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Table of Contents

The biggest issues that prevent a cache from being published:

1. Proximity

Putting your cache too near an existing cache. This includes stages of other multi caches and solutions to other puzzle caches. Guidelines require 528ft (0.1mi) separation.

2. Vacation Cache/No Home Coordinates

Placing caches too far from home. We check the distance from your home area to the cache, as large distances have historically caused maintenance issues. If you place a cache a good distance from your home, please indicate your "Maintenance Plan" in a reviewer note. That is, if you frequent the area, or have someone locally set up to watch over the cache for you.

3. Waypoints Needed

Please use the "Add/Edit waypoints" tool for the stages and final coordinates of a multi-cache or the solution coordinates for a mystery/unknown cache. These points must also comply with the listing guidelines, and are then protected from future caches being placed too near them.

4. Cemetery Caches

Be aware that most all Michigan townships and municipalities have ordinances that close all cemeteries at dark unless otherwise posted, It's helpful to finders if you include a note on the cache page that this cache is not available at night, and set at least one of the attributes (Not available at night, or Not available 24/7).

5. Virtual Caches

The Virtual cache type (a cache without a log book) has not been allowed for new caches for some time now. The existing Virtual caches are grandfathered in but have special maintenance requirements and are being archived regularly. All new caches must have a physical log book.

6. Commercial

A cache can be deemed too-commercial for listing.
In general,
- avoid using a business name in the title and on the cache page
- please do not include any links to a business website or websites that have commercial content
- do not include any business promotional material on the cache page including logos, menus, and endorsements
Caches placed inside a business or that require interaction with employees cannot be published. Commercial requirements also apply to non-profit businesses as well.
For Event caches,
Geocaching allows:
- mention of event coins that are trackable at
- mention of a business in the page text
- mention of sponsors without links

7. Agenda

Caches that appear to be promoting an agenda are not allowed. This may include religious, environmental, military, political, charitable or other social agenda, etc. Geocaching is supposed to be a light and fun activity.

8. Permit Required

Placing caches in one of these areas require a permit:
- Michigan State Parks and State Recreation Areas
- Huron-Clinton Metroparks map
- Oakland County Parks map
- Ann Arbor City Parks map
- Sterling Heights (all parks along the Clinton River require a permit from the Parks and Recreation Dept)
- Washtenaw County Parks and Preserves Geocaching Policy and Guidelines and links to maps and permit
Please inquire at the park office for that park.

National Parks/Lakeshores
- Isle Royale National Park map
- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore map
- Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore map
Cachers are encouraged to approach their local National Park staff and attempt to establish a good working relationship on a cache by cache basis.

