I bet you didn’t know there were tigers in New Jersey! Tigers abound on the beautiful campus of Princeton University, and this hunt will lead you past many of them. The clues are long but not difficult as long as you read carefully and have a compass. The hunt is approximately two miles on easy terrain round trip. There are a couple of busy road crossings (both at lights) so just be careful. I consider two steps to equal one pace. Please remember to bring your own stamp pad.
ROUTE 206: Head to where 206 meets the end of Rt. 27 (Nassau Street) in downtown Princeton. Follow Rt. 27 past University Place and Elm Drive (both on your right) to Washington Road. Turn right onto Washington and follow it down the hill. Right before crossing the lake make a left onto Faculty Road. At the end of the field on your right will be a small paved road to a parking area along the lake. Park here to begin your hunt.
ROUTE 1: Head to the junction of Rt. 1 and Washington Road at the Penn’s Neck circle and make a right onto Washington Road towards Princeton. Cross over Lake Carnegie on Washington Road and then make your first right onto Faculty Road. At the end of the field on your right will be a small paved road to a parking area along the lake. Park here to begin your hunt.
CLUES: A short way from this parking lot lies a tiger’s den. But tigers are secretive animals and will not give up the location of their dens easily. In order to find this one you must first find the three keys to the den, which are guarded by other tigers around campus. When you find these keys (two are numbers one is a word) insert them into the final clue at the bottom of the page. Good luck and keep your eyes open for tigers!
First you must head back to junction and light
Where scholars and a president unite.
From the northwest corner of this meeting
A paved path to the west looks particularly greeting.
Twenty-seven paces your feet will have tread
When you reach a warning of rugged terrain ahead.
Next to this sign, off to the right,
A set of stone stairs climb up out of sight.
Climbing these stairs and following the trail
Keep walking until its existence does fail.
A parking lot off to the left should be here
But you turn to the right, tiger country draws near
Climbing uphill with all your might
You pass an interesting bench on your right
Just before the path crosses a road
The reason this path was created is told.
Continuing up Washington’s west side
Now on a paved path, beware of where tigers may hide
Turn left, just before a second side street
And in twenty-five paces your first tiger you will meet
He will be off to the left and above you, assured
Upset at the cactus to which he’s secured
Continue along, head right at the fork,
Along a brick wall, then down the steps you must work.
Thru the archway ahead your pathway will lead
At the far end spot a hydrant at two-ninety-five degrees
An archway of acorns and grapes will appear
At two-hundred-and-seventy degrees from here.
Standing between the acorns and grapes you have seen
At two-twenty degrees a pack of five tigers will be
The middle three smile and cry all at once
While the two side cats look angry and ready to pounce.
Head around the corner nearby
And give the west side of this building a try
Past doors of dragons and flowers will be
A door with two tigers for all to see.
Around the corner from this doorway you’ll find
Two more tigers caught in a bind.
They’ll be clawing and growling, with all their might,
Against ivy and monkeys on their backs is the fight.
In the message below, lies the FIRST KEY:
The number of classes donating this building plus three.
Write this number in the space below
Or the path to the letterbox will be hard to know.
Facing these tigers a road lies behind,
Cross over this road and a path you will find
Head north on this path past a large archway
Its off to your left so don’t go astray
The next north-facing wall is the one you will need
For to the next tiger it will certainly lead.
This one is scheming, it would appear
To drop the shield he carries, so don’t get too near.
The big little building lies off to the left,
Its northeastern corner is the next step
At three hundred-ten degrees a pathway will be,
Along its way, off to the left, you will see
The back of a gate of tigers will be there
Go through to a circular joining of paths if you dare.
From this spot there are many directions to march,
But north you must go, up the stairs, through the arch.
On the far side you will see a magnificent window
To its left is a tower, it is here you must go.
High up above on a castle you’ll see
At three hundred-ten degrees, where four tigers will be.
These tigers are not to be trusted I know
For they’re quick to turn where ever winds do blow.
The building with the window mentioned before
Has a path on its west side that you will adore.
The path, however, is soon to bend,
Around the northwest corner it comes to an end
Thirty-nine paces at seventy-five,
Will lead to where a large tree does abide.
Head left around the building behind,
Along a brick path, east it will wind.
As you pass through a brick wall, stop for second,
At one-thirty degrees you’ll find two tigers I reckon.
By the front steps of the school’s first abode
These tigers sit watching a nearby road.
At either side of these tigers, on the building’s north side,
Two rows of stone plates with engravings do hide.
The number nearest the tigers on the lower row to the west
Is the SECOND KEY to the den; to write it down would be best.
Now head east to the end of this path and then south,
Then between two white buildings you must travel with stealth.
For here are two tigers ready to clash
If I were you I’d travel through in a flash.
Down the stairs and to the left you should travel,
Past the headless walkers, mysteries begin to unravel.
When a fountain is spotted at seventy-five degrees,
Turn right for twenty-eight paces if you please.
On the left two sleepy tigers emerge from the wall
In twenty-nine more paces head under the hall.
In the middle of this passageway, over the light,
Two tigers are tangled in quite a fight.
Cross over Washington to Prospect’s south side.
On the front of one of the houses a tiger does hide,
This tiger has weapons worse than claw or fang,
A weapon that goes off with a deafening bang.
Just past this building, off to the right,
Is the road you should take to continue your plight.
Cross over the road it joins at its end,
And turn left to two tigers that look much underfed.
Look down the steps to where a building awaits,
A message is written on its front gates.
It is here you will find the FINAL KEY to this riddle
Look to the center four letters of the row in the middle.
Rearranging these letters will likely reveal
A word you will need to complete this ordeal
Now that all the keys to the den you can read,
The way to the box is where I quickly will lead.
Follow the road around this building to the east
Cheers of “Go Tigers!” might be heard supporting the beasts!
If you’re on the right track you should see a spot
Where tigers run in circles more often than not.
Follow this field's wall then along its south side
Past a flagpole to a circle of bricks you must stride.
From here head southwest to find the concrete
With a forest on its right below your feet.
Ahead is a staircase down to the trees
You are almost there; you must be so pleased!
Before heading down your eyes you should raise
Through the trees and just across the creek you should gaze
At 240 degrees and deep in the green
Is a wall that tigers climb over, or so it would seem
Off to its base you should quietly stalk
For a tiger’s den hides near where you walk
You are done with the rhymes you must be happy to hear,
But in self-defense, I never claimed to be Shakespeare!
THE TIGER’S DEN CAN BE FOUND ______[1st key] PACES AT ______[2nd key] DEGREES FROM THE ________[3rd key] END OF THE WALL.
The box is inside the southern end of a distinct feature, hidden under some pieces of wood. Please be aware of others around you when you take and re-hide the box. The road visible to the southeast is Faculty Road. Make your way through the woods to the road and then across to your car. I hope you enjoyed searching for this box and the tour of this beautiful campus. Please let me know how it went.
Last Checked: March 23, 2012
NOTE (1/2/13): Just got an email from a letterboxer today who mentioned that the wall referred to at the end of the clues got destroyed in Hurricane Sandy but he was still able to find the box. I will try to get out there as soon as possible to update the clues. Thanks.