Letterboxing combines elements of hiking and treasure hunting into an activity that the whole family can enjoy. Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by following clues and recording their discovery in their personal journal stamping the rubber stamp that’s found in letterbox.
The park naturalist will have journals for you to take with you or you can bring your own. Stop at the Nature Center to pick up the clues you need for this adventure.
What is Letterboxing??
Letterboxing is an intriguing “treasure hunt” style outdoor activity. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly-accessible places (like parks) and post clues to finding the box online on one of several Web sites. There are about 50,000 letterboxes hidden in North America alone. Individual letterboxes usually contain a log book, an often hand-carved rubber stamp and may contain an ink pad. Finders make an imprint of the letterbox’s stamp on their personal logbook, and leave an imprint of their personal stamp on the letterbox’s logbook .
Letterboxing is said to have started in England in 1854 when a Dartmoor National Park guide, James Perrott of Chagford, left a bottle by Cranmere Pool with his calling card in it an invitation to those who found the bottle to add theirs. Eventually, visitors began leaving a self-addressed postcard or note in the jar, hoping for them to be returned by mail by the next visitor (thus the origin of the term “letterboxing;” “letterbox” is a British term for a mailbox). This practice ended in time, however, and the current custom of using rubber stamps and visitor’s logbooks came into use.
To learn more or find other Letterboxes in your area check out www.letterboxing.org
Contact Sue Johansen, Park Naturalist
(608) 356-8301 Ext. 140