Take part in the world’s biggest treasure hunt with geocaching!
Halfway between a high-tech treasure hunt and orienteering, geocaching can be enjoyed by everyone, all year round, as long as you have a GPS or a mobile phone with a built-in GPS! The geocachers scour the landscape, looking for ‘treasure’ located in geocaches, then recount their experiences online. Five caches have been set up by Picardy Wallonia’s Tourist Office - will you be able to find them?
What’s a cache?
A cache is generally a waterproof box, into which we’ve placed a certain number of objects, ranging in value. At the very least, the box contains a logbook. There are more than 400 caches spread across Picardy Wallonia, including five caches contained within the walks set out below, which are managed by the Tourist Office! It’s up to you to find them, without being exposed by the ‘muggles’, or rather, the ordinary walkers who aren’t taking part in geocaching! When you have found the cache, sign the logbook. You’re then allowed to take an object, as long as you replace it with something else. And thus, the content of the cache continually changes.
And when you get back, sign up to www.geocaching.com!
Where is the cache stashed?
A dozen types of cache exist, including the two main types in Picardy Wallonia, which are:
- The traditional cache, where the coordinates lead you directly to the ‘treasure’.
- the mystery cache, for which you first need to solve a riddle. Once you’ve found the coordinates of the cache, go and look for it with the help of a GPS receiver! Find all of the information about the different types of cache at: www.geocaching.com
Traditional cache at the Boiling Fountain in Stambruges
Starting point: N. 50°31.734 E. 3°44.094
Cache coordinates: N. 50°31.276 E. 3°44.455
Today, we’ll take you to discover one of our favourite natural wonders! Situated in the heart of the Stambruges forest area, in the Beloeil municipality, the boiling fountain is really worth the detour... According to the legend, a princess who drove past in a coach was engulfed by a body of water located in this place. Every Good Friday at midnight, the carriage floats back to the surface and you can hear the crack of the coachman’s whip at night. For the more scientific-minded amongst you, this boiling effect is, in fact, the result of a geological phenomenon: a natural gap in the earth allows the water to spurt out and ‘boil’!
Traditional cache on Mont de l’Enclus
Starting point : N. 50°45.504 E. 3°28.952
Cache coordinates : N. 50°45.518 E. 3°28.992
Adorned with cedar wood, the Hiking Lodge is the perfect starting point for an athletic discovery of Pays des Collines. The history of hiking, key places to explore, and maps are displayed in a unique setting. Specific maps and documents, information boards... everything is provided for those who love beautiful walks! Take note of the opening times: weekends and public holidays from 11am to 6pm, from April to June; everyday from 11am to 6pm in July and August.
Mystery cache on the Enlightenment Tour in Ath
Starting point : N. 50°37.723 E. 3°46.457
Ath looms at the heart of a farming region, defying the ages and the elements. An artistic and historical town, Ath hides certain treasures and ruins which bear witness to its rich and tumultuous past. The Burbant tower, the city fortifications, the abbey refuges, the churches and the old houses from the 17th and 18th centuries... it’s in this City of Giants that the Tourist Office in Picardy Wallonia offers you a new cache! Solve the riddles to find the cache coordinates.
Traditional cache on the Medicinal Plants Tour
Starting point : N. 50°44.270 E. 3°44.566
Located behind the House of Medicinal Plants, a path is dotted with original works of art, produced by two local artists, J.F. Massart and P. Jouret. The theme? Medicinal plants, of course, and the white magic which may subsequently occur... This is a tour which perfectly reflects the spirit of Pays des Collines: the (super)natural! There are signposts to help you complete the walk. After the walk, make the most of the sun-soaked terrace at the House of Medicinal Plants.
Traditional cache on the enchanted path
Starting point : N 50° 40.490’ E 003° 35.857’
Once upon a time, there was a trail, mostly through the woodlands, which has a special place in the oral tradition of Pays des Collines. In these parts, your imagination can run wild. It is said that a horde of little people are hiding along the paths, under a dead leaf, in a hollow tree trunk... You can also make the most of the stunning views offered by this 7km walk in these supernatural hills!