The Three Bears  LbNA # 52274

OwnerThe Three Detectives    
Placed DateNov 21 2009
LocationAccotink Wildlife Refuge, Lorton, VA
Found By The Three Detectives
Last Found Sep 5 2015
Hike Distance?

This series is located in Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge. Starting at the intersection of Fairafx County Parkway and Rt 1, travel north on Rt 1 about a quarter mile to next traffic light and entrance to Fort Belvoir. Follow the signs for Fort Belvoir Tulley Gate. Drive the entrance road to Fort Belvoir but do not enter the base. Park in the parking lot just before the vehicle inspection point and enter the trail in the back corner of the lot, next to the sign for Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Follow trail until trail intersection and follow the sign for the Beaver Pond trail. At next intersection, continue to follow the sign for Beaver Pond trail by turning left. Trail will go up and down a series of steps and between two ponds. After the ponds, follow the “Loop Trail” to the left. Continue on the trail until you see a large tree in the forest on the right side with lots of holes in its trunk that look perfect for hiding a letter box. You know it’s the right tree if you see an old log that was cut down from a tree that was over 50 years old that is immediately next to the trail on your left. Just ahead, less than 20 paces, you will see a metal sign on left that says “Maintenance Road”. Follow the maintenance road path for about 50 paces (1 pace=2 steps) and you will see a large tree on the right. (about 5 paces off the trail). Follow a course for 17 paces into the woods in a line formed by the large tree and the other large tree about 5 paces behind the first (stay to the left side of the trees). On the backside of a small mound, there is a horseshoe-shaped piece of metal. Inside you will find the bear whose chair was too big. There are two such pieces of metal in this vicinity so don’t stop if you find one that does not have the letterbox.

Retrace your steps back to the “Maintenance Road” sign and turn left. Continue downhill and cross the wooden bridge. Follow the path up the hill to the left when you arrive at the split rail fence. Continue to follow the orange-blazed trail until you encounter the metal sign warning of danger on the left. If you get to the railroad timbers that are on the ground on the side of the path, you have gone too far. From the metal sign, look back at the trail you just followed. In the woods in the near distance, slightly to the right, you will see a 2 trunk tree with a perfect hiding hole. That is where you will find the bear whose porridge is too cold.

From the metal sign, continue in the original direction of travel, but step over the railroad timbers on the left side of the path and follow the unmarked trail. Continue until you hit a T intersection with a paved trail. Turn right and follow the paved trail until there is another dirt/rock trail on the right.
Follow the dirt trail on the right 14 paces. On the right side of the trail, there is a tree that forks about 20 feet off the ground. On the ground behind the tree trunk is where you will find the bear whose bed was just right.

Return to the dirt trail and turn right (the original direction of travel). The trail will curve (mostly right) and eventually start downhill. At the bottom of the hill it will form a T intersection with the orange-blazed trail. Turn right. Soon you will be re-tracing your steps that lead you to the boxes