This geocache is part of a series of caches along some beautiful hiking trails connecting Hamilton, Manchester and Essex. You will be hiking on land held by the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust (MECT) and by Essex County Greenbelt. The entire hike is about 4.5 miles one way, though there is a shortcut between #11 and #17 near Bishop’s Grave that will shave off about three quarters of a mile and 5 caches. Parking is available at both ends of the trail. Many parking coordinates are listed on #1 in the series. Be sure to hide valuables or anything interesting looking out of sight as there have been problems in the past.
If you are doing this entire series with a group, I would recommend spotting a car at the other end so you don't have to back track. If you are a fast hiker, you can expect it to take 4 hours one way while caching. If you come in only one car, the hike back will take about half that.
Don’t forget to bring water, food, a charged cell phone and bug spray during bug season. The elevation changes are mostly mild, but there are a couple of short steep sections. Experienced mountain bikers may like to do this by bike, however, expect that you would need to walk your bike for some parts.
As you will see, many of the hides are on wire hangers to make the caching process easier. When caches are re-hidden, they should be placed back so that they can not be seen from the direction that one approaches, and so they match the hint. Also, the wire hanger should not need to be bent to remove or replace the cache. Frequent bending of the wire will weaken them over time.
It should go without saying, but please don't move the cache to a new location. I went out to check on several of the caches, and some had in fact been moved. These caches are marked with fire tacks for night caching, and moving the cache will create problems anyone attempting them at night.
There should be a pencil in every cache, but bring a pen just incase.
Hunting is allowed on a limited basis on these properties, so I would recommend wearing bright colors during hunting season. There is also a shooting range near #1 in the series, and depending on when you go, you may hear frequent shots.
As always, please help keep this treasure pristine by carrying out what you bring in. Have fun!
Though the full beauty of the area may be better enjoyed during the day, caches 1 thru 26 in this series are available for night caching, 27 thru 30 are not available at night at the request of the property owner. Hiking these trails at night will make the hiking more challenging, but finding the caches may be slightly easier as these hides are marked with a nearby fire tack.
When planning a night trip, be aware that the trails are not patrolled. Camping and fires are not allowed, however you are welcome to walk the MECT trails at night. Please come prepared for the predicted weather and conditions. Bringing a charged cell phone, a headlamp (and/or flashlight), and spare batteries. Notify someone where you are going, and when you plan to be back. I called Manchester and Hamilton Police departments. They suggest calling them to let them know that your car will be there when leaving it at night.
Congratulations to Bumble! for the FTF!