Secluded Walk  LbNA # 38817 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateApr 9 2008
LocationWinston Salem, NC
Found By TrailRyder
Last Found Sep 28 2014
Hike Distance?
Last EditedJul 27 2016


Wake Forest University now sits on what was once considered the Reynolds family's backyard. The Reynolda House, originally built in 1917, sat at the center of the Reynolds family 1,067 acre estate. In addition to Reynolda Village, which housed estate workers to create a self-sustaining farm, and the Reynolda House, this multi-acre estate also laid claim to a 16 acre lake...Lake Katherine. Today, due to drought conditions and the blockage of Silas Creek, Lake Katherine has transformed into a large wetland area but the lake house still exists, currently used for school programs but at one point in history it was part of a crime scene in the history of the Reynolds family. Z.Smith Reynolds, the youngest son of R.J. Reynolds and Katherine Smith, died in the early morning on July 7, 1932 after a throwing a party at the Reynolda House for a friend's 21st birthday. Through the evening, the party migrated between the estate house, gardens, and the lake house. His death, attributed to a fatal gunshot wound, was much publicized in the months that followed...some suspecting his wife, Libby Holman. With the moving of Wake Forest University to Winston Salem in 1956, a secluded trail was created that links the campus to the quaint shops of Reynolda Village. This trail is roughly one mile, roundtrip, is maintained by a WFU fraternity yearound, and dogs are allowed (leash required)...AND it skirts the banks of Lake Katherine, the lake house, and its surrounding forestry.

To locate the letterbox you seek, start by parking in front of Simplyummy in Reynolda Village. Simplyummy, housed in the former blacksmith shop, offers yummy baked goods--organic, fair trade coffees and teas--and the best red pepper hummus in WS, so stop in before you start your search! With your back to Simplyummy, you'll walk along the concrete road 283 steps (roughly), along the way passing The Village Bookshop, European Touch, and Present Company until the trail splits to the left and to the right. Veer to the left and you'll see three poles and a small rock bridge. Once you cross over the rock bridge begin counting the marble benches that are on your right side. Standing in front of the 9th marble bench you'll see a small foot trail leading up the semi-hill. Begin walking up the trail--CAREFUL NO ONE IS AROUND TO GIVE AWAY THE LOCATION--after passing the second pine tree on your left, the trail curves to the left. Continue following the trail as it curves and you'll happen upon a bunch of trees that have been cut into sections and left on the ground. Look for a cluster of 4 logs on your right and underneath them you'll find the letterbox. BE CAREFUL in replacing it and make sure it stays well hidden!

Once you've re-hidden the letterbox head back to the concrete trail. Facing the trail, you can either turn to your left to head back to Reynolda Village OR to your right to the campus of WFU and the Z. Smith Reynolds Library where you could read more about the mysterious death of Z.S.R. in the book Libby Holman: Body and Soul (call number HV6534.W65 P47 1983).