Sawgrass Secret Zoo - ***No longer active***  LbNA # 42197 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateJul 27 2008
LocationPinellas Park, FL
Found By Chipara Chasers
Last Found Sep 19 2009
Hike Distance?
Last EditedNov 18 2015

Unfortunately, time has not been kind to this letterbox location. Of the three locations, only one of landmark "animals" is still there. (The dino now looks like a dragon - the others have yielded to the rigors of age.) The boxes have also been taken. Enjoy the park and see if you can find any great places of your own.

If you are interested - I recently created a photo scavenger hunt at the park for the youth mentoring group that I am involved in. Here is the link to the photo's: (
-copy/paste the address in your web browser.

Thank you to everyone that has participated in this letterbox. I am sorry to see it retired but hope that you all enjoyed it while it lasted.

There is a secret wildlife preserve in Sawgrass park that few people know about. You may hear some hunters but don't worry, they are down the road practicing at the gun range.

Go to Sawgrass Park and park in the farthest parking lot from the entrance.
Follow the path past the locked gates.
Go past the first pond and follow the path until you are going against the flow of traffic.
After the tree with the upside down heart cut into it you will see two bridges. Take the second bridge.
When the boardwalk splits, go right.
Continue on the boardwalk until you see a sign up ahead. Stand underneath the single horses hoof (Note: As of 10/4/08, the horses hoof is no longer present. Someone tore it down.) and then choose the red trail.
When the boardwalk ends and the dirt trail begins, bear to the right
Take a rest on the bench by the housing station then continue on your walk by following the path that Dorothy's color blind cousin would choose.
When your shoes once again hit the dust, keep following the path until you take a left at the next bench.
If you see the "Holy Ground" on the right of the path you are going the right way.
Go past the bench that is neighbor to two squirrel chairs and stop when you get to the second bench.
This is where the hunt begins

Clue # 1 - The Wolf:
Sit on the bench and look up to the sky.
In front of you will be a couple of trees. Take a look at the larger tree.
Perched at the end of a branch will be the wolf. Look for his tracks at the base of the tree he is guarding.

Clue # 2 - The Bear:
Get back on the path and keep going until you reach the fallen tree on the right side.
Stand very still and look up the path. If you look carefully enough, you will see a bear that is watching the trail.
He is wounded but you will find what you seek in the wound.
(As of 5/31/10: The wound finally did it's damage. He is face-down in the dirt. A moment of silence please.)

Clue # 3 - The Florida Panther:(A vanishing breed - alas, he too is gone.)
Turn around and go back to the fallen tree.
It is pointing to a tree that is still standing. The older it gets, the more it leans. Or is it leaning because of something else?
Follow the tree to the top and, just like the wolf, there is another guardian there. This time it a Florida panther - a little worse for wear but if you look hard enough, you will see it. His treasure is behind the tree.

Clue # 4 - The Dino (Now looks more like a dragon)
(Note: As of 10/4/08, someone has taken both the logbook and the stamp for this box. I will update this post once I have had time to create a new stamp and replace. - Penguin1of3)

Now it's time to take a step back in time. Or more precisely, 225 steps from the fallen log. Keep following the path starting at the fallen log, making sure you pass the bear once again. The trail will wind a little and even take a corner but there are no side paths to take so you should be ok. 223...224...225... Be very quiet or you will disturb the dinosaur on the left. He won't eat you though, he's a herbivore. He's a proud papa but the eggs haven't hatched yet. Turn around and go back down the trail until you see an opening on the right hand side. You will see a large uprooted tree. The eggs are hidden in the roots of the tree along with a souvenir of your trip back in time.

Hope you enjoyed your trip today. You may have seen some real wildlife along the way. Maybe some banana spiders, plenty of squirrels, an armadillo and maybe even a gator or two. The path loops back upon itself so when you get back to the boardwalk, just hop on and follow it till you get back to the car. Or feel free to take another trail. There’s a lot to see at Sawgrass park. Who knows, you just might find another hidden animal yourself.