9. Forbidden areas:

Caches are not allowed in:
National Wilderness Areas
- Huron (part of Huron Islands Wilderness Area (below))
- Seney map
- Harbor Island (off the northwest shore of Drummond Island in Potagannissing Bay)
- Michigan Islands (8 islands in Lake Michigan and Huron. Thunder Bay and Scarecrow islands (near Alpena), Big and Little Charity islands (Saginaw Bay), and Gull, Pismire, Hat, and Shoe islands (in Beaver Island Group).
- Shiawassee map
- Detroit River map
However, local permission may be obtainable from the local land manager.
Michigan State Game Areas - Map
- Adams Township State Game Area in Hillsdale County map
- Allegan State Game Area in Allegan County map
- Almer Township State Game Area in Tuscola County map
- Backus Creek State Game Area in Roscommon County map
- Barry State Game Area in Barry County, Main Unit map, - Fish Lake Unit map
- Betsie River State Game Area in Benzie County map
- Blendon Township State Game Area in Ottawa County County map
- Brookfield Township No.1 State Game Area in Huron County map
- Brookfield Township No.2 State Game Area in Huron County map
- Cannonsburg State Game Area in Kent County map
- Cass City State Game Area in Tuscola County map
- Chelsea State Game Area in Wastenaw County map
- Chesterfield Township State Game Area in Macomb County map
- Columbia Township State Game Area in Tuscola County map
- Crane Pond State Game Area in Cass County map
- Crow Island State Game Area in Bay and Saginaw Counties map
- Dansville State Game Area in Ingham County map
- Deford State Game Area in Tuscola County map
- Denmark Township State Game Area in Tuscola County map
- Edmore State Game Area in Isabella and Montcalm Counties map
- Elmwood Township State Game Area in Tuscola County map
- Erie State Game Area in Monroe County map
- Fabius Lake State Game Area in St. Joseph County map
- Flat River State Game Area in Ionia and Montcalm Counties map
- Flynn State Game Area in Huron and Tuscola Countiesmap
- Fulton State Game Area in Kalamazoo County map
- Gagetown State Game Area in Huron and Tuscola Countiesmap
- Goose Lake State Game Area in Wastenaw County No map available
- Gourdneck State Game Area in Kalamazoo County map
- Grand Haven State Game Area in Ottawa County map
- Grand River State Game Area in Ionia County map
- Grass Lake Unit State Game Area in Jackson County map
- Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area in Gratiot and Saginaw Countiesmap
- Gregory State Game Area in Livingston Countymap
- Haymarsh Lake State Game Area in Mecosta County map
- Hillcrest State Game Area in Livingston County map
- Horseshoe Lake State Game Area in Oakland County map
- Keeler State Game Area in Van Buren County No map available
- Langston State Game Area in Montcalm Countymap
- Lapeer State Game Area in Lapeer County map
- Leidy Lake State Game Area in St. Joseph County map
- Lost Nation State Game Area in Hillsdale County map
- Manistee River State Game Area in Manistee County map
- Maple River State Game Area in Clinton, Gratiot and Ionia Counties map
- Maple-River - Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area in Gratiot County map
- Martiny Lake State Game Area in Mecosta County map
- Middleville State Game Area in Barry County map
- Minden City State Game Area in Sanilac Countymap
- Murphy Lake State Game Area in Tuscola Countymap
- Muskegon State Game Area in Muskegon and Newaygo Counties Main (western) map, East Part - map
- Muskrat Lake State Game Area in Clinton County map
- Oak Grove State Game Area in Livingston County map
- Olive Township State Game Area in Ottawa Countymap
- Oliver Township State Game Area in Huron County No map available
- Onsted State Game Area in Lenawee County map
- Ottawa County State Game Areas in Ottawa County map
- Pentwater River State Game Area in Oceana County map
- Pere Marquette State Game Area in Mason County No map available
- Petersburg State Game Area in Monroe Countymap
- Petobego State Game Area in Antrim and Grand Traverse Counties No map available
- Pinconning Township State Game Area in Bay County No map available
- Pointe Mouillee State Game Area in Monroe and Wayne Counties map
- Port Huron State Game Area in St. Clair County map
- Portland State Game Area in Clinton and Ionia Counties map
- Rogue River State Game Area in Kent County map, Extension - map
- Rush Lake State Game Area in Huron Countymap
- Sanilac State Game Area in Sanilac County map
- Saranac-Lowell State Game Area in Ionia and Kent Countymap
- Sharonville State Game Area in Jackson and Washtenaw Counties map
- Shiawassee River State Game Area in Saginaw County map
- Somerset State Game Area in Hillsdale County map
- St. Clair Township State Game Area in Macomb County No map available
- Stanton State Game Area in Montcalm County map
- Three Rivers State Game Area in Cass and St. Joseph Counties map
- Tuscola State Game Area in Tuscola County map
- Vassar State Game Area in Tuscola Countymap
- Verona State Game Area in Huron Countymap
- Vestaburg State Game Area in Montcalm County map

Michigan State Designated Wilderness Areas - see link for wilderness maps
- Beaver Basin Wilderness map
- Big Island Lake Wilderness map
- Delirium Wilderness map
- Horseshoe Bay Wilderness map
- Huron Islands Wilderness map
- Isle Royale Wilderness map
- Mackinac Wilderness map
- Wilderness map
- Michigan Islands Wilderness map
- Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness map
- Rock River Canyon Wilderness map
- Round Island Wilderness map
- Seney Wilderness map
- Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness map
- Sylvania Wilderness map

Some Ottawa County Parks
- North Beach Park
- Rosy Mound Natural Area
- Ripps Bayou
- Marne Bog (no public access yet, near Marne)
- Olive Shores County Park (south of Kirk Park, touches Lake Michigan)
- Historic Parks at Ottawa Beach (Black Lake Boardwalk, Mt. Pisgah)
Ottawa County has opened the remaining county park areas (Map) up for geocaching and are no longer requiring a permit! There are a couple of existing caches that are in a couple of these areas that the parks department has graciously grandfathered in as these sites have not (yet) shown signs of causing damage or destruction to the surrounding environment but no new caches will be allowed in the prohibited parks.

