This cache is placed as part of the Crystal Lake 100-Years Geocoin Challenge
created to celebrate Crystal Lake's centennial anniversary of incorporation (1914-2014). The Challenge will take you throughout the city where you will discover twelve (12) hidden caches and explore some Crystal Lake history along the way. Be one of the first 250 geocachers* to complete the Challenge and receive a limited edition trackable CL100Years Geocoin.
The Crystal Lake 100-Years Geocoin Challenge Passport contains instructions, a list of the geocaches, and designated areas for recording the code words you discover in each cache. You can print your Passport HERE
or pick one up in the specially marked box located just outside the front entrance to Crystal Lake City Hall at 100 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake, IL 60014.
Here are the 12 caches: GC4XNGQ
*limit one per registered geocaching account/household please
------------------------------code words are located on inside cover of logbooks------------------------------
Three Oaks Recreation Area offers visitors the opportunity to experience a multitude of outdoor activities. The pristine waters of the reclaimed quarry provide excellent fishing. Rowboats with trolling motors, canoes, kayaks, sailboats, and paddleboats can be rented from one of the two marinas. Other amenities include picnic areas & pavilion, beach, playground/spray park, concessions, hiking trails and various overlooks that provide breathtaking views of the water and lake islands.
Three Oaks Recreation Area before & after_Images courtesy of the City of Crystal Lake
The history of this land is documented in the publication Three Oaks Recreation Area - A History of the Land written by Sandy Price for the benefit and use of the Crystal Lake Historical Society (www.cl-hs.org). Here are some excerpts:
Farmland: It all began with the action of advancing and retreating glaciers [leaving behind] substances such as sandstone, limestone, and granite, but more importantly, sand and gravel. This hidden resource was unknown to the first inhabitants, whose moccasin-clad feet left little evidence of their stay, except for a worn path [today's Route 14]. Nor was it initially of any importance to the first settlers, whose creaking wagon wheels rolled along that same path as they came searching for new lands. The arrival of those first settlers would be the beginning of over 100 years of farming on [this land]. [Over time] inhabitants would improve upon their work and enjoy the bounty made possible by the many labor saving farm implements invented in the later part of the 19th century. 20th century farmers would move from the horse-drawn era to mechanized farming.
Gravel Mining: As the community developed, road improvement would become necessary. Farmers, whose plows had uncovered areas of gravel, began to take advantage of its easy accessibility. Crystal Lake lies within an outwash plain that extends from Woodstock to Algonquin. This plain provides some of the highest quality, easiest sites to mine for gravel in McHenry County. The gravel frequently was less than a foot or two below the surface. In those early days, the farmers, whose fields were adjacent to the road project, would hand-dig the gravel and haul it by wagon to the road site. Often it allowed them to work off their tax bill in this manner. Crystal Lake has many small depressions within its neighborhoods that originated as these temporary dig sites.
It wasn't until the fall of 1953 that our community would be faced with the threat of a commercial gravel pit close to our city limits. It all began with the sale [of farmland] in 1953 marking the end of farming and the beginning of over 50 years of mining for gravel. The battle between gravel companies and the community would flare-up from time to time during [the decades that followed].
Three Oaks Recreation Area: The next chapter began [in 1991 when] Vulcan Materials presented a proposal to the Crystal Lake City Council [that] would allow them to mine under Three Oaks Road in exchange for the deed to 500 acres of the site. By 1998, it became apparent that Vulcan would soon be reaching depletion of the site [and] the transfer of the property to the city would take place sooner than originally projected. By 2003, the city had a conceptual plan and in 2006 the turnover of the last of the Vulcan owned land occurred. [Construction began in 2009 and] the park opened to the public on October 2, 2010.
Parking coordinates take you to a parking lot off Main St. There is a crosswalk nearby to get you across Main St., then a short walk to the cache. Once there, find the "fishin' pole" and see what you catch! Before leaving, be sure to scramble the combination.