Yarmouth is home to the man who holds the Canadian record for hiding the most geocaches. Ervin Olsen (Ervined) likes to think of them as 1,213 different adventures and he takes pride in where he places his geocaches. He also has a particular goal in mind when he decides where to place them: helping geocachers discover more about the Yarmouth area.
"People come here from all over the world," he says. "My geocaches and those hidden by others will take people on a tour of the area,."
He planted his 1,000th cache at the Cape Forchu Lightstation and says geocachers will likely visit other attractions on the site while there. In addition to its unusually designed apple-core lighthouse, the ruggedly beautiful property features a cafe, gift shop, and shoreline park that received federal funding this year to make it more accessible and functional.
"I've had lots tell me afterwards that they went there and had a wonderful meal and would like to come back. I try to draw them to places like that," said Olsen.
There are at least 1,365 geocaches within a 30-mile radius of Yarmouth. After choosing which ones to pursue from the geocaching website, participants can use a GPS unit or an app on their iPhone to find the locations of these hidden "treasures."
The Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Tourist Association encourages geocachers to check out the Acadian Shores Geocaching Tour. Visitors can explore 29 historic and cultural sites that tell the Acadian story of South West Nova Scotia. A pdf of the map-brochure can be downloaded or picked up from a Visitor Information Centre.
You'll never know what you'll discover while roaming the wilderness and beaches in the region while geocaching. Olsen collected 60 pounds of coal wedged in beach stones from shipwrecked cargo. He's also recovered many messages-in-bottles. In addition to all of his finds, he's lost something he doesn't miss.
"I've been trying to lose some weight and I've been able to lose 35 pounds and keep it off thanks to walking the beaches and geocaching."
The geocaching community is a strong one in the area. In addition to attracting adults, youths like the sport because it involves the computer and reading GPS coordinates.
Click here for a sample of the many other geocaches in the area and start making plans to discover Yarmouth's hidden "treasures".