Bear Creek Walking Trail - Five Boxes  LbNA # 45811

Placed DateMar 3 2009
LocationRobbins, NC
Found By
Last Update


Waiver of Responsibility. Please be sure to reseal baggies and boxes carefully so they stay dry and re-hide the boxes in their original location, completely hidden from view.

Caution: Since this trail follows a large creek, the trail may flood after unusually large rainfall.

The Bear Creek Walking Trail is located in Robbins, NC. Robbins is located on HWY 705 (approx. 20 miles south of the Asheboro Zoo and about 20 miles north of Pinehurst/So. Pines.). As HWY 705 proceeds through town it becomes Middleton St. Turn off Middleton onto Salisbury St. Salisbury Street turns into Mechanics Hill. Park at the old Woodmen of the World building on your left where Mechanics Hill intersects Water Plant Road. You will need to park at the Woodmen of the World Building. After parking, look to the left of the parking lot back the way you came and you will see a large stone marker. Take time to read about the founding of Mechanics Hill Baptist Church and commemoration of the founding of the Kennedy Gun Factory.
Look behind you across the street and down the hill beyond the Water Plant 281 marker where you will find the entrance to the Bear Creek Walking Trail at the bottom of the hill. The Water Plant building and fenced area lie on your left. The trail sign is located on the right. The trail proceeds straight ahead between the trail sign and the water plant. Once you pass an old tool shed on your right, be sure to follow the orange ribbons that mark the trail and turns.

Clue - Letterbox #1 – The Right to Bear Arms – The Second Amendment to the Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms, but before the Constitutional Amendment was written, the Kennedys gave us long rifles and swords. John Alexander Kennedy, a soldier and gunmaker for the American Revolutionary Army, fled south to North Carolina after Philadelphia fell to the British and established a gunworks factory in this area. He established the Kennedy Gun Factory on the “Falls of Bear Creek” near where the Robbins Water Plant now stands. Kennedy supplied Gen. George Washington’s Continental forces with firearms. The gunworks employed as many as 100 workers and also supplied many of the guns used in the War of 1812. By 1795, the town (Robbins) was known as Mechanics Hill. The Kennedy family donated land for the Mechanics Hill Baptist Church as well as contributed to the building of a school, a store and a dam for the town.

Proceed downhill passing the logs lying along the pathway. Approx. 20 long paces past the logs is a single log lying at an angle to the path like a rifle someone has abandoned along the way. Look to your right to a tree with two knees on its trunk, a perfect spot to rest your long rifle. Below the knees at the base of the tree you will find a hollow spot, a perfect place to hide your ammunition. Here you will find your treasure.

Clue - Letterbox #2 – STS-78 – Little did the Kennedy family know that the school they helped establish would produce an astronaut nearly 200 years later who you may have seen pictured in a larger than life mural on the side of one of the businesses located along main street as you entered town from the North. On June 20, 1996, Dr. Charles E. “Chuck” Brady, of Robbins launched into space on a 16-day Life and Microgravity Spacelab mission setting the stage for the International Space Station. He along with the other Columbia crew conducted 41 experiments on human physiology and other experiments that could be sustained on an orbital platform. They traveled 17 million miles during that voyage. You will only need to proceed a little further on your trek.

Proceed on along the trail a short distance making sure to note the orange ribbon marker that indicates the trail turns left. You will soon pass a cinderblock shed on your left and you can see Bear Creek on your right. Notice the mountain laurel growing along the way as you travel along. Continue downhill being careful as the slope is uneven and rocky. After you cross a small rocky ravine or gully, pass under a small holly tree arching over the path. You should soon see an interesting stump on your left looking like the base of some organic spaceship. You might want to sit on the stump and gaze into the sky overhead, but your treasure is located inside the stump!

