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Traditional Cache

McCarthy Lake

A cache by Lambeau62
Hidden : 8/8/2009
In Wisconsin, United States
Difficulty:
3 out of 5
Terrain:
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

A 1.1 mile walk to McCarthy lake which is the only access except by canoe up the Iron River. From the U.S. Forest Service: "This RNA site contains a 42 acre shallow, softwater drainage lake, essentially undisturbed, as well as a large northern white cedar old growth (Thuja occidentalis) swamp, which is the largest of its type known in the Chequamegon National Forest."

The coordinate should bring you towards the lake from the north near a bridge over the Iron River. You can drive towards the south for a little ways off the main road into a gravel pit area. You'll come up to a gate put up by the forest service that is designed to then be a walk-in trail. From here it's a nice 1.1 mile hike in through different habitats like wetlands, a sandy pine plantation, & mixed hardwoods. Back in the early 80's while deer hunting out here I remember seeing lots of plastic tubing lying on the ground. After talking with locals there was apparently a large-scale maple syrup operation here (1960's) that used the high hill to the west of the trail to enable the flow of maple sap down to the trail area from the hill. They tapped the trees and attached the plastic tubing to the trees and joined many trees together thus flowing the sap to a collection point on the trail below.

Once you arrive at the lake you will be very close to the cache. There has been a blue metal boat out here for many years and I always wanted to use the boat to explore the lake but never attempted it. You can still see the boat which is light blue in color and am not sure if it's able to be used. You could carry a kayak or canoe in and explore the lake which I'm sure nobody has done in many many years. The 42 acre lake was surveyed in 1938 and a lake map can be found online.

I bring my lab down this trail for a grouse hunt each fall and always enjoy this walk very much. We often see signs of deer, bear, wolves, and we're usually successful grouse hunting. I hope you enjoy this walk as not many people know about this lake.

This location is also a state natural area with the following description:
"McCarthy Lake features undisturbed headwater wetlands, streams and McCarthy Lake, a 42-acre shallow, soft water drainage lake in wilderness condition. Surrounding the lake are open wetlands dominated by ericaceous bog and northern sedge meadow while the northeast quarter is forested with old-growth white pine. The wetlands are drained by 2 slow, soft water streams, which flow into McCarthy Lake. The stream outlets are overgrown with alders and flow over a field of large boulders. As such, they have been spared impoundment by beaver and lake water levels are apparently stable. Blunt-leaved pondweed is common with ribbon-leaved pondweed, common pondweed, coon's-tail, and bull-head pond-lily also present. The cedar swamp is primarily old second growth, dominated by white cedar with lesser amounts of yellow birch, paper birch, white spruce, and red maple. The swamp has recovered well from past disturbance although the numerous regenerating cedar seedlings are unlikely to reach sapling size because of the high white-tailed deer population. Characteristic herbaceous species include Canada mayflower, bluebead lily, goldthread, and bunchberry. Migratory waterfowl use is high with nesting black ducks, blue-winged teal, and wood ducks. Raptors include bald eagle, sharp-shinned hawk, and the state-threatened red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus). Other rare birds include black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus), yellow-bellied flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris) and gray jay (Pesisoreus canadensis). Mollusks present include the floater and fingernail clams while mink and green frogs are among the amphibians known to inhabit the area. McCarthy Lake is owned by the USDA Forest Service and was designated a SNA in 1996.

Link with more info: (visit link)

Another link with good info: (visit link)

"Description: This RNA site contains a 42 acre shallow, softwater drainage lake, essentially undisturbed, as well as a large northern white cedar old growth (Thuja occidentalis) swamp, which is the largest of its type known in the Chequamegon National Forest. Two slow, softwater streams and the headwater portion of a third such stream are also present. A large ericade bog, a good quality northern sedge meadow, and a five acre stand of old-growth eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) are also present. Animal diversity within the site is high and includes the American bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Federally Threatened and State Endangered; the red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus), State Threatened; and the black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus), State Special Concern."

The cache is a very large ammo box and I've started the cache with many things I've collected on my recent world travels. There are many foreign coins, some beer coasters from Amsterdam, some can coolers, kids stickers etc. I left a log book but please also drop a business card if you have one. I am again deployed to Afghanistan and will be visiting this cache when I come home for leave in October 2013. Maybe I'll see you on the trail or at the Cayuga Hotel & Saloon. Ask for Dean as I should be in the area 2-16 October 2013. Enjoy!!!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Haqre gur onyfnzf

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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Inventory

There are no Trackables in this cache.

 

Find...

9 Logged Visits

Found it 7     Write note 1     Publish Listing 1     

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**Warning! Spoilers may be included in the descriptions or links.

Current Time:
Last Updated: on 8/29/2013 8:32:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time (3:32 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum