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sparkyfry: Man, it pains me to do this. Below is my exchange with Park Board staff to explain why I'm doing so.

Me: "I checked out Wirth Beach today; the new facilities are great! I just have one more question. I noticed the semi-circular boardwalk that forms the barrier between the swimming area and the rest of the lake. Is it legal to go beyond the boardwalk? That's actually where the geocache is located. (It wouldn't survive in the swimming area because of all the people present.) I realize lifeguards won't be able to monitor the area, so I'd put disclaimers on the cache page. It's not very far out; the water is only 3 or 4 feet deep at that location. It's not too far from the shore where the lilypads are located. I just want to make sure everything is okay before re-activating the cache."

Them: "I checked with the planner who designed the whole boardwalk at Wirth Lake, including the boardwalk around the swimming area. She confirmed that the swimming area is only in that enclosed area, and any swimming done outside of that area would be unauthorized so it would not be wise to put the geocache out there."

Me: "Is "unauthorized" the same thing as "illegal"? That spot is perfect for the geocache -- there's a big rock there that the geocache has been hidden under. (It even survived the tornado!) And because it's away from the swimming area, it doesn't get disturbed. It would be a shame to archive the geocache, but if I have to, I will. As I said, I'd put plenty of disclaimers on the cache page saying swimming outside the area is not recommended and no lifeguard is on duty, etc. I remember when the woman hid the cache there originally, the lifeguard knew about it and let it go there."

Her: "Here are the General Rules off of our web site. See #3:

General Rules
1. Smoking is not allowed in any beach areas.
2. Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
3. Swim only within marked areas.
4. Only Coast Guard approved lifejackets are allowed and must be wore the correct way.
5. No throwing sand or rocks.
6. No glass in any beach area.
7. Obey lifeguards at all times.
8. Infants and children who are not yet toilet-trained must wear a swim diaper.
9. Riding piggyback is permitted. "Chicken fights" and rough horse play is prohibited.
10. No one is allowed in the water when the air temperature is 65 Fahrenheit or below.
11. Safety breaks are taken during the day at beaches.

So technically, somebody swimming outside of the authorized area could get a citation from the Park Police."


Care for a Swim?

A cache by meralgia (adopted by sparkyfry) Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 6/19/2008
2.5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Size: Size: not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

This cache is south of the swimming area in the area reserved for dogs and crazy geocachers. I spoke with at least three of the lifeguards and ensured that they knew the cache existed. They assured me that it was okay for folks to "swim" outside of the roped off areas.

No parking between 10pm and 6am. The lifeguards are on duty Monday through Sunday from noon to 8pm (during the "swimming season").

When retrieving and signing the cache, PLEASE wear something on your feet. Expect the swag and the log to be wet (even if you place them in ziplock baggies). I have included extra sharpie markers with which you can sign the vellum log. Please be cautious if you place a travel bug or a coin in the cache as the next finder may discover a rusy lump with an engraved number!

Cache owner is NOT responsible for GPS'ers that fall in the water, stubbed toes, or that lovely pond smell you may come away with. Do NOT attempt this cache on your lunch hour!!

Keep in mind that the water quality is not "good"!
Oh, and you probably won't have to worry too much about muggles. When we placed the cache, we invited someone over to take a look, and they said "no thanks!" Be sure to bring your family for a swim--it's an awesome lake with very attentive lifeguards. Have your spouse watch the kids, take a little side trip, swim a little in the "approved" swimming area, and enjoy the rest of your day!

This cache is a requirement for sparkyfry's "Golden Valley Challenge" - GC1AXY5.

See for a PDF of the lake map!

Location: Minneapolis, Wirth Park, Highway 55 and Wirth Parkway.
Species available: Bluegill, Black crappie, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Walleye.
Wheelchair access: Excellent. The lake has a good fishing pier.
MTC bus: Route 9 goes right past the lake.
Park entrance fee: No.
Restrooms: Yes.
Parking: Excellent.
Picnic: Yes.
Playground: Yes.
Other activities: Swimming Beach, Walking Path.
Fishing pier: Yes.
Recent fish stocking: Walleye fry Spring 2007.
Comments: This lake is near many inner-city neighborhoods and is stocked with catchable size bluegill. You can catch many of these species from the pier on the east side of the lake or from the shoreline just north of the fishing pier. --from

"Wirth Lake is in the 759-acre Theodore Wirth Park, the largest regional park in the system. The lake has a beach and fishing pier and boat launch. Paths for walking and biking, volleyball courts, playground and picnic facilities make this lake a popular family choice.

Wirth has an excellent aesthetics rating and good water clarity but has aquatic plant growth. The lake is great for swimming because it has extremely low E. coli numbers at the beach."

--per Directions to access: 1.25 miles east of Highway 100, on County Road 40 (Glenwood Avenue).

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