Clue – Letterbox #3 –Sister City – Not only does the little town of Robbins have connections to the far reaches of space, but unfailing love and respect has connected the people of a small village in the Quidong Province, China to our town. A young pilot, Lt. Hoyle Upchurch from nearby Highfalls, flew his P40-N-20 on his first mission with the famed “Flying Tigers” out of Kanchow, China during WWII. He was shot down that day and had been missing in action for 62 years. Mr. Huang of the Quidong Province, now 79, remembered the soldier crashing near his small mountain village when he was a boy. He recalled that the villagers wrapped the soldier in a red silk cloth and buried him beneath a Ming dynasty tower. Each year, the villagers came to tend the grave and bring fresh flowers in wreaths to set behind the simple white cross bearing only the words “American Pilot” in Chinese characters. Through DNA testing done by the POW/MIA Accounting Command, some 62 years later, Hoyle’s body was identified and brought home for burial, but he did not come home alone. A delegation of Chinese traveled with him and thus a bond was formed. In 2007, the town of Robbins and the village in the Quidong Province became Sister Cities vowing to stay in touch and share their common interests.

Continue on along the path. You will pass Chinese dragon fallen at shoulder height along the right edge of the path. Continue on, noticing the thick vines growing up the trees as you walk along. The path will bring you near the water’s edge, and boulders line the creek bank below. A few paces ahead and to the left, you will see a large tree with a curve in its hip. Facing the tree, walk uphill (approx.13 long paces) beyond the tree to a group of four white rocks. If you reach the rocks then walk approx. 10 long paces to your right. You will see a large tree blackened at the base as if a fiery dragon had breathed flames upon it. You will find your treasure inside its hollow base.

The path continues along a bit further where you will find a wonderful place to sit along the creek and contemplate the wonders of the creek and the bond formed by people half a world away.

Make a Decision: The trail turns left and up a hill. Notice the cleared area on the right where beavers have cut down the small trees. At this point, you may choose go left and return to the water plant near your car, or you can continue your hike to Letterbox #4 and #5. If returning to the water plant then turn left at this juncture. The power lines should be on your left and the train tracks on your right. If you would like to venture further to find the fourth and fifth letterboxes, take the wide path to the right.

Clue – Letterbox #4 – Wagonmaster – Each Saturday, the farmers of the area drove their wagons to town to get supplies. In 1958, Mr. Curtis Hussey and his cousins, Graham and Branson, were granted to have a Robbins Farmer’s Day Parade once a year to commemorate the history of an earlier, simpler time. Mr. Curtis Hussey became “The Wagonmaster” riding in his 1906 Covered wagon made by Tyson Buggy Works in nearby Carthage, NC. In 1958, the parade consisted of 65 entries and ten years later, 330 people entered the parade. Today, the parade is one of the top twenty events on the Southeast Tourism Society’s list with over 30,000 people attending the event over a three day period. Farmer’s Day is held on the first Saturday in August each year with the current “Wagonmaster”, Odell Hussey, son of Curtis Hussey leading the way.

Continue on the wide path, and you will soon hear water falling over the dam. You will reach a wide opening and just ahead on your right, you will see the damworks controls (painted green). A ramp walkway leads up to the damworks, but your treasure can be found underneath where the troll lives. Look under the ramp at the end where the bank meets the ramp. The treasure is located on a ledge under that ramp. Once you’ve replaced, you might want to walk down to the water’s edge nearer to the dam to take a closer look before you head on to the fifth letterbox.

Clue – Letterbox#5 – Dark Park – The “Wagonmaster” might be the star of Robbins on Farmer’s Day, but Robbins is the place to be to get a closer look at the zillions of stars in the sky at night. Each year, Robbins is the site for the Mid-Atlantic Star Party held in Oct. or Nov. This event attracts a large gathering of amateur astronomers, photographers, scientists and other “night owls”. For more info., go to

When you pass the dam and a fenced gate, you will see a graveled road ahead. Follow the road until you reach the reservoir. You might see otter, wild ducks, geese and more. Walk around the reservoir to the right and up into the grove of pines. Follow the path into the pine grove as it goes uphill and curves left. Look ahead on the trail for a massive oak tree standing along the left side of the trail. Your treasure lies at the base. Finish your walk on around the lake and then back to the water plant. As you walk contemplate the wonders of one small town and the people who make it great!

Waiver of Responsibility. Please be sure to reseal baggies and boxes carefully so they stay dry and re-hide the boxes in their original location, completely hidden from view.