We finished the first leg of the five-part Great Lakes Seaway Geotrail in November. For a brief moment, we had hoped to make the entire trail part of a week's vacation in the fall. Work plans prevented that from happening, but we were able to finish the leg closest to home. Now we're hoping to complete the second leg sometime before April and then spend that vacation time on the three eastern parts where we've done little or no caching and haven't visited in years.
We enjoyed this section. We only completed the minimum number of caches to qualify for the coin and hope to head back for the balance in the spring. There were a few weak parts to this section. We were disappointed that two of the fifteen caches were located at commercial wineries. Do they think we can't see the grape vines and the winery signs everywhere we drive? We also left an unfound multi in the Chautauqua Gorge which is the nicest hiking cache in this section. In a tourism trail where 10 of 15 finds are required for the coin, it seemed really strange to hide an underrated, 2-star multi with a tough first stage in the woods. When we were there, the woods at stage one were torn up and looked like a lot more cachers had dnf'd the first stage than the twelve who logged a dnf. 12 of 92 logged visits as dnf's does not equal a 2-star difficulty. This same section also has a cache in a park that is closed from November through March. Isn't the purpose of these geotrails to attract happy visitors and let them see the sights?
Still, from what we have seen, it is a well done trail and worth a visit. The coins also look great. Coin redemption for this section of the trail is done at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at the western edge of the trail. Besides being a nice place to visit, the center has the best hours of any geotrail coin redemption we have experienced and the staff is super-friendly.
Near Lake Erie Bluffs
Erie Land Light is the site of the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes.
Barcelona Lighthouse was the first gas-powered lighthouse in the world.
While we were hunting this cache, we saw three beautiful trout landed.
View From One of the Wineries
The Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) is the coin redemption site for this section of the trail.