View Full Version : Appalachian trail caches

07-04-2005, 10:01 PM
Had someone ask me today about hiding caches, didn't get his name, but he asked who does one ask for permission to hide a cache along the appalachian trail. I told him I wasn't sure.

I have looked at the maps and there looks to be some great scenic spots to hide a cache. I would be curious for future reference if anyone knows who to ask about this or does one need to?? I have read numerous pages on the web site which says to obtain permission from the landowner or managing agency of the land, but how does one determine who that is??

Thanks for the help.


P.S. He saw my license plate "GEOHIKE" and realized I was a cacher, had that happen a few times lately.

07-04-2005, 10:44 PM
wbdent**** You have hit a spot that holds true to me on this. But this is my opinion and I am sure that the ATC would agree with me if asked.

wbdent**** I would discourage hiding caches on the Appalachian Trail for the fact that it is hard enough to keep the trail maintained now with the maintenance required on it each year. If you have any doubts about how much maintenance is done each year on the trail get a hold of one of the Appalachian Trail clubs and talk to them.

wbdent**** You are absolutely right there are lots of places that would be awesome spots to put them on the trail here in Maine. I could list over 100 probably off the top of my head right now. But this would encourage people to leave the trail and rummage through the woods and underbrush destroying parts of the trail. Right now the ATC and all the clubs try to discourage even leaving the trail during a hike. It is called Leave No Trace. I know that talking to them about placing a cache would be out of the question. I personally would strongly discourage it unless it was a virtual cache.

wbdent To answer your question I think one would need to contact the ATC in Harpers Ferry.

07-05-2005, 07:10 AM prohibits caches on land maintained by the US National Park Service. The Appalacian Scenic Trail is one of those. I ran into this problem when I placed my "Moxie Trail Crossing" cache (someone jumped all over me about it...) and we later moved it to make sure it was not in the trail's right of way.

07-05-2005, 11:15 AM
When I was in Virginia recently looking for a few caches I found that there were many geocaches located along the AT there. I wonder if those caches were placed without permission? Here is a few caches that I came across: ( ( ( (

07-05-2005, 12:23 PM
There are 2 in Maine on the AT that come to mind that I have done.

#1 Twisted Sister Cedar Stump cache in Monson

# 2 Bemis on Rt 17 south of Rangeley

07-05-2005, 12:31 PM
One thing I've noticed is that precedence is meaningless at You won't get anywhere with a reviewer by citing someone else's bad idea. Once they decide not to allow something, they don't always archive the old way, but they do not allow it to happen again.

You could make an Earthcache. With an Earthcache, there is no need to leave the trail or cause any damage other that what is normally done by hiking.

But, all Earthcaches are virtuals, so you won't be able to trade McToys on the trail. And, you must be able to use the place as a means to explain something about earth science. This is usually not a problem as most spectacular places are that way due to some kind of interesting natural phenomenon.

If a cache places an undue burden on the AT, why is it ok to place them on any trail? Iím not suggesting that we should place regular caches anywhere they are not allowed, but rather asking if we are doing wrong by placing caches on heavily used trails. Perhaps the rules need to do more to require and enforce using durable surfaces for access?

07-05-2005, 12:37 PM
Fallen Arch in Carabasset Valley is another on the AT. And has been in VERY poor condition for quite some time.

07-05-2005, 12:41 PM
Yes that is right,I forgot about that one.I have found that also.

07-05-2005, 01:55 PM
I think Geocache (
is probably on the AT as well - depends on how wide the ROW is at this point. You have to go up the AT to get to it...


07-05-2005, 05:31 PM
So I guess I have to agree with TAT. Why wouldn't any trail be off limits? Why is it OK to place a cache on someone elses land then let cachers tear up there property? Kinda the same thing isn't it? We all try to put things back where we found them but you can still see where they have been. Caches that have been placed for awhile usually have a path beaten to them. While it would be nice to think that cachers "leave no trace" the foot path to a cache are a "trace". This is one of those things where will it truely make that much difference to the enviroment if a few cachers go to a cache. If it does then I recommend Virts for everything and do away with the McToys. If a cache was expected to have hundreds of cachers visit it then I would worry.

