Sakatah Lake State Park  LbNA # 39270

Placed DateApr 24 2008
CountyLe Sueur
LocationWaterville, MN
Found By Bug Bug & Boo Boo
Last Found Jul 3 2016
Hike Distance?

Recently the Minnesota DNR has allowed letterboxes to be placed in state parks subject to a set of rules and the permission of the park manager. To celebrate this we've placed three letterboxes in Sakatah Lake State Park.

Sakatah's attractions include bicycling, birding on the lakes and ponds, and hiking through The Big Woods.

The Sakatah-Singing Hills Bike Path traverses prairie and lake for nearly forty miles from Mankato to Faribault. Plans are afoot to link it to the Cannon Valley Trail to the east. The trail is free including the three miles through the park. There's ample camping in the park, including a bicycle campground near the trail.

#1 Timble Doodle Letterbox.
(REPLACED on 04/11/09. Store-bought stamp.) The Timber Doodle Trail is a loop which intersects the main bike trail twice near the east end of the park. So park your one-, two- or three-wheeler at either intersection and take a short hike on the southern half of the loop. Near the middle of the 0.3 mile half-loop will be a bridge. At the west end of the bridge you'll see several stumps on the south side of the trail. The letterbox is in one of them. Recently found: 5/24/09.

#2 Hidden at Hidden Pond. Sakatah in Dakota means Singing Hills and justification for the name is given by the singing of birds that you'll find throughout the park. We have seen wild turkeys with as many as 13 in a flock. In the Spring there are large flocks of coots and white pelicans on the lake as well as ducks, great blue herons and cormorants throughout the summer. Canoes are available to rent. In the woods you can see and hear owls and woodpeckers and numerous songbirds. Bring your binoculars along. Please report what you see, esp. on the pond. Also there's a nice displays of birds in the park office.

The letterbox is hidden at Hidden Pond on Hidden Pond Trail near the center of the park. This hiking (no bikes allowed) trail begins near the park office and runs for 0.7 mi to a point on the park road near the bike trail. The pond is about halfway down the trail; so begin at either end. At the pond you'll find a bench. Sit down and watch and listen. Also notice two large dead trees just a few paces toward the south. Behind the one nearer the pond at about eye level you'll spot the box. Recently found: 5/24/09.

#3 Big Woods Loop. The box is located about halfway along the 0.8 mile Big Woods Loop near the west end of the park. The Big Woods (Tanka Canwito) once covered most of southeastern Minnesota. Now only a few remnants of the original remain, including this one. However, it is large enough to provide the habitat for a large variety of animals, such as deer, raccoons, muskrats, foxes and squirrels. The forest consists of oak, maple, aspen, butternut, basswood, elm, ash, and ironwood. As the old growth falters and decays it provides nutrients for the new growth and homes for the animals as well as a letterbox.

Hike around the loop in a clockwise direction; you'll eventually come to the southeast corner of the loop. There will be a large, dead, naked tree on the left (south) side of the trail. From here you should be able to hear and see the highway off to the south. Continue west, uphill on the trail for 50 paces. At the top of the rise you'll see a 20 ft high stump about 60 paces ahead just to the left of the trail. Go there and after about ten more paces there will a similar stump about 10 paces into the woods on your right (north). The corresponding downed hollow log is about 30 inches in diameter. It's probably the biggest log on the loop. You'll find the letterbox hidden in one of its cavities.

Recent Visit: Saturday, 21 May 2011