Interested in treasure hunting? The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is holding a "Play in Our Backyard" Geocaching Contest over the next 12 months and participants can win free overnight stays in cabins, yurts and campgrounds if successful in their search for hidden caches in North Dakota state parks.

Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which players use Global Positioning System devices to find hidden containers with unique contents. It's a way for individuals and families to explore the great outdoors as they search for "treasure" and share their experiences with others. There are more than 1.5 million hidden geocaches in the world with an estimated 5 million geocachers searching for them.

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North Dakota state parks have 35 geocaches located within their boundaries. Starting Sept. 1, each participating park will have a special contest cache. Each container will have a sticker that geocachers can place on their official entry form, proving they found the cache. Prizes will be awarded to those participants who first mail in their entry forms showing they have found all the caches. There are five first-place winners, 10 second-place and 15 third-place winners. Geocachers must also have a account and log their visits for the contest. It ends Sept. 4, 2012.

Starting Sept. 1, complete contest rules and entry forms will be online at or by contacting the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department by calling (701) 328-5357; emailing; or mailing North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department, 1600 E. Century Ave., Suite 3, Bismarck, ND 58503-0649.