Team Nirvana
07-05-2005, 06:17 PM
As far as leaving no trace, I always try to take an unorthodox path far away from a cache (when I leave) instead of the easy trail out so as to make it as challenging for the next cacher to find. When I get to within 50 or 100 feet of a cache, I carefully observe for evidence of disturbance to find a cache. This technique dosen't work at places like "Stacked on the Stillwater" or "Battleship". Your 'on your own' when you get there.

07-05-2005, 06:50 PM
I think you do a good job of LNT on your Nightmare caches too if you ask :D

07-05-2005, 08:13 PM
wbdent As of right now the following caches are on the AT in Maine. Bemis, Fallen arch, Sights to Bewhole(mystery puzzle cache), Twister Sister Cedar Stump, Old Speck Specticle(unavailable).

07-05-2005, 08:26 PM
I think Geocache (
is probably on the AT as well - depends on how wide the ROW is at this point. You have to go up the AT to get to it...


Bruce I think you have this cache confused with another one. The closest this cache is to the AT in a direct line is 8.5 miles.

07-06-2005, 06:06 AM
Bruce I think you have this cache confused with another one. The closest this cache is to the AT in a direct line is 8.5 miles.

You may be right. I know there was one cache which we had to literally just step off the trail to find - in that area - but I can't seem to find it now. Maybe it was archived... :confused:

07-06-2005, 06:13 AM
OK - I found it - it was "Fallen Arch", which has already been mentioned. :o

07-12-2006, 11:38 AM
I have done some research on this and if you follow's rules you are not allowed to place caches on the Appalachian Trail. There is not variations to it. The answer is NO.

07-12-2006, 03:49 PM
What exactly is the "right of way" for the appalation trail? We just did fallen arch, and it's a actually a fair distance (apx 200') from the trail. You don't even have to go on the trail to get it if you bushwhacked from parking (apx. 550'). Of course, caches placed like this, if they were off the right of way of the AT, would have to have permission from the owner of the land it is on. Just curious...

07-12-2006, 04:23 PM
What exactly is the "right of way" for the appalation trail?

The trail corridor varies quite a bit. I'd call my dad (he laid out most of the corridor in Maine) but he's overseas giving some trail guidance in Lebanon. (They want to build a national trail system, beautiful mountain ranges if you can avoid getting blown up)
I think in narrow areas (abutting private lands) there is a minimum of 100-200', but in areas where encroachment would affect the views it can be 1/4 mile. Again, I'm just remembering stuff on his drafting table from the late '70s/early '80s, but I know it varies dramatically.

07-20-2006, 07:02 PM
Did I just see your Dad on the news? Praise the Lord he is out of there safe and sound if so! God Bless him!

07-20-2006, 07:04 PM
Did I just see your Dad on the news? Praise the Lord he is out of there safe and sound if so! God Bless him!

He got back late last night, and is happy to be home. You'd think that when someone retires they try to relax, not leave the next week for an adventure like that!!!

07-21-2006, 09:44 AM
When they were showing the chick at the airport looking for the family, I kept saying where's Andy??? I don't see him! Then fell promptly asleep so didn't know until yesterday pm that all was well. But am glad to hear it.

07-21-2006, 10:44 AM
Huh . . . I never put two and two together to figure out that the guy was your Dad Andy . . . I'm still waiting to hear if a friend of my wife's has got his wife and 2-year out of Lebanon . . . last I knew his wife and daughter were still stuck there.

07-22-2006, 05:39 AM
To be honest, I'm surprised that there are ANY caches on the AT. Technically, the AT and it's corridor IS a national park. National park = NO CACHES.

I've spent more time on the AT than I have geocaching, though I will admit, I have done both at the same time. : )

There are parts of the AT that are so overused that it's a disaster. Other parts, on the other hand, are so underused that the land virtually threatens to erase the trails completely.

I'm willing to guess that geocachers (going geocaching) on the AT amounts to SO little extra traffic that it's barely even measurable. Even one week of spring break students hitting the trail at the same time probably amounts to more damage and erosion than ten years worth of geocachers ever could do.

Regardless, it may not be the best place for a cache?