Happy Trails & Snails LbNA # 24001 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Jul 16 2006|
|Location||Beaver Falls, PA|
As far as we know, this is the first letterbox to be placed in Beaver County. We hope that more people will catch the "letterboxing bug" so that we can search for more letterboxes in our area!
This letterbox is designed to be an easy find for families with small children...you should be able to reach the hiding place within 10 minutes and the walk is easy (approximately .2 miles). If you do feel like doing more hiking, bring some good hiking shoes and perhaps a pair of pants...some of the trails are overgrown with weeds.
This letterbox is hidden in Patterson Township Community Park which is easily accessed from the Beaver Valley Expressway (Route 60). From 60, take the Chippewa exit and go south on route 51 for approximately 1 mile. Make a left onto 8th street...you will be going up a steep hill. Approximately halfway up the hill you will see a parking area on your left with a sign that says "Patterson Township Community Park." Pull into the parking lot. (The sign is hard to see as you are coming up the hill, but the parking area is opposite the green "littering" sign on the right of the road.)
All trails start from the same place...follow the asphalt trail down a hill and across a bridge. Ahead you will see a picnic pavillion; off to the right a lesser-used, unmarked trail goes up a hill. It is fun to explore and gives great exercise, if you don't mind a little overgrowth (watch out for poison ivy). Because of the overgrowth, our letterbox is not hidden on this trail.
Although the asphalt ends, a clear trail continues across a second bridge and bends to the left. Cross the bridge and make the turn. You should see several wood steps on the right side of the path. These steps lead to the "arena." Take the steps and you should see a clearing with a firepit in the center. (In this park, there are many trails that diverge and then merge again. You can also get to the arena by continuing on the path and following it around a hairpin turn to the right. The only downside of this route is that it is often muddy, particularly after a recent rain.)
From the top step, you should see two overturned tree stumps to the right, one at 1:00 and one at 2:00. You will be particularly interested in the one at 2:00, which is about 20 feet away. There will be some mild brush between you and this tree stump, but you can easily skirt it if you don't want to walk through it. (Again, beware of poison ivy.) At the base of this tree stump are several small rocks. If you move a few of these rocks, you should find the treasure that you seek. The arena gives the impression that it may be used by local teenagers as a late-night gathering place, so please be sure to rehide the letterbox carefully. If you find the letterbox, please contact me to give me a report on the condition and some feedback on the directions.
Although this is meant to be a relatively easy find, don't let that stop you from exploring the great hiking trails in this quiet park. Although they are not maintained as well as they once were, there are many trails that can be explored. If you follow the path a little beyond the arena, you will come to a longer series of steps. Following them will eventually bring you to a grassy area with picnic tables at the top of the ridge. If you get that far, you will probably notice some rooftops through the trees...the park butts up against some neighborhoods in Patterson Township. If you do explore, you will notice that some of the trail signs have fallen down, so it is difficult to know which trail you are following. At one time, there was a nice lookout on Overlook Trail. I could not find the lookout on my last visit, but I may not have gone far enough. If you do find the lookout be careful...it was not in great shape when I last saw it seven years ago. Have fun exploring...Happy Trails! (& Snails!)