Written & Photographed by Jaynie Ellis
Please Note: Letterboxes are removed for the winter and are put back in place during the spring.
Follow along the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor letterboxing trail to some well-known spots and hidden gems alike. Learn more about the town you live in or the area you are visiting, and make some new memories while collecting unique stamps in your Passport.
What is Letterboxing?
Letterboxing is a fun, scavenger hunt activity for all ages that incorporates orienteering and puzzle solving. A “letterbox”, the British term for mailbox, is hidden in a public, scenic location. The hobby dates back to the mid-1800s and became popularized in North America in the late 1990s – there are now over 90,000 active letterboxes across the continent.
About the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor
The First Wilderness Heritage Corridor represents the earliest route into the Adirondack Mountains and along the Upper Hudson River. Connecting 7 towns across the community of Warren County through 28 letterbox locations and special events in total, including historical/cultural sites and recreation.
How It Works: The first step is to obtain a Passport. Click here to print one out and put it together yourself, or pick up a Passport for free at a variety of locations around Warren County. Click here for a map of all the places you can pick one up.
At each location, you will search for a hidden, weatherproof box using the riddle in your Passport. Upon finding the box, use the hand-carved stamp and inkpad to mark your Passport; go ahead and fill in the date, rate the spot, and add a comment as well. Make sure to leave the box how and where you found it for the next letterboxer.
Once you have completed 18/28 locations you can turn in your Passport to receive a First Wilderness embroidered patch or search for all 28 for an additional reward. For more information on the letterboxing trail and how to get a completion patch, click here.
Letterboxing Locations & Tips
The First Wilderness Heritage Corridor will take you to lightly populated parts of the county where gas stations and cell phone service can be sparse. It is recommended to fill up your tank and familiarize yourself with the general area of letterbox locations beforehand. If you are visiting a museum or similar spot and the letterbox is located inside, double-check their hours of operation. And, if you are hiking, make sure to dress appropriately, bring water, follow trail markers, and always check yourself for ticks after spending time in the woods. Do not letterbox after dark.
Traveling to new places while looking for something specific can get a little confusing – here is a list of the locations by town and some tips from personal experience to make your letterboxing adventure a little easier.
Town of Horicon
- Albert E. Monroe Park *You won’t find the address to Albert E. Monroe Park on Google Maps, so if you are unfamiliar with the area you might want to use the Adirondack General Store as your destination marker. You will still want to park your car here at the park, then follow the riddle and safely travel along the shoulder of the road to find the letterbox.
- Horicon Museum
- Bartonville Mountain *The trailhead you will want to follow begins behind the Hub. Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t familiar with tree species, you will know the curlicue-shaped Hemlock when you see it.
- Brant Lake Winter Carnival *Special Event Letterbox held in February. Stay tuned to firstwilderness.com for details.
Pictured: Albert E. Monroe Park
Town of Chester
- Dynamite Hill
- Chester Museum of Local History *Inside the Chester Town Hall on the second floor you will find the Museum of Local History and artifacts on display. Keep in mind that on Wednesdays the Farmer’s Market is in full swing on the sidewalk out front.
- Kipp Mountain *A moderate to steep rocky incline at times with rewarding views of Loon Lake, Prospect, Gore, and more mountains in the distance.
- Loon Lake Beach
Pictured: Kipp Mountain
Town of Johnsburg
Pictured: Ski Bowl Park
Town of Thurman
- Cod Pond *The hike to serene Cod Pond could be difficult for some. There are downed trees along the trail that you may need to step over or reroute around at times.
- Thurman Maple Days
- Farm Tour
- Thurman Station
Pictured: Cod Pond
Town of Stony Creek
- Green Meadows Park
- Dean Homestead Museum
- Dean Farm Trails
- Stony Creek Mountain Days *Special Event Letterbox held in August. Stay tuned to firstwilderness.com for details.
Pictured: Dean Homestead Museum
Town of Lake Luzerne
- Wayside Beach *This letterbox has been moved from its original location. The riddle will still lead you to the correct spot, just expand your search to cover a few additional feet of ground nearby.
- Kinnear Museum
- Adirondack Folk School
- Harris Preserve
Pictured: Kinnear Museum, Photo Credit: Kacey O’Brien
Town of Warrensburg
- Fish Hatchery *This letterbox has been moved from its original location. Follow the riddle to Pond 11 for a hint to the box’s new hiding spot.
- Mill District Historic Park
- Veterans’ Park
- Grandmother Tree Nature Trail
Pictured: Warren County Fish Hatchery
2023 Bonus Boxes
Can’t get enough of letterboxing? Find the clues to the bonus boxes on the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor website and stamp the two extra designated pages in the back of your passport. If you had any trouble finding other letterboxes, these bonus boxes count in the quest for a patch.
Bonus Box: Chester Creek Trails
*The boardwalk you cross at the trailhead is dilapidated but otherwise safe to walk on if you stay in the middle and watch your footing.
Located within one mile of letterbox locations: 5. Dynamite Hill and 6. Chester Museum of Local History.
Bonus Box: North Creek Mosaic Project
Located within one mile of letterbox locations: 9. Ski Bowl Park, 10. Tannery Pond Center, & 12. North Creek Depot Museum
Get out there and explore! Once you’ve filled this letterboxing passport, try to complete the Warren County Historians’ Challenge next!