Most times of the year you can see a road down the hill from this spot.
It leads to the CMHI cemetery. It is the final resting place for many of
the patients who once “lived” here. Psychiatric treatment has come a
long ways in the last quarter century and patients are not normally here
for long lengths of time now. Once stabilized they are quickly returned
to society and most do well.
The cemetery is located on state property and had major renovation work
completed in 2002 prior to CMHI’s 100th anniversary celebration. The road
does cross much private land and permission from CMHI management is
required before visiting the cemetery.
The CMHI Business Manager, has graciously consented to the placement of this geocache.
The Cherokee Mental Institute was opened in 1902. The many building on the grounds are of interesting architecture. In 1995 a Walking Trail, open to the public, was built around the remaining campus. The trail is approximately 2.7 miles in length. There are wooded, as well as prairie, areas along the entire route. There is also a great deal of wildlife along the trails, especially in the northeast area and the south central area. The ideal course would be to park at the main trail parking lot and then head north and follow the path until you get close to the cache. There is minimal bushwhacking necessary off of the main trail and the mosquitoes are virtually non-existent, at least during daylight hours. Major bushwhacking not recommended. Due to the number of deer, what appear to be “geotrails” probably aren’t. The trail is now 98% small rock and gravel. Both edges of the trail are mowed in most places though. This is state property so the following simple rules are in effect:
1. Respect the privacy of hospital patients, as required by state law. (Code of Iowa, Chapter 228.)
2. This trail is unsupervised. Trail users are responsible for their own safety.
3. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.
4. Remove all litter, and place it in the containers located at the trail shelter. (In other words please practice CITO.)
The coordinates for the main trail parking lot are: N 42° 45.350 – W 095° 34.128 There are other hard surface parking lots around the grounds that you may park in, just do not drive on any roads that are not hard surfaced.