10. Restricted Areas:

(special permission or circumstance required)
- 150ft from Active Railroad
- Schools
- Airports
- Highway bridges

Other Issues/Suggestions:

Bad Ideas:

The following places have historically been bad ideas for cache hides.
While allowed by the guidelines, please think twice about the types of cachers that will be hunting your cache, and get adequate permission for your hides. In General, these are bad ideas:
- On Playgrounds - many cachers are single adult males and get parents rather upset if they are hanging around playgrounds looking suspicious.
- At Post Offices - postal areas are very sensitive due to problems with letter contents, and it's illegal to hide on on a postal box.
- At Banks - bank security does not hesitate to call law enforcement about suspicious activity.


Please take a minute when creating your cache page to add some attributes to your listing.

Additional Logging Requirements:

"ALR's" are caches that require a finder to do more than just sign the log. Caches that require a picture to be posted, E-mail the answer to a question, or some other activity (in addition to signing the log) performed in order to claim credit for the find are considered ALR's.
As of April 4, 2009, Additional Logging Requirements can no longer be grounds for deleting a cache find. Geocaches can be logged online as Found once the physical log has been signed. If it is appropriate for your cache location or theme, you may still ask the cache seeker to accomplish an optional and simple task, however, cache owners may not delete the cache seeker's log if they choose not to attempt or accomplish the optional tasks. This guideline change applies immediately to all logs written from April 4, 2009 and going forward. Older caches with "additional logging requirements" (ALRs) are not grandfathered under the older guideline. If you own an existing cache with mandatory additional logging requirements, we request that you:
• Cease deleting logs based on additional logging requirements.
• Review your own cache listing to see if the ALR can be made into an optional and simple task, or whether it must be removed altogether.
• Adjust your geocache listing by editing the text and have a reviewer change the cache type, or archiving the listing and replacing it with a new Traditional or Multi-stage one in the same place.

Challenge Caches:

A challenge cache requires that geocachers meet a geocaching-related qualification or series of tasks before finding the cache.
If you are thinking of creating a “challenge cache”, please keep the following in mind:
1. It is generally considered “bad form” to log one’s own physical cache.
2. Basing a challenge cache solely on some aspects of geocaching, such as 5 star terrain, may severely limit the number of cachers who can achieve the challenge.
3. Basing a challenge cache on non-accomplishments, such as DNFs, will likely prevent the cache page from being published.
4. Challenge caches may not require the publication of a new cache as a logging requirement.
5. Challenge caches may not require cachers to log caches that are disabled or archived.
6. An individual's attempt to complete a challenge should be independent of the actions of other cachers. A challenge is supposed to recognize the completion of an achievement, rather than the winner of a competition. (FTF's are an unverifiable competition)
7. Requiring cachers to find an explicit list of caches (rather than a broader category of caches) will likely prevent publication of the cache listing.
8. Using a challenge cache to promote one’s own caches will likely prevent publication of the cache listing.
9. Challenge cache owners may also be asked to outline a long-term cache maintenance plan as caches involved in the challenge by be archived over time.

A challenge cache requires:
1. Geocaching-related
2. Affirmative (no DNF’s or days without a find)
3. Reasonably attainable by the hider and a substantial number of other geocachers. This is two fold, 1. there must be local finders that are at least close to making it, and 2. there are enough local caches that make it at least almost possible
4. Logging requirements are logistically viable.

Handicap Accessible:

If you rate a cache with a Terrain Rating of 1 - this does not necessarily mean it is handicap accessible. Handicap Accessible means the location can be reached in a wheelchair, and that the hide be retrievable from a wheelchair (not on the ground or up high). If you rate your cache a Terrain 1 - please also set the handicap accessible attribute, to either Accessible or Not-Accessible

Cache disabled for an extended period.

