Preservation Parks of Delaware County has announced a special Winter Letterbox adventure.
Looking for something to ward off cabin fever? Then bundle up the family and get out into the parks. Much like its popular Summer Letterbox Adventure, this year clues will guide you on a winter exploration of five different parks.
Adults can stop by Deer Haven Park Visitor Center or the Delaware County District Library (Main or Orange branch) to sign-up and receive a booklet for your family. You may also register online here and receive a PDF booklet. You already have an account if you registered online for the 2021-22 Winter Letterbox or you have participated in other programs that require registration at Preservation Parks in the past 1.5 years. Otherwise, registration is a 2-step process. First, create an account, and then register for the program to receive a PDF Letterbox booklet.
No matter how you register (in person or online) you only need to do it once.
How to go on your Winter Letterbox Adventure
Using the clues in your booklet, you will explore five different parks and learn more about trees. Instead of a traditional letterbox, you will find a sign at each park. (We use signs during the winter so boxes don’t get covered by snow.) Follow the instructions in your booklet so you’ll be sure to claim your prize. Take a pencil or other writing utensil with you on each letterbox hunt.
Claim Your Prize
Prizes may be retrieved from the prize box at Deer Haven Park during park hours, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily, Dec. – Feb., and 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. in March or the prize box at Gallant Farm during farm hours, Thursday – Sunday, 12 – 5 p.m. Prizes are limited and available on a first come, first serve basis until March 26 or while supplies last. The adventure runs December 20, 2021 – March 20, 2022.
If you are unaware of letterboxing, the hobby began over 150 years ago when visitors to the Dartmoor region of southwest England began to do something rather peculiar. Those hiking on the moors would place a letter or postcard inside a designated box along the trail as a mark that they had visited. Those who would come after them would, in turn, post letters back to those who had left them. Soon, these “letterboxes” were carefully hidden so that they would be difficult to discover. As this habit grew in popularity, the hobby of letterboxing was born. In the early part of the last century, a logbook was used for visitors to record their presence along a given trail. Then, shortly after the beginning of the 20th century, a rubber stamp was placed in a box for further proof that a visit had taken place. By the century’s last decades, the pastime had crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and letterboxing became popular across America.
The standard letterbox is a small container carefully hidden in a publicly accessible place — often in parks, nature areas, cemeteries, etc.. Similar to their modern cousins, geocaches, with letterboxes clues to the box’s location are created with various levels of difficulty instead of GPS coordinates. More information on the participating Parks and Trails can be found here.