There is a code sheet that might help you keep track of numbers here (note: the code sheet was modified on 1/10/15 to add two new caches and to remove two others):
There is a map of the preserve in the kiosk at parking.
I suggest that if you are doing the series in one day that you follow the series in the numbered order. At one point, in the middle of a Letterbox cache instructions, you might find a multi as I suggest, in order to avoid backtracking. After you find the final for SJF 2 - Artwork Letterbox, you might head back to the parking area for a picnic or water/bathroom break.
This series doesn't require a lot of bushwhacking (maybe 10 feet at the most) and you can stick to the trails. After you find a cache, go back to the trail you were on.
Bring your camera! This is a lovely preserve with a lot of art, interesting buildings, history and many information signs telling you all about the preserve.
This is a forest preserve and so I suggest bug repellent of all kinds, water for the outing and long pants.
This series can be done walking or biking if you have trail tires. The beta testers found that on foot, the series was approximately 5.25 miles and 3.5 hours total.
If you have a young child who can't hike 5.25 miles, you might want to just take them to SJF 7 - Magic Treehouse on its own.
All caches are clear plastic containers but three of them are concealed in something unique.
There is a bathroom (port-a-potty) waypoint that is next to a nice antique vehicle garage, which might be open when you are there.
There is a link on the page to the site for St. James Farm if you need information on open hours, etc...
I find the final location to be very beautiful and it was the location for Brooks McCormick's home on the property. When he willed the property to the FPDDC, he specified that they had to demolish the home soon after his death so the forest preserve would be about the beautiful property and not about him.
I have been planning this series for over a year now. In May 2013, I visited St. James Farm during their annual Family Field Day. I thought it was a perfect location for a series of caches. At the event, I ran into a friend who works for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and we talked about St. James Farm. She said it had only been open to the public for a various days per year, but that recently, they had significantly increased the hours. I contacted the manager of St. James Farm that week and he and I discussed geocaching and he was agreeable. I called the FPDDC and found out the entire Farm was in the red zone and geocaches were not allowed. I asked them if that was due to the limited hours and if they would consider changing that in the future. They agreed, and it was opened up. Since then, I have spent a lot of time here, walking, biking, gathering coordinates and ideas for sites.
I have seen hikers, bikers, dog walkers, bird watchers, teens on a picnic, horseback riders, prom kids having pictures taken, photographers, coyotes, deer and many friendly rangers and landscapers. They have great plans for this lovely preserve and I hope you enjoy it and take many pictures that you will share!
There is a ftf prize of a $5 Panera gift card and a small plastic trophy. Congratulations to sgauss on ftf on all of the caches and this final also! Well done and way to wait until morning!
Starr helping me plan
The History of St. James Farm
The first Europeans to settle on this land were farmers, and several structures from late-1800s farmsteads remain, including a gabled-roof-and-wing farmhouse, one of the last of its kind in DuPage County. A massive wood-planked German-style barn with cantilevered floors dates back to 1890, if not earlier, as do the remains of another barn’s fieldstone foundation.
For decades, though, the property was the retreat of the McCormick family. Chauncey and Marion McCormick acquired the initial 203 acres in 1920. Chauncey was the great-nephew of Cyrus McCormick, who invented the first commercially successful mechanical reaper and in 1851 co-founded the McCormick Reaper Works, which would merge with the Deering Harvester Company in 1906 to become the International Harvester Corporation.
To accommodate their interest in horseback riding, the couple built a Colonial-style brick stable with stalls lined with wood and iron posts from England. To support their growing, award-winning herd of Guernsey cows, they constructed a state-of-the-art dairy barn with roomy stalls and assorted outbuildings. For the better part of two decades, the buildings housed a dairy operation that was a benchmark for farmers throughout the Midwest.
In the late 1950s, the property passed to the McCormicks’ son Brooks, who managed the estate with his wife, Hope. They built the estate’s indoor arena, which not only accommodated their black-tie events but also later served as the St. James Riding School for the Handicapped, one of the McCormicks’ charitable interests.
After his retirement from International Harvester in 1980, Brooks began to aggressively develop the estate’s renowned equestrian facility, which would include a 62-stall stable for competitors’ horses, a 1.5-mile steeplechase track, a 200-seat concession area and dressage and jumping arenas. St. James Farm hosted several international eventing and dressage competitions and an annual steeplechase race, which drew up to 14,000 spectators and raised funds for the Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital.
In 2000 Brooks McCormick sold the 607-acre St. James Farm to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, retaining a life estate that gave him the right to live on the property until his death, which occurred in 2006. In July 2007 the District officially took possession of the property.
Thanks to Eric and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County for permission to have geocaches at this site.
Thanks to beta testers White Dane & Irish Setter, Eagle Son and herbs2 for their time and effort testing the cache series. I met up with them halfway after they ran into a problem with bad coordinates on one of the caches and found out they were not signing the logs, so they are pristine for the ftf cachers. I hope my friends log their finds online and I appreciate the time spent.
Thanks to Eagle Son for access to cache creation tools in his house and his assistance, extra materials, and also for the extra container. I had a great time working with him on a very special cache in this series.