What is Geocaching?

Using various navigational techniques and equipment, including GPS and mobile devices, geocachers hide and seek containers called geocaches. Typically, a geocache is a small waterproof container with a log book, pencil/pen and small trinket inside. Once found, geocachers mark that they have been there and log their finds into a listing site. Listing sites can also provide the location of other geocaches waiting to be found. Geocaches can be found in most of HCA’s areas.

Any person wishing to place a cache on HCA lands MUST have a permit

Click here for HCA’s geocaching permit application

HCA Guidelines for Geocache Placement Permits

  1. Any person wishing to place a cache on HCA lands must have a permit granted by the HCA.
  2. Permit approvals will be granted by the Design & Development Section of the Capital Projects & Strategic Services Division with consultation of Conservation Area Superintendents
  3. Caches are not to be placed in sensitive ecological, historical or archaeological locations.
  4. No digging or disruption of the ground is permitted when placing the cache.
  5. Directions to the cache should follow established trails most of the way to the cache. Off trail hiking is discouraged as it negatively impacts the environment.
  6. Caches are not to be placed in areas that could potentially cause danger to visitors trying to locate the cache.
  7. The cache owner is to monitor the site monthly and maintain family friendly contents. This means the cache is not to contain food, alcohol, drugs, dangerous items or adult items. An explanation of the geocaching activity is to be included in the container.
  8. If the location of a cache becomes a problem for any reason (i.e.: a risk to park visitors or causing ecological damage as a result of visitation), the HCA reserves the right to require its removal. The owner will be required to move the cache to an alternative location under a new permit or remove it.
  9. If any terms of the permit are violated, the permit will be voided and the owner will be requested to remove the cache.
  10. If a non-permitted cache is found, it will be removed. An attempt will be made to contact the cache owner to explain the HCA requirements and allow them to claim their cache. OGA requires any geocaches on HCA lands to have permission from the HCA.
  11. HCA reserves the right to limit the number of geocache permits issued to any one person and also reserves the right to limit the number of geocaches in any Conservation Area.
  12. Permits will be valid for a period of 12 months from the date of approval and should be renewed if the cache owner wishes to keep the cache in place.
  13. Cache owners and seekers must follow all Conservation Area rules and
    regulations and pay applicable user fees. Cache permit holders are encouraged to purchase HCA Annual Passes since they will be visiting the areas on a regular basis.


Please forward any questions or concerns regarding geocaching activities on HCA lands to the Hamilton Conservation Authority, Capital Projects & Strategic Services Division, 905-525-2181 or