SEE IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT HUNTING SEASON BELOW IN THE LOGS SECTION
note: This multi-cache is spread across several different locations in Citrus, Hernando, and Sumter counties. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail me before heading out.
No fancy set-up for this cache, just hopefully a lot of great scenery and hiking that you may not be familiar with. This cache was inspired greatly by some of the caches I've done by Musecachers, who helped introduce me to the fun of (a) exploring forest roads and (b) multi-caches where you're not always sure where you're going next.
Part I: Along the Withlacoochee. 3.4 miles of hiking, round trip.
Your adventure begins from the Iron Bridge Day Use Area of the Withlacoochee State Forest in Sumter County. From the Suncoast Parkway or I-75, take Rt. 50 East to Rt. 301 N to CR 656 West (at a blinky-light). The entrance to the park begins around N28°34.900 W82°11.230. Follow the dirt road for several miles to the Iron Bridge area, and park near the trailhead at N28°35.629 W82°13.279. Follow the orange blazed trail to the first micro cache. You will be walking along the Withlacoochee River and will see some very large oak and cypress and a variety of scenery. I also saw plenty of wildlife. Very peaceful and beautiful...take some time to appreciate it and soak it all in. Insect repellant might be handy some times of the year.
After you do Part I, if you head north on the dirt road from the parking lot instead of retracing your steps to the south, it is more direct getting to Part II.
Part II: Chassa-swampa. Approximately 2 miles of hiking, round trip.
Park as indicated by the first microcache. The loop trail will take you through a variety of terrain, mostly on a nice two-track road. As you near the cache, take a moment to walk under the stand of huge oak trees before you work your way into the swamp...it's a special place. I could imagine the ancient inhabitants of this area setting up a camp there. Bushwacking should be minimal if you pick your route carefully. There are some nice magnolias and cypress in the area. Keep an eye out for critters, of course. I saw a few snakes while hiking out here.
Part III: The Sink. Several miles of hiking, depending on your route.
Park as indicated by the second microcache. This area is chock full of caves and sinks...you'll come across them everywhere. Your destination is a place I came across while exploring this area last year. If you're fortunate, an orange-blazed trail will present itself, but even if it doesn't the forest is very open here and a pleasant walk regardless. The vegetation and the whole mood of the forest changes subtly when you reach the cache. Chunks of limestone are scattered everywhere. There's a very large impassable cave entrance near the cache...make sure you're not staring at your GPS so closely that you fall in. :) Be sure to re-hide this one so that it's not visible to anyone who might be walking in this area.
Part IV: The Jeep Commercial. Difficulty varies. Come prepared.
You could hike here from Part III. You could find a closer way. It's up to you and what your capabilities are. I suggest getting an area map for the Citrus WMA / Withlacoochee SF, either from one of the trailhead boxes along Stage Coach Road (southern-ish boundary) or from the district HQ in Brooksville. My (Magellan) GPS has all these roads in the onboard maps, but yours may not. The area topo maps also have the forest roads and trails shown reasonably well. I have attached a scan of the WMA map to the cache page, but because of the 100k file limit, it's not as good as the real thing. Just to help things out if you're preparing your own maps, the cache is in an area bounded by roads 15 (W), 14 (N), 9 (E), and 20 (S).
As with InfoChallenge South, there is a 1 ounce silver bar or coin and such for the early finder(s).