Geocaching,  Travel

Water’s Edge: A Virtual Geocache

When you think of a virtual geocache, you most often think of something that’s quick and easy to find. Maybe you just need to take a picture or email the cache owner the answer to a simple question that can be found at ground zero.

You usually don’t think of a 3.5 terrain multi stage virtual. But that’s exactly what Water’s Edge is. I saw this cache on my map every time I looked in the area, and for years I’d been putting it off. I mean a 4-mile hike for one smiley? Who does that?

Geneva Lake

But I knew inevitably I would have to complete this cache one day. It is a Virtual, and it is from 2002. It would have to be found eventually.

And it finally happened. Scott and I headed up to Lake Geneva, WI a few weeks ago specifically with this Virtual cache as our main target.

We headed out on the trail having absolutely no idea what to expect. The only thing we knew going into it was that we had to walk along the lakefront and answer several questions at waypoints along the way. I had no idea that this cache would inevitably end up being one of my favorite virtual caches of all time.

The weather turned out to be better than expected, with temperatures in the mid 60s and even some sun peeking out from behind the clouds. I fully expected the trail to be extremely muddy with all the rain we’d had lately. But I was pleasantly surprised that the majority of the trail was mostly dry and very well-maintained by the homeowners whose property the trail passes through.

Lake Shore Path

That’s right, this trail runs right through private property. It’s actually a 2-foot wide right-of-way that runs around the entire 27-mile perimeter of Lake Geneva. The homeowners around the lake are kind enough to allow hikers, runners, and explores alike travel through and across their property.

For this cache, we walked along only two of those 27 miles. And those two miles surprisingly consisted of many different terrains and surroundings. There was beach. There was forest. There was boardwalk. There was a stone path. Sometimes we were right close to the lake practically touching the water, and other times we were 12 to 15 feet above the shoreline.

My favorite part of this hike was seeing the varied real estate along the shoreline of the lake. There were small beach houses and massive sprawling estates.

One of those estates was, I believe, the whole reason the cache owner brought us here. The last stage is something special, and it wasn’t immediately obvious who the property belongs to. With some quick research and chatting up the neighbor, who just happened to be outside doing yard work, we were able to figure out which prominent Chicago family calls this home. (The above photo is not the final waypoint of the virtual.)

If you ever find yourself in the lovely town of Lake Geneva, WI and have a couple hours to spare, I highly recommend checking out Water’s Edge. What cache did you put off, only to end up loving it?

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