Raccoon Creek County Park Series LbNA # 56440
|Found By||Shalar |
|Last Update||Nov 14 2010 |
The Raccoon Creek Series is located at Raccoon Creek County Park, Gallia County, Ohio near Gallipolis. It is part of the OO McIntyre Park District and has a two-mile fitness trail that circles the maintained area though the park is also many acres of woodland. There are several picnic shelters, two small playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, soccer and baseball/softball fields. Restrooms and water fountains are seasonal, I believe. About half of the trail is on a hillside with maybe 300 feet elevation gain while the other half is relatively flat.
Driving directions to the park: As you leave Gallipolis traveling south on State Rt. 7, turn right onto State Rt. 141. Continue for 6.1 miles and turn left onto State Rt. 775. Continue 2.1 miles and turn right onto Dan Jones Road, you’ll see the park in 0.5 miles on both the right and left.
To start your Treasure Hike (for letterboxes, of course!): Turn right into the park, continue to the restrooms on the left and park in either the parking lot before or after the restrooms. Go to the restrooms and you’ll see a sawdust / wood chip covered fitness trail between the restrooms and Raccoon Creek. Turn left onto the fitness trail. You’ll be walking the oval loop counterclockwise and end back at your vehicle. Enjoy!
Continue on the fitness trail and shortly it turns sharply to the left. There will be several large cut stones, concrete slabs on the left at this point. On the right of the trail will be a deep ravine separating the trail from Dan Jones Road. About 6 feet from the trail toward the ravine will be a rectangular cut stone about the size and shape of a bed pillow. Standing on this stone, look downhill and slightly to the right for a chunk of concrete wedged where two cut stones come together in a “V”. CL awaits you under that chunk.
Continue your counterclockwise trip on the fitness trail crossing a wooden footbridge and Dan Jones Road. Cross another wooden footbridge, pass a park bench on your right, and continue uphill. You will see picnic shelters, a small playground and restrooms on your left. Cross another wooden footbridge to a bench made from a half log. Sit in the middle of this bench with your back to the trail. You will see a straight, medium sized sycamore tree directly in front of you about 25 feet away. Make your way around the briars to the tree and look under a rock on the left side of it for BL.
Continue the gradual uphill climb of the fitness trail in your counterclockwise fashion. Along the way, you will see a derelict caboose in a field on your right if the leaves do not hide if from your view and the Hummingbird Gazebo on your left. Eventually you will spy a small pond with a “Fishing Prohibited” sign and more importantly, a park bench. Have a seat, catch your breath and enjoy the view of the Ohio rolling hillside. If there is a cloud at the horizon a bit to your right, that is actually steam from the Gavin Power Plant cooling towers. I plan to do a Power Series someday so stay tuned! The fitness trail continues to your right but hold that thought, we’re going to digress a minute. Behind the bench are two grassy trails mowed by tractor. One curves uphill and to the left, the other curves to the right and continues behind the pond. Walk to where the two grassy trails meet. The tree at the intersection has a white diamond with a green circle (could be blue, I was wearing sunglasses) nailed to it. Take the right hand trail 35 steps past the intersection. You should see a tree on the left of the trail that arches completely over the trail and touches a tree on the opposite side. Just behind and to the left of the arching tree is an old oak with an odd three-foot lump on its left side. It looks like it had two trunks at one time but the second trunk has broken out and the tree healed over the spot. Proceed to the tree. I recommend skirting the briars by going around to the left. Once at the tree you will see holes at its base and HL is wedged in one with rocks.
Return to the park bench by the pond and turn right to continue your counterclockwise route of the fitness trail. The trail curves sharply to the left and begins downhill. You will see the Hummingbird Gazebo in the distance on your left and then a very small pond with “Fishing Prohibited” and a park bench. Across the trail from the bench is a wooden footbridge and the tree just before the footbridge has a white diamond with a green (maybe blue) circle nailed to it. Here you will leave the fitness trail and cross the wooden footbridge. 93 steps on the other side of the bridge you should see to your left a tree with two good-sized trunks with a smaller trunk growing between them which has a vine about the diameter of a baseball bat looped around it. RL is wedged among the three trunks, which diverge from one trunk about 4 feet high.
Return to the fitness trail and continue downhill. You will see a park bench on your right overlooking a small waterfall and you can imagine the deer, raccoons, and other wildlife frequenting the stream and its pool. Continue downhill and cross Dan Jones Road. You will see a small wildflower bed and park bench on your left, cross a wooden footbridge, and then see a picnic area on your right. Continuing on the fitness trail, you will see a half log bench on your left, another half log bench on your right as you pass soccer fields on your left, and then come to another wooden footbridge. Cross the bridge and about 120 steps on the other side of the bridge there will be a half log bench on your right. Another 32 steps and you will see a 5 trunked tree on your right. I didn’t record the distance from the trail to the tree but it seems to have been around 6 feet. BQL is among the trunks, covered in leaves. Right after placing the letterbox, I heard one of them call, which I didn’t expect in November. Neat!
Continue your course of the fitness trail and soon it will take a sharp left at a “Swimming Prohibited” sign and half log bench. Notice the historic plantings from the homesites of famous Americans on your left. Just past the dual level chin-up bars along the left side of the fitness trail the trail takes a dip in elevation, which hides you from view of the athletic fields. Leave the trail and follow the wood line to the right about 20 feet and at the entrance to an occasionally tractor-mowed grassy trail that leads to Raccoon Creek, there is a tree on your right that was once with four trunks from one but the two middle ones are now broken snags. WTL is among the trunks.
Return to the fitness trail and go to the right to continue your counterclockwise navigation. The trail turns sharply to the left; there will be a trash can stand on your right, and then shortly another one. Toward Raccoon Creek from the second trash can stand, a cut log lies at the wood line. The end of the cut log toward the trail has a cut branch that forked from the log. RGL is under the log where the branch joins the trunk. Try to use the standing tree near the trail end of the log to be discrete should there be folks utilizing the picnic tables in this area. Your vehicle is ahead on your left.
Please use discretion. This park can be deserted or packed with people. I have attempted to find locations away from where people tend to be and out of direct line of sight. Most are near benches for convenient stamping-in spots. As always, be cautious of wild critters, briars, and poison ivy when retrieving letterboxes. Reseal all baggies completely, double check, and then replace as found or better. Please let me know how the Raccoon Creek Series boxes are fairing and about your visit to the Gallia County area.