New York

Table of Contents

Residential Property

Caches on residential property need clear permission from the home owner, and the cache description should indicate that permission has been granted by the home owner.  You don't need to indicate if you are the home owner or if it belongs to a friend or relative. 

Caches at the edge of the road on a guardrail, tree, road sign, etc ... still will need permission from the home owner if it appears to be on their property.  There is no "public" strip of land along the road when there is a home there.


Challenges are often more difficult to review and may take addition time as the details are reviewed with the New York review team, as well as with the global reviewer community.  Some clarification on what may be asked for in New York where the guidelines ( are not explicit:

  • qualifying cachers: The guidelines state that you may need to provide a list of qualifying cachers from your area, in New York we ask for 10.  If there are only a few cachers that are qualified to log the cache, it's like a private cache and those are not permitted.  When asked for qualifiers, please limit it to geocachers whose home base is within 150 miles from the challenge cache.  Note: in many cases we will not ask for this list if it's obvious during the review that many have already qualified.
  • qualifying geocaches: A challenge is valid only if there are plenty of qualifying geocaches available.  You may be asked to provide a list of 5-10 qualifying geocaches if it seems there are not enough to complete some aspect of the challenge.  The distance of qualifying caches from the challenge cache is generally not a factor.
  • similar challenges: Often a challenge is copied or slightly modified.  The guidelines state that challenges should not be submitted where similar challenges already exist.  In New York we ask that challenges not be submitted that are similar to others within 75 miles.  However we do allow 3 levels of challenges (think bronze, silver, gold) where you might have a "find 100 caches that ..." and "find 500 caches that" and "find 1000 caches that" where the type of qualifying caches are the same, but the quantity differs. 

If you are unsure about a challenge concept, the best thing to do is write up a cache page with as many details as possible and submit it making clear that you are submitting only to have the idea checked.  In this case you don't need to have the challenge checker written yet.

New York State DEC general

Geocaches may not be placed directly on mountain summits or right at an overlook.  
No caches may be placed above the tree line.
All caches must be clearly marked "GEOCACHE".
All caches must be labeled with the cache owners real name and address as per NYS DEC Part 190.8.w.1

New York State Parks

New York State parks are operated by one of two offices within the Department Of Conservation. 

  • Forest Preserve
  • Those located within the Adirondack and Catskill preserves are managed by Bureau Forest Preserve Management, NYS DEC and fall under the DEC General land policy above. 
  • Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation
  • State Parks managed by NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation require a geocaching permit.  The permit may be obtained at the local park office or you may download it in pdf format here.  Their rules and instructions are included on the permit.  Each permit when approved by the park office will be assigned a permit number.  Please include that permit number on your cache page or in a reviewer note when submitting your cache for review.
  • State Historic sites
  • New York State historic sites managed by the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation fall under the same geocaching permit system do their parks.

Forms:OPRHP Geocaching Guidance Document

           OPRHP permit application

New York State Wildlife Management Area

Geocaching is permitted with written approval from the Regional Wildlife Manager for that area as per this letter from the Director of Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources.  Find your WMA region on this page and clicking on each region will take you to that regions web page. Contact information is on the right hand side of the regional page.

Reviewers will need a scanned copy of your letter of approval from the regional wildlife manager.  The letter should be emailed to the reviewer with the GC code in the subject line.

Adirondack High Peaks Regions

Geocaching is not permitted in the Adirondack High Peaks Regions.  This includes both Western High Peaks region (zone B) and the Eastern High Peaks region (zone C). Both high peaks regions may be identified on a DEC map here.

Saw Mill River Audubon

All cache placements must be per-approved by Saw Mill River Audubon before submitting for review. Contact Saw Mill River Audubon by email at  Saw Mill River Audubon's eight sanctuaries are listed on our web site here:

Long Island Chapter of The Nature Conservancy

The New York Long Island Chapter of The Nature Conservancy has implemented a geocaching permit program requiring all geocaches placed on Nature Conservancy preserves to hold a geocaching permit.  Click here to download a list of Long Island Nature Conservancy lands.  A permit including their guidelines may be downloaded here or obtained by emailing or by calling Cold Spring Harbor office at (631)367-3225.

Forms:  List of Long Island Land Conservancy properties

             Long Island Land Conservancy geocaching policy and permit

Black Rock Forest

Before a cache may be place in Black Rock Forest permission must be granted by the preserve office.  Text noting permission and who granted it must be clearly displayed on the cache page.

