Polk County Conservation

Geocaching

Geocaching has become a very popular activity for individuals and families to participate in. Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for GPS users. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the Internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is to leave an item if they decide to take something from the cache. Visit geocaching.com for more details.

Polk County Conservation permits geocaching in keeping with its mission to provide opportunities for safe recreational activities. Geocachers are welcome to place a cache in PCC lands as long as they comply with the requirements of the geocache permit.

Polk County Conservation Geocache Placement Site Guidelines

At this time, PCC managed areas have been placed into 2 categories. However, terrain type, sensitivity, management practices such as burning, and human impact may result in changes to category description, placement of areas in those categories, and the number of caches allowed.

Category 1 - Caches not allowed.

  • Carney Marsh (40 acres)
  • Engeldinger Marsh (214 acres)

Category 2 - Physical caches may be placed in these areas. Contact Polk County Conservation prior to development in order to inquire about any designated and/or "off limit" areas and to learn interesting facts that may enhance the educational value of your cache.

  • Beaver Creek Greenbelt (123.5 acres)
  • Brown’s Woods (484 acres)
  • Chichaqua Bottom Greenbelt (7,300 acres)
  • Chichaqua Valley Trail (20 miles)
  • Easter Lake Park (464 acres)
  • Fort Des Moines Park (island is off limits) (116 acres)
  • Four Mile Creek Greenbelt (102 acres)
  • Gay Lea Wilson Trail (7.5 miles)
  • Great Western Trail (17 miles)
  • High Trestle Trail (25 miles)
  • Jester Park (1,834 acres)
  • Mally’s Weh-Weh-Neh-Kee Park (37 acres)
  • Sycamore Trail (6.5 miles)
  • Thomas Mitchell Park (175 acres)
  • Trestle to Trestle Trail (3.75 miles)
  • Yellow Banks Park (517 acres)

The following specific conditions and provisions shall apply to those placing a geocache in an area managed by Polk County Conservation.

  1. A Geocache Placement Permit Application must be filed with and approved by Polk County Conservation (SCC) before posting the cache on a geocaching web site.
  2. At a minimum, Cache Listing Requirements/Guidelines developed by Groundspeak and posted at geocaching.com must be followed when developing a cache.
  3. All local and state laws apply.
  4. The cache container must be clearly marked on the outside with geocaching.com and the name of the cache.
  5. Permit is good from date issued to March 31 of the next year. After that date, the cache must be re-permitted or removed. If the cache owner removes the cache before the March 31 expiration date, he/she will notify PCC.
  6. PCC, through its director or designee, reserves the right to terminate this approval for placement of a geocache on PCC land for any reason at any time. Caches not in compliance with the terms of this permit will be removed from the property and this permit voided for failure to comply.
  7. We request that you monitor this cache every two months and you maintain it to be family friendly. This means the cache should contain no food, alcohol, firearms, drugs, dangerous items or adult items.
  8. We also request that you direct people seeking your cache to follow established trails most of the way to your cache. We discourage off trail hiking as it negatively impacts the environment.
  9. Each geocache placed in Polk County Parks will be given a permit number. Please include the permit number in your online description of the geocache.

Contact Us

Administration Office
11407 NW Jester Park Drive
Granger, IA 50109

P: (515) 323-5300
F: (515) 323-5354
pccb_info@polkcountyiowa.gov

Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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