- N 41.9030277° W 75.877687° (estimate)
- 1274.481 ft.
- Bench Mark Disk
- Year Established:
- Established By:
- Note Entered
- Unknown (Not Found) as of August 1, 2014
Official USGS Description:
Franklin Forks, 2.4 mi SW. of; 1.4 mi NE. of Fisk Mill; about 300 ft SW. of stream crossing; 50 ft SE. of centerline of rd.; in large flat boulder; standard tablet stamped "1 W 1942 1275"
1 W was the second mark we had planned to look for near Salt Springs State Park. But as often happens, things didn't go exactly according to the plan.
In part due to the location of this bench mark, we chose a new route for today's hike. We hadn't yet spent any time investigating the new trails in the "Friends of Salt Springs State Park" section, and we were doubly interested since the Fall Brook Trail in this section of the park comes reasonably close to 1 W. Our plan was to park in the lot near the private residence on Buckley Road, then hike the orange-blazed Bunny Trail northwest toward Fall Brook where it, unsurprisingly, intersects with the Fall Brook trail. We would then take what the map labels the "Connector Trail" to cross Fall Brook and hike northwest a few hundred feet to Salt Springs Road, near the coordinates for the mark.
The Bunny Trail quickly took us deep into the woods, on an easy grade down toward Fall Brook. We picked up the red-blazed Fall Brook Trail and hiked it alongside the brook, looking for signs of the supposedly white-blazed Connector Trail. Hmm ... we didn't see anything, and soon we were heading uphill and south—away from Fall Brook. That means, according to the map, that we had already passed the turnoff for the Connector Trail. Rich, Dad and I retraced our steps and, using the map, estimated again where we should find the intersection. This time, we found some faint blue blazes on the north side of the brook, but following them for a few minutes ensured us that we were in fact on the blue-blazed Wetland Trail, heading northeast rather than northwest. Where was the Connector Trail?! We searched the entire area on both sides of the brook without finding a single unaccounted-for blaze (white or otherwise) or signs of a trail. Eventually, we gave up and decided just to drive to the spot after our hike, and see if we could locate the trail from the opposite direction.
We finished the hike by following the Fall Brook, Bunny, and Bunny/Cliff trail back to our parking spot. We discovered a highly fruitful blackberry-picking spot along the way, just for future reference.
Salt Springs Road is narrow, usually muddy, and potholed ("No Winter Maintenance" for sure!) but we didn't have too far to go, and Rich got us there is good shape. As we neared the coordinates for 1 W, what did we see to the right (north) side of the road? Yes, white blazes and a distinct trail leading into the main part of the park. And to our left at that spot, we saw a strange fenced-in plot that we first assumed might be a graveyard. Dad and I went to investigate. There were no graves, but we saw a large hole in the ground and some junk strewn about. We also saw what appeared to be the Connector Trail leading off into the woods toward the creek. We still had a bench mark to look for, so we'll check that out next time.
Rich wanted to stay with the car in case another vehicle approached from the opposite direction and he needed to move. So Dad and I walked the 300 feet or so toward the coordinates. We first walked along the road, only to find that the GPS was pointing us about 50 feet into the woods ... about 20 feet lower than the road. We backtracked and followed a path (most likely someone's driveway) downhill and southwest so that we were on the same level as the forest floor. In this small wooded patch, we found two prominent boulders, both covered in inches-thick layers of soil, moss and evergreen debris, but one of which almost certainly holds the bench mark disk. Without a metal detector and serious tools for cleaning off the boulders, we really had no hope of finding it today, but I'm certain we've identified the location.