The "Temporarily Disable" feature that allows you to disable a cache is meant to be used for no more than a few weeks. A disabled cache will continually show up in search lists, and while there's no cache to be found, it prevents someone from placing a new cache in the area that others can find. I realize that you may not be able to get to your cache right away, so I generally wait to post a note until the cache has been disabled for an extended period or the cache is brought to my attention. If there is no response to my note within a couple weeks, the cache will likely be archived. If there are extenuating circumstances, please post a note to your cache page. I look for notes posted in response to mine before archiving any cache, and sometimes other reviewers may be cleaning up cache listings and wouldn't see any personal e-mail to me.

Reply by e-mail

If you reply to the automatic e-mail sent out by the notification system in response to one of my notes, reviewers will not get your e-mail. Please e-mail your reviewer directly or via their profile.
Please include the GC# when e-mailing.

Reviewer Notes

We do not get automatic notification of Reviewer Notes placed on caches. Please e-mail if you've left a note you'd like us to see.


If you feel a geocache has been so neglected that it has become more litter than cache or if a cache appears to be totally missing and the owner is unresponsive to either an e-mail or posted notes on the cache page, you can bring this to our attention by either
1. E-mailing us the GC# of the cache or
2. Posting a "Needs Archived" type of note on the page. We do get auto notifications of the "Needs Archived" logs.


If you would like to adopt a cache, you must make contact with the cache owner. Have them go to and set up the adoption to you. If the owner is gone (no longer active) and is non-responsive to your e-mail, no longer processes non-consensual adoptions, so it's your choice if you decide to help maintain it. Archived caches cannot be adopted.


If you are planning a cache and wish to verify the location ahead of time, or possibly assemble the cache page in steps, please uncheck the "Yes, it's ready for review" box. If you'd like us to check out the listing before you place the cache, just e-mail us with the GC#. Creating the page ahead of time also has the added feature of "reserving the location" for a few weeks while you complete your cache. Normally, caches are expected to be in-place when they are submitted for review.

Publish at a specific date/time:

If you would like your listing to be published at a special date/time, please be sure to give us at least a full week's notice. We try to accommodate special requests but sometimes things just don't happen as we plan. We can't guarantee a specific time, but we're usually within a couple of hours.

Large series of caches

If you are planning on a large series of caches, please let us know ahead of time. This is so that we can both alert you to potential problems with completing your series and so we can pre-review at least some of them before a mass release date. We ask that caches be submitted far enough ahead of time that we have at least 1 day's notice for every 5 caches you submit.

Relocating a cache

If you relocate a cache, you can change the coordinates up to 528ft (0.1mi) via your cache page. If you need to move it further, please send one of us reviewers a note with the new coordinates and GC# and we can change it for you. Hopefully the new position doesn't encroach on another cache or it's stages, or we may not accept the new location.

Changing cache type

Generally, cache type changes (Traditional -> Multi, Puzzle -> Traditional, etc) are discouraged. Many users are very particular about their statistics, and changing the cache type can cause other issues as well. Often, we recommend archiving the old listing, and creating a new one in the same place with the new type. This has the added benefit of bringing cachers back to the area for the new hide. That said, there are valid reasons for changing a type. Contact one of us reviewers and we'll work through it with you.

Life outside caching

Please be kind. Since we are *highly compensated* by for our volunteer efforts, most reviewers need a *second* job to make ends meet. We make our best attempt to reply to your questions and cache submissions within 7 days. Many times we are quicker, however life often gets in the way of caching and reviewing, and we may sometimes take a little longer to get to you.

Happy Caching!

Michigan Reviewers

About This Guide

The local laws and guidelines for geocaching placement vary from place to place. As community reviewers learn geocache placement policies for a certain location, they can add it here. This site may not be a complete or accurate list of land policies. These policies are made by the land owner or manager, they are neither the reviewer’s nor Geocaching HQ’s. This guide is just for reference, if no policies for the area you’re looking for are listed, that doesn't mean no policies exist. You must still obtain permission to place your geocache from the landowner or land manager,comply with all applicable laws, and follow the Geocaching Listing Requirements.

If you have an update, email the community reviewer(s) listed.

This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 If you contribute to this wiki, you agree to provide permission to others under this license.

If you share information from this site, you must mention "These regional land policies came from the Public Wiki and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No-Derivatives 4.0 International License."

 And, you agree to keep content current by checking back regularly for updates.



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