There’s treasure hidden in Habersham County.
But don’t get out your shovel just yet. For this treasure hunt, you’ll need a GPS.
The Lost Treasure of Habersham High Tech Treasure Hunt recently kicked off, and it gives treasure hunters using a GPS a series of clues that take them across the county, from Batesville to Tallulah Falls.
Judy Taylor, president of the Habersham Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber wanted a way to bring people to the county over a long period of time, rather than just for one event that would have them packing for home that day.
Taylor said she thought of geocaching, normally a treasure hunt designed for hikers that leads them to trinkets, or "caches," in the woods.
"It is a scavenger hunt, but you find your treasure by way of GPS and you find the coordinates," Taylor said.
For the Habersham hunt, which goes on through February, Taylor said she went to Geocaching Solutions, a company that plans geocaching events.
The company gathered 35 sponsors who donated prizes to the hunt. Hunters register online at www.habershamchamber.com, where they can find clues. The hunt leads them throughout the county, where they can gather answers to the clues at area lodges, restaurants and stores.
Once they find a "cluster" of answers, the hunters can plug them in online to enter their name in a drawing of three to five prizes per week.
Prizes include dinner from Glen Ella Springs, golfing at The Orchard Golf Club and a recliner from Woods Furniture.
At the end of the hunt in February, three grand prizes will be awarded.
Although the game is meant to attract tourists, Taylor said one local resident discovered places she’d never been on the hunt.
"One of the people that played the game said that she had lived in Habersham County all her life, and she had never been into all the stores and the restaurants and things that she had to go into to get the clues," Taylor said, adding that the result was the goal of the hunt — to bring traffic to area businesses.
"We wanted people to have a good experience in Habersham County and enjoy themselves," she said. "We hope they like what they see. We hope they’ll come back, and while they’re up here, maybe they’ll eat in our restaurants and shop in our shops."