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Central Park geocaching event drawing interest from afar

Jan. 29, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

ASHLAND -- The inaugural geocaching treasure hunt planned at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at the bandstand in Central Park is drawing interest from outside the Tri-State, said Mayor Chuck Charles.

"I've gotten emails about it from as far away as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Morgantown, W.Va.," Charles said Tuesday. "People will travel to do this. It's pretty exciting. We are looking at alternate locations if we have bad weather."

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt in which the participants use a Global Positioning System enabled device that are on most smartphones to seek out containers known as geocaches, according to a press release from Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital.

The program is designed to get people walking, Charles said. One of the goals of the program is to help fight obesity in Boyd and Greenup counties, he said.

Healthy Choices Kentucky is embracing geocaching as a means to encourage outdoor activity and exercise. It's also a good way to get people to visit downtown Ashland, he said. Healthy Choices Kentucky will host the event.

All the 15 cache sites are within walking distance of each other, according to the release. Participants need to download a geocaching app to their smartphones or use a GPS capable of downloading geocache locations to participate. Those who do not have a smartphone or GPS can still participate as the Boyd County Library will have several extra devices at the event available to check out, according to the release.

The first 100 people to successfully complete the adventure will receive a unique Ashland geocoin, Charles said.

Charles, who also is a vice president at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, said he and his family have participated in geocaching events.

More information about the event is available at www.geocaching.com, or www.healthychoiceskentucky.com.

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