The Geocaching Capital of the Midwest
Why is West Bend, Wisconsin the Geocaching capital of the Midwest? Follow along as we take on the Geocaching Capital of the Midwest via the Four Seasons GeoTour and beyond.
By GCache Method
West Bend is an easy drive from my home in Chicagoland, as it is just 30 miles north of Milwaukee. It didn’t take a lot of convincing to get my best geocaching buddy, Donny_JGC to agree to a two-night Wisconsin adventure to the Geocaching Capital of the Midwest. We arrived in the Geocaching capital of the Midwest and headed straight for the first cache on the GeoTour. GCTOUR1 was the perfect place to begin our visit to West Bend, as the Chamber of Commerce is a wealth of information on the area and even gave us a Four Season GeoTour game card!
The Four Seasons GeoTour consists of 20 caches which took us on a highlights tour of West Bend. The stops included points of interest, beautiful parks and even historic burial grounds. We spent most of the first day working our way through the tour. Learning there are more than 1,700 caches within a 10 mile radius of downtown, we were easily distracted by several caches that were not a part of the tour.
After a pretty successful run, we decided to head to our campground and get set up. We grilled hamburgers in the Dutch oven which was quick and delicious. After dinner, we decided to take advantage of the long summer day and head back out to grab a few more caches. We wrapped up day one with:
Total Finds for Day One: 16
Total steps / miles hiked: 13,324 = 5.99 miles
Favorite Find: WBGT01: Historic Frisby House because
“West Bend is the Geocaching Capital of the Midwest, boasting over 1,600 caches within a 10-mile radius”
Day Two – We awoke to another beautiful summer day. I whipped up the classic power breakfast in our trusty Dutch oven, sausage, hash browns, eggs, and biscuits. Delicious and plenty of calories to fuel our day. We set out to take on the remaining caches in the GeoTour but we also agreed to be flexible and open to other finds as they caught our interest.
Throughout the morning, we noticed a series of Star Wars-themed caches developed for Cache Bash in 2017, Cache Bash’s 10th anniversary. Donny_JGD suggested we attempt a multi-cache which had a high number of favorite points, GC# Where’s Han Solo. After following the trail and collecting clues along the way, we found Han, but unfortunately arrived too late, and he was frozen in carbonite. This one ranked among both of our favorites.
After the Star Wars excitement, we took a break from caching and did some mountain biking. We drove to New Fane Trail Area, which is part of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. We spent several hours bombing around their four mountain biking trails. Although we were having a blast navigating the trails, we worked up quite an appetite and decided it was time to refuel.
First Timer Tip: In addition to earning points for each GeoTour cache found, you can also collect points for eating at certain restaurants. Donny_JCD selected Pizza Ranch so we could get the sticker and points towards the GeoTour game.
As we sat at dinner scouring the area for our next target, we discovered something we had never seen before. It was an Artifical Intelligence Cache (AI) that required us to download a third party app, which we quickly did. This AI cache was conveniently located in the Pizza Ranch parking lot. To log the find, the Artificial Intelligence cache had a magician character who interacted with us and asked a series of multiple choice questions. The questions weren’t easy, and you had to answer ten questions correctly in order to log the cache. As we worked our way through the questions, we started to encounter a weird glitch. We couldn’t keep track of the magician on our screen and therefore couldn’t read or answer the questions. Since each question had a time limit, we kept timing out. Unfortunately, we DNF’d our first AI cache. As of this posting, these caches have been grandfathered and are still available to try. I encourage you to go for it!
After dinner, we cached a bit more to end day two with:
Total Finds for Day Two: 42
Total steps / miles hiked: 13, 570 = 6.15 miles
Total miles biked: 7
Favorite Find of the Day: GC73GXF because it was a super fun multi-cache with a huge payoff at the end! May the Force be with you!
Day Three – Sunday was the final day of our Geocaching capital of the Midwest adventure, so we decided to try something different. A challenge! We were curious to know how quickly we could capture ten smiley finds. We pointed our Geomobile towards one of several Power-caching trails. The one we selected was called “#Chunks of Cheese.” According to the description, a hunk of Cheese is a unit of measurement in the dairy industry. We captured ten caches in exactly 30 minutes!
We went on to capture several more caches and ended our day at WBGT18 which is a clever cache along the Kettle Morraine bike path.
We had successfully found 19 of the 20 caches in the GeoTour and decided to save the last find four our next visit.
Total Finds for Day Three: 17
Total steps / miles hiked: 6,696 / 3.0
Favorite find: WBGT18 which was also a milestone for me number 800!
Please support this blog by shopping
Maintaining a blog is not free. To help offset some of the expense, I have links to REI’s online store. You can support my work by clicking this ad and making a purchase. I may receive a small commission and I really appreciate your support.
Plan Your Visit to West Bend- The first 1,000 cachers to complete the GeoTour will receive a GeoCoin. In order to qualify for the GeoCoin, you must score a minimum of 25 points on the game card. You can only score 20 points by completing the 20 cache tour. So there a couple of other ways to earn points are by staying at certain area hotels and eating at participating restaurants.
West Bend has been hosting the $1000 Cache Bash for more than ten years. Cache Bash brings thousands of cachers together in a themed celebration each August.
My stats for the Weekend: 74 finds including 19 of 20 GeoTour finds
Total steps / miles hiked: 33,590 / 16,795 miles
Total miles biked: 7
• Achieved 10 Caches in 30 minutes
• Hit my personal milestone of 800 finds
• West Bend in the summer gets a Favorite Point
GCACHE METHOD is about Geocaching and the amazing places that I discover while I am out playing the game. Finding the hidden object is only half the fun. Visiting awesome new places is the real treasure.
I invite you to follow me @GCACHE.Method on Instagram. If you enjoyed this blog post, please sign up to be on my mailing list or follow along at CampMethod.com