Rainbow Beech Trail  LbNA # 24879

Placed DateAug 24 2006
LocationHanover, VA
Found By K&K
Last Found Nov 26 2009
Hike Distance?

All boxes were checked and updated June 25th, 2008.

This letterboxing trail is intended for kids of all ages (we have three ranging in ages from 1 to 7). Itís approximately half a mile in distance and is a circuit. It takes about an hour and is not suitable for strollers. We used a kid backpack carrier for our toddler.

A compass is not required but may be helpful in getting your bearings.

Mind the poison ivy along the trail - we took special care to place all boxes where there were no signs of it. However, beware of it between boxes 1 and 2, the ground is covered on both sides of the path.

Please note that all steps are those of a 7 year-old.

Many boxes are hidden under or around beech trees. A beech tree has smooth bark, which is silver gray in color. Many of the boxes are covered by this bark. Please replace the bark over the boxes.

Directions to Hanover Wayside Park

The park is located approximately 4.3 miles north of I-295 at Route 301. It will be on the right side of the road immediately after the Kersey Creek Bridge. The park is also 4.3 miles south of Hanover Courthouse on Route 301.

Enter the park and drive to the parking area next to the Hanover Veteranís Memorial Ė the road is one way to the right.

Walk back along the road passing the memorial and a driveway off to the left. A brown sign marks a nature trail leading off to the left. That is the starting point of the Rainbow Beech Trail.

Please be sure to re-hide all boxes carefully. This is a popular park.

Red Box (#1)

Walk north along the gravel trail into the woods. At the bottom of the hill the trail forks, take the left fork. Travel past the picnic tables to a large concrete slab on your left. Go to the NW corner and stand facing out. Look between the two graffiti-carved beech trees to a large fallen tree. At the root end of the tree, hidden in a hole under some bark you will find the red box.

Orange Box (#2)

Continue north along the gravel trail. Be sure to stay on the gravel path and cross the bridge Ė the bridge is downhill to the right. Do not go straight onto the dirt trail. Beware of the poison ivy on both sides of the trail after the bridge. Continue along the trail - stop at the next fork. Look to the left (north). Walk 13 steps off the trail to the left toward two large beech trees with many exposed roots. The orange box is hidden under the roots of the tree on the left.

Yellow Box (#3)

Continue on trail, taking the left (NE) fork. You will pass a very large beech tree on the left with many carvings. A short way down the trail you will see a brick house on the left. Stop at the trail heading toward the house. At the intersection, look across the main gravel trail (250 degrees). You will see a large standing dead beech tree with a hollow at its base that you can sse through. Walk around the tree to the back. The yellow box is hidden under lots of bark in the hollow. Be careful, itís a bit swampy behind the tree.

Green Box (#4)

Continue south along the gravel trail. You will pass a Nature Trail sign on the left. You will come to what was once a picnic area but is now just the remains of an old fireplace. Continue along the trail. You will cross a bridge. Go straight up the hill. Take the first right (a little less than halfway up the hill). Walk about 35 steps up the hill from the intersection. Look to your right and step back in time to '69. The blue box is hidden behind Randy & Karen and under Bob.

Blue Box (#5)

After bidding adieu to Randy, Karen and Bob, go back to the trail and continue uphill. At the fork, turn right towards a footbridge. Do not cross the bridge. Just before the bridge, stop and look to the right. A 2x4 in the fork of a holly tree points the way downhill to a very large poplar next to a small waterfall. Find the blue box under bark and branches on the waterfall side of the poplar tree. Be sure to replace the box on this side so it can't be seen from the bridge.

Indigo Box (#6)
***This box was washed out by a storm - we will replace and repost new clues***
Go back to the trail and cross the bridge. On the left side of the trail you will see a stream. Follow the stream to see a tiny footbridge (not very far). Scramble down the bank to cross the bridge. Go straight towards a large fallen tree directly in the stream. There are many nooks and crannies in the base. An old Coke bottle guards the entrance to where the indigo box lies. Please replace the Coke bottle for the next visitor.

Violet Box (#7) - Guarded by King Julian
***this box is missing it's stamp and ink***
Go back across the tiny footbridge and up the embankment to the trail. Continue uphill and turn left. Cross the bridge (the same bridge from clue #2). After the bridge, turn right where the trail turns left. Continue into the woods. Look for 2 large fallen trees that point back towards the park. Follow the trees to a small holly tree. A perpendicular tree lies to the right. Follow this tree to the end. Walk straight 20 steps to see an oak with a cinder block resting at its base. Find a hollow on the backside with false wood covering the opening. Lift the wood straight up to access the violet box. Please replace the wood carefully and leave Julian for the next group.

Rainbow Box (#8)

Bushwhack to the front of the Veterans Memorial. Pause to observe and reflect on the military service of Hanoverís own. Walk out to the center of the grassy field. Look towards 301 to see a small wooden building near the exit of the park. Look to the right of the building (about 30 steps from the NE corner) to see a well-defined hollow in the base of a tree. Hidden in the hollow is the rainbow box. Please be sure to re-hide this box very well. It right next to the road and in the direct line of sight for passers-by.

Congratulations!! You finished the trail! Walk back across the field and parking area to your car.