South Central Tennessee Tourism - Scenic Trails
Discover the new Jack GeoTour
“The Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways project is one of the most comprehensive self-guided driving trail systems in the entire country” said Cindy Dupree, public relations director, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “This is the perfect way for Tennessee citizens and the millions of travelers who visit our state annually to get off the beaten path and discover some of Tennessee’s inspiring small towns, rural communities and truly authentic Southern experiences.” There are 16 different Tennessee Trails & Byways. The Jack Trail now comes alive with the first self-guided geo-cache tour in Tennessee. This is a high-tech option available for exploring the Jack Trail (just one of the 16 great TN Trails & Byways).
This is the first GeoTour in Tennessee. The Jack GeoTour is expected to go live in August 2014. The tour will be connected to the international geocaching.com website. Geocaching is a very popular worldwide activity in which people use navigational technology to find “caches” of toys or trinkets that may be traded or have sentimental value. “It will turn Tennessee into a geotourism destination,” said Brad Simmons, of the Middle Tennessee Geocachers Club.
This is a great opportunity for all of us. Right now there are 5+ million geocachers. Ranging ages of 18-50+ with 54% male and 46% females, 69% earn $60K+; 18% earn $100+, 50% college graduates and 14% Masters, PhD. If you are unfamiliar with geocaching a simple explanation is free real world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online. This large community often travels long distances to hunt desirable geocaches, especially those along GeoTours. Families, individuals, friends anyone can play the game. GeoTours are a series of geocaches engagingly tied together by a common theme, such as the history of a given area or region or for us we used The Jack Trail. There is no fixed itinerary, like a traditional trail, but rather a series of points of interest in a self-guided, goal-oriented plan.
The Jack GeoTour creates a special passport, which functions as a logbook for visitors to track their progress by hunting specially placed geocaches along the tour. This passport lets them collect “passwords” they find on the caches to qualify for special rewards for completion of the GeoTour, such as custom geocoin.
A Geocoin is a special coin created by individuals or groups of geocachers as a kind of signature item or calling card. These are similar to “challenge coins” you may already be familiar with, except, each Geocoin is assigned a unique tracking ID and webpage which allows them to travel from from geocache to geocache, picking up stories along the way. Many geocachers collect Geocoins and the opportunity to receive a special Geocoin is a strong motivator.
The Jack GeoTour is an extension of the already 348 mile Jack Trail. We have picked a limited number of special caches along the trail to encourage tourists to visit their locations, but also provide a “virtual tour guide” of the trail by providing history and local information on the individual webpages for each location. Not only will the Jack GeoTour be an enticing reason for travelers to visit our destinations, but it also proves a measurable impact. By tracking the number of passports and geocoins deployed, and the number of geocaching “logs’ entered by visitors on geocaching.com, we can monitor the ongoing impact of our Jack GeoTour.
Geocachers will record their finds online on geocaching.com and in their Jack GeoTour passport. This passport is used to track their progress toward rewards and will be available for download at the Jack GeoTour webpage, which will be on geocaching.com. We also have encouraged hotels and restaurants to be business partners on the Jack GeoTour. If you eat at one of the restaurants or stay at one of our hotels you will receive extra points on your passport getting you closer to the special geocoin.
We are very excited about this opportunity to work with geocaching.com and develop the Jack Geo-Tour. We hope you will sign up for free at geocaching.com, find the Jack GeoTour and print out your passport to start hunting. Once you have enough points you will receive your Free geocoin.
In addition to the new Jack GeoTour we already have other high-tech options for exploring the the Discover Tennessee Trails and Byways. You can download the Free apps on your smartphone for all of the Tennessee Trails and Byways like Jack Trail, Old Tennessee Trail, Nashville Trace Trail and Tennessee River Trail. In either iTunes or Google store. We look forward to your visit South Central Tennessee soon.