Cheeseheads in Paradise  LbNA # 46020

OwnerWisconsin Hiker      
Placed DateMar 14 2009
LocationSun City Center, FL
Found ByM and M
Last UpdateApr 18 2009
Hike Distance?

Last found/checked: 14-MAR-09

Location: elttiL eetamaM reviR etatS kraP. Go to the ranger station, pay the $4/car fee and get a trail map with lock combination. Drive north on Hwy 301, cross the river and take the first left onto a gravel road. Unlock the gate, drive through and relock the gate. Continue a short ways to a small shaded parking area.

Hike Distance: 6.4 miles

Terrain: Mostly level sandy trail with occasional roots. Mostly shaded, but some stretches of low growth which means direct sun. Bring water!

Because of Wisconsin’s reputation for cheese, the term "cheesehead" was coined to refer to Wisconsin residents. Some sources say the term was used in a derogatory manner by Illinois sports fans, while others say it is based on a nickname for the Dutch, who were also known for their dairy products. In either case, in 1987 a local resident transformed the term into a symbol of pride when he crafted a wedge-shaped cheese hat from his mother’s sofa cushion and wore it to a Brewers game at County Stadium.

Manufactured cheese hats soon appeared on Wisconsinites’ heads, especially at Green Bay Packers games. National television coverage of Packer fans helped the “cheesehead” to become an instantly recognizable icon of the state.

What had started out as an insult had become, especially to sports fans, a mark of considerable pride. To call yourself a “cheesehead” is to reference your great love and support of the Packers.

This stamp was carved by LightninBug of Pennsylvania as a contribution to the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of letterboxing in Wisconsin. The anniversary boxes were planted on a temporary bases in the same park as the first letterbox in Wisconsin (which is still in place since SEP 26, 1998!). Afterwards, appropriate permanent homes for the boxes were found. Since many Wisconsinites (aka “cheeseheads”) think Florida is “Paradise” for vacations or retirement, we decided to plant this box in Florida.

To find this homage to cheeseheads, take the trail to the fork and choose either direction to travel around the orange(cheese)-blazed loop. When you are walking along the river, be on the lookout for turtles. We saw several large ones sunning themselves on logs out on the water. When you reach marker post #7 , take 25-30 steps north from the end of the boardwalk. You should see a multi-trunked oak on your left. The box is in the center. You might want to use the clearing on the other side of the trail as a convenient place to stamp in.

Since we live in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, we’d really appreciate an email about the status of the box! Wisconsin Hiker’s mom (aka “Tabby Tales” and a true blue Packer fan who has her own Cheesehead hat) lives part-time in the area and might be able to do some maintenance if necessary.