"It's a fun way for residents to explore what we have here as well as to introduce visitors to all that Marion County offers," Webb said of the trail.
Participants who register online to follow that trail and find all the caches can pick up a souvenir coin at the bureau headquarters in Pleasant Valley near Fairmont.
Webb said that when he was eight years old he and his family began to explore geocaching as a pastime. They were soon engaged in weekend hunts to find the hidden caches, directions to which are usually provided by clues posted online at geocaching websites.
Much of the allure of the sport depends on detective work and the effort required to reach often-remote locations by hiking, biking, rock climbing, and kayaking. Individuals who create caches secret them in unusual locations, usually in durable containers, which finders then seek.
Over time the caches fill with tokens, notes, and memorabilia around which a sense of community builds.
"All it takes is a tank of gas," Webb says of effort needed to reach the caches the bureau has placed on its 10 site tour.
Leisha Elliot, the executive director of the bureau, says that although her organization has marketed geocaching as a travel option in Marion County for many years, she's excited to see how popular the trail has become since it was unveiled in early June.
"I'm astonished to see how many people are interested in geocaching," Elliot said. "Already more than 500 people have signed up."
For more information on the trail and to sign up, visit the geocaching page at the travel bureau website.
Marion County ghost among best known in W.Va. lore
If you've ever had the opportunity to descend into a West Virginia coal mine, you'll likely come away with a sense of the absolute darkness that exists hundreds of feet beneath the surface. Such was the haunt of Big John, whose ghost was among the state's best known. Read the full story here.
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