IMPORTANT NOTICE!!! All Geocoins are now gone for this trail. The Roane Chamber of Commerce thanks all the Geocachers who have made the trip and enjoyed Roane County Geocaching. The caches will remain in place for the time being. Repeat, all geocoins are gone. However, this is an easy excursion for larger cache containers that you don't normally get on a weekend drive. So please come and enjoy.
ATTENTION: The numbers on the door of the ice house have been temporarily removed due to renovation. I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused to some cachers (who ingeniously were still able to figure out the correct numbers and press on). For the time being I am temporarily making this a TRADITIONAL CACHE. People have really enjoyed this walk around Spencer so I encourage you to take a look around, but for now I am listing the coordinates to the final container. They are - N 38* 47.981 W081* 21.135. ALSO ATTENTION: The stamp has been stolen from this container. You do not need the stamp on your brochure, but you must at least sign the physical logsheet for this cache. This is temporary until I get a new stamp made. Thanks
Instructions to proceed through this multi-cache: There will be markers and plaques with numbers that you will need to solve the coordinates for each stage. Keep this math very simple. When you see something like 5 [X-1] 2, if you find that X is 3 then the answer would be 522. Do not multiply numbers outside the brackets by the answer found inside the brackets.
Stage 1: Looking at the various markers around the courthouse, on June X, 1861 a large contingency of Roane Countians voted to adopt loyalty to the state of Virginia. Another marker indicates that Ruby Bradley spent Y months as a P.O.W. The coordinates for Stage 2 are N 38* 48.1PQ W 081* 21.0RS where [X-1=PQ] and [Y+25=RS]
Stage 2: This old bank featured one of the earliest "Drive Throughs". A popular corner for local yocals to sit and gossip for decades too. The plaque on this building indicates it was built in 19XY. The coordinates to Stage 3 are N 38* 48.100 W 081* 21.0[XY+69]
Stage 3: This interesting old bank building is one of the older existing buildings in town. Most of the town's old wooden buildings prior to construction on this one are now gone. There are a few older ones still around though. The plaque on this building indicates it was built in 18XY. The coordinates for Stage 4 are N 38* 48.053 W 081* 21.0HJ where [X-1=H] and [Y-3=J]
Stage 4: This is one of the older undertakers in town. You've seen much of rural Appalachian life on your journey thus far - Agriculture, small industry, religion, art and now, not to be overlooked, end of life events. We still refer to "Viewing Services" as "Wakes" and they are big events in rural America. If you are unfortunate enough to do this cache during a service, you'll find the streets gridlocked with cars and hundreds gathering to visit and reminisce about their loss. The plaque on the building indicates that it was built in 190G. The coordinates for Stage 5 are N 38* 48.037 W 081* 21.0G [Gx2]
Stage 5: Each community region in West Virginia and throughout Appalachia seem to have certain religious denominations that dominate the area. In this part of the state it is mostly Baptists and Methodists since the early circuit rider preachers in the 1800's and early 1900's were of those denominations. An old saying during bad weather was "the only things out today are crows and Methodist preachers". The plaque on the building indicates several dates. First Methodist was founded in 185C. Grace Methodist was founded 18D0. They were consolidated here 19E0. The coordinates to Stage 6 are N 38* 47.92D W 081* 21.CE5.
Stage 6: When iceboxes were around before refrigerators (you've watched Lassie before right?) folks used to have their ice delivered to them. This building is the old ice house where ice was made and delivered from. You will see three numbers on the door here. They are AB7. The coordinates to the final stage are N 38* 47.98B W 081*21.1 [B+2] A
About the Black Walnut Geotrail
The Black Walnut Geotrail is designed to introduce geocachers to the rural serenity of Roane County, West Virginia. There is much to discover here only a short drive from Charleston or Parkersburg.
The City of Spencer and the Roane County Chamber of Commerce are excited that Geocachers from across America have visited already and recognizing the potential for additional geotourism have embraced Geocaching as a legitimate opportunity to bring people to our area to discover Roane County.
Each October, thousands gather in Spencer to celebrate the Black Walnut Festival. The central West Virginia hills are covered with diverse species of deciduous trees, but the Black Walnut has a special place in the timber industry and culinary markets. This festival lasts for 4 days with numerous family friendly activities spread around the county. It was only fitting that this Geocaching experience take its name from the Black Walnut which has become synonymous with this community.
Completing the Geotrail
The Black Walnut Geotrail consists of only ten geocaches. Nine traditional caches and one multi-cache are placed at sites from Walton, WV to Reedy, WV. This 25 mile drive through the beautiful West Virginia hills is just the right length to allow you to not only find a few peripheral geocaches along your way, but also to explore and shop. Plan to spend at least a day in the area completing the trail. If you are from out of the area, there is a campground at Charles Fork Lake, a campground at Camp Shepherd 4H Camp near Gandeeville, two Bed and Breakfasts and a small hotel. There are additional lodging options in nearby Ripley, Parkersburg, Charleston, Gassaway and Flatwoods.
Caches at each end of the Geotrail contain brochures necessary for official participation. Inside each of the ten geocaches is a stamp and inkpad. You must stamp the brochure in the appropriately labeled section with the stamp from every cache in order to be recognized for completion. The caches are all family friendly, not difficult to find or approach. They are designed to be accessible by the greatest number of people, but in the interest of not being readily vandalized they are not all wheelchair accessible. If difficult terrain or difficult to find geocaches are your thing, there are plenty of opportunities for these that are not part of the geotrail within the county as well.
Additionally, official brochures are available by mail. If you would like a brochure in advance of traveling to the area you may obtain one by contacting the Roane County Visitor's Office/Chamber of Commerce. You may also download the brochures from the official Black Walnut Geotrail website. Also, if you are unfamiliar with the area you may obtain more detailed routing directions via the official geotrail website.
For the first 100 teams to complete the Black Walnut Geotrail, a special edition trackable geocoin will be awarded. Since quantities are limited, we ask that no more than one geocoin per team or household be awarded. Please be courteous regarding this. In order to receive your prize, take your completed brochure to either the Roane County Visitor's Center/Chamber of Commerce building on Court Street behind the courthouse or to the Spencer Antiques Mall on Main Street across from the courthouse. If both places are closed upon completing the trail, you may send your completed brochure to the Chamber of Commerce at the address below. Be sure to include a shipping address for your geocoin. In addition to the stamps, you must complete the information portion of the brochure so that we can quantify the success of this geotrail. There are additional opportunities to provide feedback on the geotrail's website.
Acknowledgements and Websites
The funding for the special edition geocoin and stamps came from the Roane County Chamber of Commerce. The businesses and landowners who own the property where each cache is located have given their permission for the cache placements. Containers were donated by Country Roads and construction of some of the container housings by TheWatt's.
Roane County Chamber of Commerce
Post Office Box 1
207 Court Street
Spencer, West Virginia 25276
Black Walnut Geotrail
Roane County Chamber of Commerce
City of Spencer
Black Walnut Festival