Buttermilk Falls, Beaver County LbNA # 24087
|Placed Date||Jul 26 2006|
|Location||Beaver Falls, PA|
Buttermilk Falls is a small natural area just off the Beaver Falls exit of the PA turnpike. It has a good deal of history as this site was once a quarry for sandstone. It now contains some trails that parallel a series of rapids and waterfalls. Although the main trail is not long, it offers some peace and tranquility (once you get away from the traffic on Route 18) and some scenic views.
**Since placing this box in 2006, we have added 11 more boxes in the same park in 2007. See the clues for "Lynsey's Letterboxing Birthday Bash" and have fun finding all the boxes!!**
To access Buttermilk Falls from the PA turnpike, get off at the Beaver Falls exit (exit 13) and bear to the left at the split. This puts you on Route 18 South. Almost immediately after merging on the road, look to the right for a brown and yellow sign for "Buttermilk Falls Natural Area". You will stay on Route 18 less than .2 miles. Turn right into the small parking area (3 parking spaces, 1 handicapped). If you approach on Route 18 North, Buttermilk Falls will be on your left just before you reach the turnpike. There is also a small picturesqe church that shares the turn-off with Buttermilk Falls...the church may be more visible than the sign as it sits up on a hill above the turn-off. It is a good landmark.
Once there, you will hear the rushing of water almost as soon as you step out of your car. There is a clearly marked trail to follow and you will soon see the stream and rapids on your left as you follow the trail. There are many secondary trails that go off of the main trail...if you are adventurous, feel free to try them, but if you have small children, I recommend keeping to the main path as the other trails are often steep, muddy, and close to the water's edge. Be sure to wear either tennis shoes or hiking shoes. Unfortunately, this scenic place is visited often by others who do not share the "leave no trace" philosophy...closer to the main falls, there is a lot of broken glass along the trail.
To find your treasure, follow the path down the gentle slope. Enjoy the sounds of rushing water and the wildflowers along the way. There are a few benches for enjoying the vistas along the trail, as well as a landmark describing the history of the quarry. You will not need to climb the steps to find your treasure. On the right of the path is a wooden bench. You may want to sit on the bench to enjoy the view of the falls and the wildflowers. Across the path from bench is big (~2 ft wide) rock. If you stand on this big rock, you can step down onto a small "landing". Once you are standing on the "landing" a few feet lower than the path, stand on another big rock (~18 inches wide) on the landing and face the park bench (your back will be to the water). At about 11:00, by your feet, you will notice a hollow place in the ground that is almost concealed by some plant roots and vines hanging down...This is where your treasure lies. If you squat down on the rock and peer under the ledge, you should just see some of the plastic containing your treasure. The treasure is located far to the right in this concealed alcove. There were a few rocks underneath the box to help keep it stable; I added a few more for greater security and secrecy.
A few cautions: 1.) The "landing" that you need to climb down to is not very large. If you have more than 2 people in a party it will be difficult to stay together and find the box because the footing is a bit unstable. Once you find the box, there are several large rocks close to the water or even up a little higher where you will be more protected from the trail. 2.) There does seem to be quite a bit of traffic along this trail, despite its small size. For that reason we felt it was important to find a discreet hiding spot. (Sorry if it's not convenient...it's easy enough to walk to the spot.) Please be aware that although the large rock on the trail only provides minimal protection, and the actual hiding site is well within view of the trail. Please be discreet when stamping up. (If you are caught unawares, you can alway pretend to be getting a better view of the falls or engaging in "rock climbing" close to the water.)
Once you have discovered your treasure, please be sure to replace it carefully. The dirt is very loose and you may need an extra rock or 2 to be certain that the box will stay hidden underneath the tree roots. Since you travelled such a short distance to reach the hiding place (~.1 mile), you should take the trail the rest of the way to see the main falls...it is only about a 5 minute walk farther up the trail and you'll be glad you did. On a hot day, you may enjoy the cooling mists from the falls...it is always cooler there. You can even walk around behind the falls, if you don't mind getting a little muddy.
If you're a box planter, consider bringing a box along to plant...there are so many inviting nooks and crannies begging to be filled with boxes!
If you find this box, please contact me to let me know the condition and if the directions were accurate.