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Otter Creek Wilderness Area is my favorite place in the State. Because of the Wilderness designation, you can’t place a cache there. I decided to place a cache as close as I could to bring others to see the beauty of the area.
Note: This cache is NOT in the Otter Creek Wilderness Area. You do use the Otter Creek Trail to get to it and you will see an Otter Creek sign soon after you cross the swinging bridge but the Wilderness boundary is Coal Run. I checked the maps before starting out and there are new US survey markers nailed to the trees along Coal Run.
History: The Otter Creek Boom and Lumber Company logged this area from 1897 to 1914. Several Areas were also homesteaded either prior to or during this time. In 1917, the U.S. Government acquired the majority of the Otter Creek area to protect the watershed. The area was hunted but otherwise ignored until after World War II, when it came to be viewed primarily as a recreation area. The area was designated as wilderness by the Eastern Wilderness Act passed by Congress in 1975.
The best way to get to this cache is from the Parking area on Rt 72 outside of Hendricks. From the parking area, follow the trail to the swinging bridge over the Dry Fork River. Once you get to the other side, you can follow the steps up or the path down to Otter Creek. The high path is narrow and can be slippery. The low path follows a rock ledge along Otter Creek. The trail follows the old railbed of the trains that brought the lumber off the mountains. You will come to a spring that can be difficult to cross when the water is high. You will then pass an old house foundation. After that, the trail heads away from Otter Creek. When you get to Coal Run, you will see a side trail going upstream. It’s a very scenic walk when the water is up. There are many small waterfalls. Signal isn’t good in much of Otter Creek. I took a dozen different readings and couldn’t find one better than the others so I averaged them. The hiding spot is visible from the trail and is the first spot I saw that looked big enough for an ammo can. If you see a boundary marker consisting of a round metal tag with two orange ribbons nailed to a tree on your side of the creek, back up and start looking. Please show respect for you surroundings and try to leave no trace of your looking. Hide the cache well when you are done since the area does get some traffic. Take some time to explore Otter Creek before you leave. After you cross Coal Run, the trail stays along the Creek and it is quite beautiful, especially when the water is up. You can hike 4.75 miles before you have to cross the creek.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum