All Things Aroostook LbNA # 10605 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Aug 19 2004|
|Location||Presque Isle, ME|
The “All Things Aroostook” Letterbox series is dedicated to all the wonderful people of Aroostook County. This series was created while waiting out the torrential rains of the remnant tropical storm “Bonnie” on our first day of our annual family vacation at Portage Lake, summer 2004. It represents “All Things Aroostook” which make this part of Maine so special!
This series of 8 letterboxes is found at Mantle Lake Park in Presque Isle, Maine. To reach Mantle Lake Park, take Maple St. off of South Main St. Turn left onto Pine St. Go to the end of Pine St., and drive straight through the gates of Mantle Lake Park.
Please be discreet when stamping in and rehide the boxes well.
Aroostook County, known simply as “The County” by Mainers, is the least populated county of Maine, but the largest in area – almost as large as all of Massachusetts. It is said to be the largest county in the United States east of the Mississippi River. It is bordered by Canada on two sides and by the North Maine Woods on the third. Aroostook County has a rich cultural heritage of French-Canadians and Swedish, and has many small but interesting museums and places. “The County” offers a great variety of activities to do including hunting, fishing, snow-mobiling, hiking, canoeing, camping, golfing, …and yes even letterboxing!
To find the “Aroostook County” letterbox #1, head east on the paved walking path from the Mantle Lake Park parking lot. Go by a small blue building on your right. When the paved path turns to the right, you continue straight onto the little dirt and “rooty” path with a little brook on the left. Ignore all the little trails off of this path. Go to the end where the path starts to veer right and stop. It’s at this location where you need to look closely for a tree on the left with high roots that make a good place to hide a letterbox, (under a flat rock). Please sign in and replace well.
On the day that the Bonnie and Clyde gang was planting these letterboxes, a young cow moose came out into the open field and meandered around the park for about a half hour before leaving through the near-by housing development. The majestic moose numbers around 30,000 in the state of Maine, and a majority of these moose are found in Aroostook County. They are considered the “most deadly animal in New England” due to the numerous moose/car collisions that take place every year. (Please drive carefully while in Aroostook County.) They are however quite spectacular to view and we were thrilled to see the cow moose at Mantle Lake Park up close. She was a “moose on the loose!”
To find the “Moose on the Loose” letterbox #2, continue south on the path from letterbox #1. You’ll come to a T. Go left. When you come to an opening out to a wider path, stay right onto the smaller path. This path will take you into an area where poplars are abundant. Walk slowly and look on the right side of the path for three thick distinctive poplars, one right next to each other, all in a row. From these three poplars, walk 14 paces (left foot only). Stop. Look left. Look for a clump of small maples and a spruce. Look inside, under bark for letterbox #2.
The Maine Black Bear, besides being a great flavor of ice-cream, is another amazing wild creature of Aroostook County. We didn’t see any at Mantle Lake Park, but the Maine Black Bear letterbox can be found there.
From letterbox #2, continue just a little ways. Keep looking carefully on the right for an old small wood pile. Look in the middle for the “Maine Black Bear” letterbox #3. Rehide carefully.
Despite the image of potato fields being a dominant landscape, Aroostook County is highly wooded and includes a major portion of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. The privately owned North Maine Woods are home to many remote sporting camps that are accessible from the logging roads. It’s not unusual to see logging trucks hauling timber to the mills along Aroostook’s roads. The North Maine Woods have provided a traditional economy and lifestyle in the region for centuries.
To find the “North Maine Woods” letterbox #4, continue on trail. Cross over a bridge and you’ll come to a T intersection. Go left seven paces. On the right is another small woodpile. Look inside.
What would a series about Aroostook County be without the beautiful Loon that can be found at Aroostook County’s lakes? We really enjoy hearing their enchanting call on Portage Lake. So we have created the “Looney Loon” letterbox.
After stamping in at letterbox #4, go back to the T intersection, but continue straight ahead. You’ll notice an open field beyond the trees on your left. Keep going til you come to a fork with an island of vegetation in the middle. Look in this island under a flat rock for the “Looney Loon” letterbox #5.
Aroostook County produces around 1.5 million tons of potatoes. It is said to be the home of the frozen french fry. The potato farms are numerous and have been a traditional way of life in Aroostook County for many years.
To find the “Maine Potato” letterbox # 6, go over the bridge and continue til you come to a metal “chin-up” bar between two populars on the right. The Bonnie and Clyde gang did a couple of chin-ups while they were here. Go ahead and try some if you like. When you’re done with the chin-ups, look beyond the bar into a clump of small birch for the “Maine Potato” letterbox. Be discrete and rehide well. We bet this bar is a popular spot!
Just ask any hunter and they will tell you that “Aroostook County” is Big Buck Country.
To find the “Big Buck” letterbox #7, continue west on the path. As the sight of the pond comes into view down the path, stop. Take note of a path on the right and a clump of trees on the left. From this clump of trees, walk 6 paces. On the left, between two small logs and under a rock, find the “Big Buck” letterbox.
Besides hunting, fishing is also a popular sport in Aroostook County. Salmon and trout are fairly bountiful if you find the right places. Of course, as they say, a bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work. What a “Fisherman’s Delight!”
To find the “Fisherman’s Delight” letterbox #8, go back to the path that you passed on the right and take it. But don’t go to far….look on the left for a log lying parallel with the path. Look behind this log, in the middle, under moss-covered rocks for the letterbox.
When you’re done, continue on path and go left out to the park and playground.
We hope you enjoyed finding this series as much as we enjoyed making the stamps and planting the boxes. And may you enjoy “All Things Aroostook” as much as we do!
(If you have any comments concerning clues, condition of boxes, etc. please contact The Bonnie and Clyde Gang at email@example.com.)
(Also please note, for those of you who have already found the "Portage Lake" letterbox, the stamp has been replaced and the box has been replanted in a different location, making it a new find! Ckeck it out!!)