geocachers will gather at 10 a.m. at the picnic shelter to receive a cache list before heading out to find several temporary and permanent caches of varying difficulty. The caches are placed at sites with historical, geological or natural significance.

Following a day of exploring the Keweenaw Peninsula while searching for caches, park staff will host a campfire social with raffle prizes along with hot dogs, hot cider and treats.

This family-friendly and noncompetitive Geocaching 101 event is open to participants of all ages and abilities, however, participants must provide their own GPS (global positioning system). The event is free, however, a $10 Recreation Passport is required for entrance to the park.

Geocaching is a modern version of treasure hunting, where GPS coordinates are used to guide participants to the treasure, or “geocache.” The permanent caches typically contain small knickknacks and prizes for those who are able to locate it, and geocachers are encouraged to bring small items they would like to place in the cache for others to enjoy.

This event is sponsored by local businesses and the Fort Wilkins Natural History Association (FWNHA). The FWNHA is a non-profit organization that provides support to Fort Wilkins Historic State Park. For more information, visit www.FortWilkinsNHA.org.

Located in Copper Harbor at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Fort Wilkins Historic State Park features a restored 19th Century military post with daily costumed portrayals of soldiers and their families and museum exhibits enlivened by the sights and sounds of army life 160 years ago.

Fort Wilkins is one of 11 nationally-accredited museums administered by the Michigan Historical Center, an agency within the Department of Natural Resources. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the outdoor museum is open daily from 8:30 a.m. until dusk through mid-October.

For further details, contact the park at 906-289-4215, (TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired), or visit: www.michigan.gov/historicfortwilkins. Camping reservations can be made on line at www.midnrreservations.com or by calling the DNR central reservation system at 800-447-2757.

The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $10 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. In addition, Recreation Passport holders can experience real savings at businesses and retailers that participate in the Passport Perks discount program. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) at any state park or recreation area or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.

Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport. For information on Passport Perks shopping discounts or how businesses and retailers can enroll in the program, visit www.michigan.gov/passportperks.

Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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