Outdoors

Discover highlights of state parks through geochallenge

Visitors to state parks in Western Washington have a chance to win $3,000 worth of prizes by taking part in the “Walk in the Park” geochallenge.

Washington State Parks, ParksByNature Network and Subway restaurants have partnered to launch the geochallenge in the Pocket Ranger mobile app.

The geochallenge features state parks in 16 Western Washington counties: Pierce, Thurston, King, Snohomish, Chelan, Clallam, Douglas, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Skagit and Whatcom. The event runs through Dec. 31.

To start, participants must download the Washington State Parks Pocket Ranger mobile app onto their mobile device. The application is available from the App Store or Google Play.

Once it is downloaded, select the “Challenges” icon, pick the ‘Walk in the Park’ GeoChallenge and register a username and password. The geochallenge uses the advanced GPS mapping features found on the app.

Participants earn points by recording each visit to a state park. Parks considered easy to reach are worth five points, while those parks that are more challenging, out-of-the way are worth up to 20 points.

Participants can track their progress, and that of others, by going to the online leaderboard at pocketranger

exchange.com.

Geochallenges is similar to geocaching, using a GPS unit to find a specific location. But unlike geocaching, where someone has hidden a box, geochallenges take you to a panoramic view, a unqiue geological feature or some other interesting location within a park.

The first participants to finish the geochallenge will be eligible to win prizes provided by Subway restaurants.

The first 30 participants to record visits to 15 individual state parks will receive a $10 Subway gift card.

The first 20 participants to record visits to 20 individual state parks will receive a $20 Subway gift card.

As the top prize, the first 10 participants to record visits to 30 individual state parks will receive a $30 Subway gift card.

For more information and rules, visit parks.wa.gov/geocachingand select the Subway ‘Walk in the Park’ GeoChallenge.

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