In the years from 1933-1942, nine Florida state parks were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Follow the Florida State Parks CCC Geotrail to discover them and search for the hidden caches at each location. The trail ends at the CCC Museum in Highlands Hammock State Park where cache hunters receive a special commemorative Geocoin. All of the coordinates are available online to follow the trail.
The CCC was a public work relief program that provided work for unemployed, unmarried men, ages 18 – 25 years old, from relief families as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. The program helped families who had difficulty finding employment during the depression while initiating natural resource conservation in every state and territory. Some interesting facts about the CCC are:
- Besides receiving food, clothing and shelter, men were paid $30.00 a week of which $25.00 was to be sent home to families ($30.00 had the equivalent buying power of about $540.00 today according to the Consumer Price Index inflation calculator)
- The maximum number of men enrolled at any one time was 300,000 and in the length of the program 3 million young men participated
- In a separate program, 200,000 African-American enrollees were segregated, but received equal pay and housing with many in supervisory positions in the 143 segregated camps
- A separate Indian Division was a major relief for Native Americans
- No women were enrolled
- Nearly 3 billion trees were planted to reforest America, more than 800 parks were constructed and upgraded nationwide, forest fire fighting techniques were updated, and a network of service buildings and remote public roadways were established by the CCC
Geocaching is a bit like treasure hunting, however instead of a map to follow, hunters follow GPS codes to hidden containers, called geocaches, and then share their hunting experiences at the Geocaching website.
Each cache on the CCC Geotrail is a large ammo can. To find the final cache on the trail hunters must record the keyword at each CCC cache. It is engraved on both the outside of the ammo can and inside of the lid. Hunters are asked not to post photographs of the the keywords and if anyone does, their log will be deleted to keep the hunt fun for others. The keywords consist of 4-5 numbers and 6-9 letters. Plug in the numbers to reveal the coordinates for the final cache on the trail. The complete keyword will be used to verify completion and then hunters will be eligible to receive the Geocoin commemorating the Florida State Parks CCC Geotrail. These are the GC codes for the parks on the CCC Geotrail that can be put in a search at the Geocaching website for coordinates:
- GC38Y93 Fort Clinch State Park
- GC3BG4G Florida Caverns State Park
- GC3D02X Highlands Hammock State Park
- GC3BG4A Hillsborough River State Park
- GC3ABB5 Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
- GC3BG4N Myakka River State Park
- GC3ABBC O’Leno State Park
- GC38Y8V Ravine Gardens State Park
- GC3BG4E Torreya State Park
- GC38Y9F Florida State Parks FINAL CCC Cache – located in Highlands Hammock State Park.
More information can be found at the Florida State Park website and at the Geocaching website.