Geocaching in the Lake County Parks
There are twelve parks and other natural areas in the Lake County system, many of which are popular locations for geocaching. Since geocaches are generally placed off the trail, and we discourage off trail usage, we require respectful placement of caches in places where damage to the park is unlikely to occur.
- Buckley Homestead Living History Farm, Lowell, IN
- Cedar Creek Family Golf Center, Cedar Lake, IN - Geocaching is banned
- Deep River County Park, Merrillville, IN
- Deep River Waterpark, Merrillville, IN - Geocaching is banned
- Erie Lackawanna Trail - Lake County Parks manages the section between Griffith and Schererville
- Gibson Woods Nature Preserve, Hammond, IN - Geocaching is banned
- Grand Kankakee Marsh County Park, Hebron, IN - Geocaching not permitted during hunting season
- Lake Etta County Park, Gary, IN
- Lemon Lake County Park, Crown Point, IN
- Oak Ridge Prairie County Park, Griffith, IN
- Oak Savannah Trail - trailhead at Oak Ridge Prairie then east to County Line Road in Hobart, IN
- Stoney Run County Park, Leroy, IN
- Three Rivers County Park, Lake Station, IN
- Turkey Creek Golf Course, Merrillville, IN - Geocaching is banned
- Whihala Beach County Park, Whiting, IN - Geocaching is banned
Procedure for Placing a Cache in the Lake County Parks
Permission is required prior to placing a cache in any of the Lake County Parks. Geocaching is banned at Gibson Woods Nature Preserve and in certain sensitive areas of other parks as well as on the golf courses and at Deep River Waterpark.
Scout the area of the park where you wish to place a cache and then email Lake County with a request providing the specific area of a particular park for each cache. The Lake County Parks coordinator will contact the park manager who will verify the acceptability of the location(s). Do not place your cache until approval is received. Once approval is granted via email you may place the cache in the park and post it online.
- Placing and searching for geocaches may only take place during normal park hours in park areas open to the public.
- Some of the parks have parking fees when the gatekeeper is on duty. Geocachers are subject to that fee.
- Caches must be registered on the Geocaching website and must comply with all guidelines established by the website.
- Caches must not be placed so that finding them encourages park visitors to make new trails. Nor can they be placed in locations that will encourage erosion or trail damage.
- Cutting or modification of any vegetation or modification of geographical features is prohibited. Caches may not be buried, or located within a water body.
- Altering park signs, fences, posts, trails, trail markers or any park building is prohibited.
- Caches may not be placed on or near potentially hazardous locations.
- Caches must not interfere with wildlife or other park visitors.
- Caches may not contain inappropriate, hazardous or illegal materials such as flammables, explosives or food.
- Caches may not be located on or in park buildings or structures or within designated historic or cultural resource areas.
- Caches must be maintained by the owner. Caches that have been abandoned and not maintained will be considered as litter and removed.
- The Lake County Parks reserves the right to remove any cache that has been determined to be inappropriate either in location or content, hazardous or has an impact to other park visitors, park neighbors or natural or cultural resources.
- Make certain that your cache meets all the requirements and geocaching guidelines as posted online. Review these during your research. Issues of concern include cache saturation, commerciality, solicitation and long-term cache maintenance.
The staff and volunteers for the Lake County Parks and Recreation Department appreciate the efforts of the many geocachers in the park system. We have certainly seen an increase in visitation at some of the parks directly due to the placement of geocaches.