Columbus Day was an incredibly beautiful one — blue sky, warm but not too hot, and a nice breeze. The Blooming Grove Hiking Trail was our destination in pursuit of the Blooming Grove Hiking Trail geocache. The trail was in the Delaware State Forest in Northeast Pennsylvania. The cache was a relatively new one, having just been placed on 9/21/2003. The terrain was mostly flat but very rocky. There were a couple of streams to cross. The cache was well protected in an ammo can and had many things in it including a bungee cord, playing cards, slinky, 12pc bit set, flash light, 4-pak AA batteries, nail file, disposable camera, Handi-wipes, bug repellents, and the geocache log book. We left a repelling clip and took the nail file. It would have been nice to hike the whole trail system at Blooming Grove but time did not permit. Mainly because we got lost.
The cache is not far from the parking area so if you want a good hike it is a good idea to continue on either the white trail or the blue trail. The blue trail is 2+ miles and very nice — including a really neat bridge over a stream made from a tree. The catch is that the trail markers are not great. If you don’t have a trail map — the box at the trail head had 50 copies of the rules and regulations but no copies of the trail map — then make sure you memorize the map posted at the trail head. We left the woods onto a grassy road near the power lines and couldn’t figure out what to do next. We followed our intuition and ended up in water up to our ankles and a very difficult situation. The GPS told us where we were and where the starting point was but without a trail map you can’t really tell what the terrain is between where you are and where you want to go. The lesson is to always have a trail map in addition to the GPS receiver.