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Located North of Mirror Lake in Coggshall Park in Fitchburg, MA. Terrain is wooded and hilly and has a pond in the middle. Observe park hours. Enter park through Electric Avenue gate. Cache is a green ammo box.
This cache is one of three located in Coggshall Park, Fitchburg, MA. Krotan's Aerie is named after the lair of a dragon that appeared in a story I wrote once. His name was "Krotan the Flame" and he was a nasty red dragon that lived in a cavern atop "Dragoncrest Peak", a high mountain overlooking a lake called "Lauleek" in a forest called "Lauleek Wode". Krotan was your classic fire-breather, feared throughout the land, and lived to be almost 1000 years old before being defeated by a powerful wizard. Unfortunately the wizard also lost his life in the process.
I chose to name this cache after Krotan's home because in my story there were three dragons who all lived on three different sides of of Lauleek, and the terrain of Coggshall Park reminds me of Lauleek, a low lake with forest and mountains around it.
Coggshall is a beautiful park on 250 acres of wooded land and has much to offer. There are picnic tables, a small playground for kids, benches, restrooms, hiking trails with many rocky outcrops, a giant glacial boulder, a lovely pond called Mirror Lake with waterfowl, turtles, and other wildlife, and an attractive gazebo at the water's edge. This gazebo is often used as a site for wedding pictures, and it is easy to see why.
Mirror Lake is a man-made lake in a natural furrow between three small hills. The terrain of Coggshall Park is very hilly in fact, and you should expect some serious uphill hikes if you walk the trails. My eight-year-old can handle the trails with some groaning, but if you have very small children with you (under 6) you may want to consider having one parent supervise them at the playground while the others go caching.
If you come on a summer weekend there will usually be a hotdog and/or ice cream vendor at the park, and occasional outdoor concerts and other events. Fitchburg residents love their park, and therefore the place will be full of muggles--especially on weekends. Keep this in mind when you go caching!
The park has four entrances, but the primary entrance, and the one you should use is at 42° 34.080N 071° 48.008W. This entrance is located on Electric Avenue. (The entrance on South Street is gated and locked all the time, please do not use that entrance.) There are paved roads in the park, and a number of parking areas inside, so I suggest you drive in.
Please note the park hours at the main gate when you enter, if you are inside Coggshall Park at closing time, this gate will be closed and locked and the police will need to be summoned to unlock the gate for your car. This is a daylight only cache. The park hours are generally from 8:00 AM to dusk, so they change with the seasons. The gates are closed and locked during the winter, but I believe you can hike into the park on foot during wintertime.
The main parking area for Coggshall Park is at 42° 33.657N 071° 48.098W. The parking area most proximate to this cache is 42° 33.961N 071° 47.874W. If you want to minimize bushwhacking, walk up the road a bit from the parking area to the trailhead at 42° 33.816N 071° 47.882W. The hike to Krotan's Aerie is pretty short from the closest parking area, probably less than 0.2 mi depending on how you approach it, but some of the approaches are a bit steep. If you follow the trail you will only need to bushwhack about 110 feet or so.
This cache was placed with the permission of the Fitchburg Park Board, and they welcome geocachers to Coggshall Park, asking only that all visitors respect the property and the operating hours thereof. Note, there are powerlines running through the Coggshall Park far to the south of this cache, if you decide to go hiking in that direction, please do not stray south beyond the powerlines, there is a section of land there reserved for paintball activities.
See you on the trails! :-)
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- Another View of Mirror LakeI love the waterfowl here... geese of various types, swans, mallards, and black ducks...
- Electric Avenue Entrance SignA swan is depicted because Mirror Lake is home to 2 Mute Swans.
- Map of CoggshallAnd surrounding streets. Shows approximate locations of the dragon lairs.
- Mirror Lake and Gazebo
- Satellite Image of Coggshall ParkHere's a sat-map (thanks Google!) with some of the surrounding streets labeled.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum