Sunday, May 9, 2010

Beaver Valley Hike - May 8, 2010

It was a beautiful day today, and knowing that my schedule will not allow much outdoor time over the next week or so, I was anxious to get outside for a while. Knowing that I had about two hours at most, I found a local hike that would serve two purposes - a walk in the woods and the opportunity to grab a few geocaches. There is an area less than 10 minutes from my house, on the Pennsylvania/Delaware state line, called the Woodlawn Trustees Wildlife Area (or something like that...). It is a wooded area east of the Brandywine where a number of feeder streams come down through the hills to join the Brandywine, and is another one of those nice protected sections within minutes of much more densely populated areas.

Besides just a nice wooded area, there are maybe 15 geocaches in the area; more than I could do in a couple hours, but with proper planning, I could get a few. The track of my hike is shown below.

I parked in a small lot just large enough for three or four cars, just above and to the right of the "Beaver Valley" label. I was able to find one cache within 100 feet of the car. Seeing that there were a number of caches to the north and west of my position, I figured I could follow a multi-purpose trail heading off to the northwest to see where it would take me. The trail, used by hikers, bikers and horses, climbed NW up the side of a large hill, and then curved NE to follow the spine of the hill. As it turned out, my choice was a good one, and there were three more caches to be found close to the trail. If you look closely, you can see the three places where my track leaves the main trail for a short distance and then returns to it (one shortly before turning NE, one halfway along the purple part of the trail, and one at the end of the NE spur).

Having four caches in hand at this point, I retraced my steps to a point where a smaller side trail headed west from my original track. I followed this until it took me back down to the road (which shows as the darker gray line north of the dashed gray line that is the PA/DE state border). Seeing that there was one more reachable cache at the top of the hill south of the road, I bushwhacked up the hill through the open woods. This was a difficult cache to find, but eventually I got it, and from there it was a simple enough thing to have the gps point me back to my car to complete my loop.

So, it ended up a productive morning...a nice 2.5 mile hike in yet another nearby area that I had never explored at all, and 5 caches added to my total. Plus two tiny deer ticks crawling up my arms, but that is a different story...

1 comment:

  1. Excellent. Hope we can cache together some time soon.