Winnakee Land Trust

While Winnakee Land Trust welcomes geocaching as a recreational activity within their properties, they have to respect the ecological integrity of the land they are protecting. Through numerous conversations among their Easement Committee and Board of Directors, they have decided that any geocache within the Preserve or Park must be within 5 feet of the trail. they also request that all new geocache locations be reviewed by Land Projects Manager, Winnakee Land Trust, Inc. (845)876-4213 ext. 3.  Text indicating permission has been received shall be displayed on the cache page.

  • Drayton Grant Park
  • Winnakee Nature Preserve

Scenic Hudson Properties

Caches may be placed on property managed by Scenic Hudson if their guidelines are followed and the site is per-approved by Scenic Hudson.   To request permission and obtain a permit to place a geocache on Scenic Hudson property contact Carley Maneely, Parks and Trails Coordinator, 845 473 4440.

Teatown Lake Reservation

To place a cache on Teatown Lake Reservation one must first visit the park office and get a permit.  All cache pages must list the permit number, and state "all geocachers must check in to the administration building before seeking the cache and the administration building is open dawn to dusk daily".

Marshlands Conservancy - Rye New York

All geocache placements must be per-approved by Chris Mignone Recreation Coordinator before placing.  Chris may be reached by phone at 914-835-4466.

Genesee County Parks

Geocaches may be placed in Genesee County Parks and Forest or Dewitt Recreation Area with a geocache permit.

Forms: Genesee County Parks Geocaching permit

Rockland County Parks

A permit is required to place a geocache in any Rockland County Park.  For permit or park information please call 845-364-2670.  You can download a Rockland County geocaching permit here.

Clarkstown Town Parks

A geocaching permit is required to place a cache in any Clarkson Town Park.  The permit may be downloaded in pdf format here.

Forms: Clarkson permit application

Finger Lakes Trail Conference

Before a cache may be placed anywhere along the 990 miles of trails maintained by the Finger Lakes Trail Conference one must obtain written permission from the land owner.  A copy of the FLTC geocaching rules may be downloaded in pdf format here (1.45 meg file).  The application alone may be downloaded here( 3.8 meg file).

Forms: FLT permit application (3.8 meg file)

Ward Pond Ridge Reservation

Permission must be obtained from the park manager before a cache is placed.   Each cache submitted for review must contain a reviewer note containing the name, title/position and contact information of the person granting permission. 

Schools (pre-K through 12)

As of 5/28/2022 caches placed on or very near school property will not be published, even with permission from the school principal.  There are too many concerns by teachers, parents and students with strangers wandering around, especially given mass shootings in the last few years.  While a teacher or principal may give permission, information about the geocache is not going to be known by all the staff and certainly not the parents.

Geocaching can be a fun activity for schools to participate in.  If a class or teacher desire to place a cache, it should be done off school property in a nearby park, or create a private cache on school property not listed online, where students use a dedicated GPS or a GPS/compass app on their phones.


Geocaches may be placed in cemeteries but must be placed around the perimeter respectfully away from any graves, in a maintenance area or an undeveloped area.  They may not be placed within the interior of the cemetery or among the graves.

Parks and lands not open to all

All geocaches must be available to everyone.  The parks and property listed below are members only, residence only or in general not open to everyone.  As such geocaches may not be placed in them.

  • Malta Nature Preserve - Malta, NY
  • Stepping Stones Park - Great Neck, NY
  • Boughton Park - Bloomfield, NY

Geocaching is banned by the property owner/manager

Albany Pine Bush

Finger Lakes Land Trust properties

Hamptonburgh Marshland

Mianus Gorge Preserve

NYC Department of Enviromental Protection (D.E.P.) properties.

Poughkeepsie Galleria Mall

Rist Wildlife Sanctuary

Strawberry Fields Conservancy in Central Park

Tymore Park, Union Vale Now allowed as of 11/15/2022 per email received by park manager.

NYC Islands

  • Isle of Meadows
  • Shooters
  • Pralls
  • U Thant
  • Mill Rock
  • Hoffman
  • Huckleberry
  • Goose
  • Canarsie Pol
  • Swinburne
  • Ruffle Bar
  • White
  • Subway
  • Elders Point Marsh East
  • Elders Point Marsh West
  • Red Fern
  • Little Egg
  • North Brother Island
  • South Brother Island

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.

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