POINT PLEASANT — The trail leading to Mothman takes a unique turn this Friday and Saturday when hundreds of people are expected to participate in the Inaugural Mothman GeoTrail.
Sponsored by the world’s only Mothman Museum and supported by the Mason County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, 350 people have already preregistered for the event from 13 states. Those states include West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Florida and Nebraska to name a few, according to organizer Jacob Farley.
Farley, who will be a junior at Point Pleasant High School this year, has participated in different geocaching events and went to Tourism Director Denny Bellamy about doing one in Point Pleasant. Jeff Wamsley from the Mothman Museum became involved and now, the Inaugural Mothman GeoTrail will act as a precursor to the 15th Annual Mothman Festival held next month.
Farley said participants can still preregister for the event online or register the day of the event, although preregistering online will increase the chances of getting one of the 100 limited edition Mothman geocoins.
Though geocaching is catching on around the area, this will be a first on this scale for Mason County. Geocaching is a sort of treasure hunt, with Farley explaining you use a GPS device to find the coordinates of a hidden container, inside the container are “tradables” and a log book treasure hunters must sign to prove they were there. As many GPS coordinates as possible are tied into the Mothman legend and sightings, Farley said.
The event kicks off from 5:30-8 p.m. this Friday at the shelter at Point Pleasant Riverfront Park with a meet-and-greet where there will be games and other activities. On Saturday, from 8-9 a.m., another meet-and-greet is planned at the Coffee Grinder on Main Street, then from 9-10 a.m., geocachers will gather at the Mothman Statue on Fourth Street for their community service project which will be picking up trash in nearby parks and along Main Street.
“Geocachers like to give something back,” Farley explained about the community service aspect of the event.
Then, registration opens at 10 a.m at the shelter at Riverfront Park followed by a geocaching seminar at 10:30 a.m., also at the shelter. Then, at noon, the hunt begins and the caches will be released. After a day of looking for caches, a closing event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Riverfront Park which will include a witness who says they saw Mothman speaking to those in attendance.
Bellamy said he was “thrilled” with the response and registration has far exceeded his expectations. He also praised Farley’s work on the project.
Saturday is also National Geocaching Day, Farley said, adding he hopes to grow the Mothman GeoTrail to the status of “mega event” next year, which means 500 or more participants. He stressed this a family friendly and free event.
To find more information about the Mothman GeoTrail on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/mothmangeotrail. For preregistration information go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mothman-geotrail-tickets-2485598492. For more information on geocaching go to https://www.geocaching.com.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.