Geocache tour invites visitors to explore 'Real Oregon' in Lane County

EUGENE, Ore. - A new, local version of the "geocaching" trend has hit the Eugene, Cascades and Coast region.

"We've got real adventures, real close," said Lisa Lawton of Travel Lane County.

From hiking to mountain biking, river adventures and wine tours, it's no secret that you can experience "real Oregon" right here in our own backyard.

Lawton said their Adventure Center has everything you need to plan your spring or summer vacation, and great deals are just a 'like' or a tweet away.

Their Facebook and Twitter pages, "Eugene, Cascades and Coast," have more than 30,000 followers combined. Using the hashtag #RealOregon, the group encourages travelers to share their photos and experiences.

"They want to tell people where they've been - a secret gem they've discovered," Lawton said.

They're even getting in on the "geocaching" trend.

"Geo tours are being created to really connect specific attractions, historic sites, points of interest," Lawton said.

Participants are given a long list of area coordinates, type one into their GPS or smart phone, and arrive at the destination. They hunt for the marker, which is also called a "cache," and write down the password they find inside in their "passport."

Once they've gathered 24 passwords, they get a collectible chip. If they visit 36 spots, they can turn in their passport for a chance to win a return trip to Florence.

"We've had people that are interested in 'geocaching' that have come to our area and said, 'This is one of the best geo tours we've ever been on,'" Lawton said.