Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting activity that is growing in popularity, and is permitted in select Will County forest preserves.

Geocaching regulations and permitting

Placement of a geocache requires a permit, which may be obtained by completing and submitting the Geocaching Permit Application, or by visiting the Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet. Any non-permitted geocaches will be removed by Forest Preserve staff and will become property of the Forest Preserve District.

All requests for geocache placement permits will be reviewed to determine whether the request would negatively impact the health of the preserve or safety of its users. The applicant will be notified within one week of the Forest Preserve's decision.

A geocache must be placed in a clear, waterproof container that is no greater than 4"x8"x12" in size. All geocache containers must be labeled with our "Geocache" label provided upon permit issuance, and the label must be clearly visible from the outside of the container. Geocaches must not contain food or offensive or hazardous materials. They may not be buried or attached to vegetation or structures. Vegetation or natural features may not be disturbed in any manner upon placement of a geocache.

Geocache permits are valid from the date of issuance until March 31 of the following year. Geocaches must be removed by the permittee by the permit expiration date. Geocaches not removed by this date will become the property of the Forest Preserve District. Geocaches may be inadvertently mowed, burned or destroyed by District staff conducting management activities in the preserves. The Forest Preserve District will not be liable for lost or damaged geocaches. Geocache owners are expected to monitor the approved geocache location every two months to ensure that the geocache remains at the approved location and that its contents are intact.

Use of the preserves before or after seasonal preserve hours is prohibited. Please use designated trails when placing or searching for a geocache.

Additional regulations apply. For more information, download the District's General Use Ordinance No. 124 or call 815-727-8700.

Geocaching locations

Geocaches may only be placed in select locations within the preserves listed below. Locations are subject to Forest Preserve staff review as part of the permitting process.

  • Evans-Judge Preserve
  • Forked Creek Preserve
  • Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve
  • Hammel Woods
  • Hickory Creek Preserve
  • Isle a la Cache
  • Lake Renwick Preserve
  • Lambs Woods
  • Laughton Preserve
  • McKinley Woods
  • Messenger Marsh
  • Rock Run Preserve
  • Runyon Preserve
  • Sugar Creek Preserve
  • Theodore Marsh
  • Veterans Woods
  • Whalon Lake

District-sponsored geocaches

The Forest Preserve District has 11 District-sponsored geocaches in Will County preserves. You can find these geocaches and many others on The District created these special geocaches to help support this high-tech treasure hunting activity in our forest preserves. Our geocaches are great for beginners who are just starting this sport, and especially for people who are looking to enjoy the outdoors in a fun and interactive way. Forest Preserve staff will keep a close eye on these geocaches, keeping them maintained throughout the year. Look inside them for some fun “SWAG” (aka Stuff We All Get) to enjoy as a take-home souvenir from your adventure. If you have questions about our geocaches or they need attention, please email [email protected] for more assistance. Happy treasure hunting!

The 11 District-sponsored geocaches and their preserves include:

  • “Doggie Dog World” at Messenger Marsh
  • “Fork-Sythe” at Forked Creek Preserve – Forsythe Woods
  • “Four Rivers 4 All” at McKinley Woods – Kerry Sheridan Grove (This geocache does not have any "SWAG")
  • “Go Fish” at Monee Reservoir (This geocache does not have any "SWAG")
  • “Hickory Hideaway” at Hickory Creek – LaPorte Road Access
  • “Isle a la Geocache” at Isle a la Cache (This geocache does not have any "SWAG")
  • “Keeping it Reel” at Hidden Lakes
  • “Mighty Oak” at Hidden Oaks Nature Center
  • “Rock Run Fun” at Rock Run Preserve – Black Road Access
  • “Spot’s Spot” at Goodnow Grove
  • “Super Duper View” at Hammel Woods – Crumby Recreation Area Access

Use on your mobile device to find the secret locations of these geocaches.