Nature Walk  LbNA # 14769 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateApr 30 2005
LocationChampaign, IL
Found By Jaxom and Sharra
Last Found May 1 2009
Hike Distance?

This is a series of 6 letterboxes whose stamps are all flowers or leaves. Purists can stop reading now. These are store bought stamps. We have neither the talent to carve our own nor the money to have the stamps custom made, so store bought is what you get with us.

This is our first set of letterboxes that we are placing, so we started small. Each stamp is hidden in a black 35mm film container with a grey lid. This should keep things dry. It is a tight fit for the log and the stamp, so please put the pieces back together the way you found them and make sure the lid is on securely. Also because of size the log will not accomodate a stamp that is larger than 1 3/4" on both sides. Finally, bring your own ink pad.

We are very open to comments and suggestions from people who do these letterboxes, so feel free to email us at any time.

Finally I will mention that this is about a mile hike from one end to the other after which you must return to your car. The path is suitable for bikes and dogs are allowed. We would rate the difficulty as moderate as there is some climbing and bushwhacking involved, but not much.

Start by locating the Champaign County Worker's Memorial. Find the name of George Beason and see what year he died. Then take the first and last digit to form a new two digit number. Go back to the entrance to the memorial and count the number of bushes to the left of the path. When you get to the bush matching the number you just found dig around in it to find your first letterbox.

Go across the parking lot to the start of the bike trail. Follow the trail, carefully crossing the street. When you get to the monument, you may walk up through it or follow the trail around it. Count the number of steps leading down from the back of the monument to the trail. Go to the bridge, but instead of crossing it go down towards the river to the left of the bridge. Count on the bridge the number of planks equal to the number of steps. Directly below this plank, that same number of inches in from the edge of the bridge you will find the letterbox burried beneath the rocks.

Get back onto the trail and cross the bridge. Turn left on the other side of the bridge. Follow the trail past the evergreens to a small wooden bridge. Before crossing the bridge go to the left of the bridge and check the area in between the cement footing and the wooden cross beam. Here you should find a letterbox wedged into place.

Go back to the trail and follow it past the soccer fields to a busy street. Cross the street carefully and continue on the path. Soon you will see a lake to your right and an area chock full of cut up logs and trees across the river to your left. Eventually you will come to a bridge that takes you across the river. After crossing the bridge cut back towards the area with all the logs and stumps. The grassy trail will fork, but you will walk straight ahead into the brush. You will pass a gigantic stump to your right followed by another large stump with a big hole in the middle. Turn right and you will see a pile of logs topped by a y-shaped log. In between the two stems of the y is a log with a hole in the top. In this hole underneath some bark is the letterbox.

Go back to the bike trail, but do not go back across the bridge. Instead continue on toward the railroad tracks and highway overpass. You will cross another bridge, then go around a bend and cross another bridge followed by a sharp turn to the left. The trail then passes under the railroad tracks. After going under the tracks if you look to your left you will see the remnants of an old retention wall in the river. Start walking across the river on this wall. Halfway across, turn left and jump down onto the cement below you, and walk over to where you can finish your crossing by climbing up a piece of cement that angles up out of the river to the bank. Follow this "bridge" to the cement wall at the top. Turn left and follow the wall to a tree. At the base of the tree there is a hollow between the tree and the wall. In this hollow underneath some bark is the letterbox.

Go back to the trail. Here you have two choices. Follow the bike trail, which will take you to a tunnel that leads under the highway. Do not go through this tunnel if it is raining or the water level is high. After going all the way through you will turn right and scramble up the hill to join the main path. Or, you can take the obvious detour that follows the railroad tracks under the highway and then joins up with the main trail. Either way when you get to the main trail, turn right and follow the trail with the lake to your left. You will come to a gate that leads to the parking lot. Go into the parking lot and to your left will be a staircase that leads down to the water. Go down the stairs and turn left. Follow the railroad ties to the end and turn left again. Head up the hill until you come to a rock. Look to your left by the post and you will find the last letter box. Please return it carefully so it stays in place.

If you follow the road along the lake you will find a boat house and some faciltites and a main road. Or, turn around and make your way back to your car.

Hope you enjoyed our Nature Walk.