Minnesota Zoo  LbNA # 52824

OwnerThree Rivers    
Placed DateApr 3 2010
CountyDakota
LocationApple Valley, MN
Boxes1
Found ByThe 4A's
Last UpdateMay 18 2014

Clues

The Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, MN is very special to our family. Most notably husband and I were married here in 2005, under the lush vegetation of the Tropics Trail; we could hear the lemurs chattering loudly throughout our entire wedding ceremony! Since then, we have become members and we have returned to the zoo for many other special family occasions, including the 2010 Valentine's Day "Love Tour," a "dolphin sleepover party" for my eldest daughter in celebration of her 7th birthday, and a birthday party for our youngest daughter when she turned 4. We visit the zoo many times a year and highly recommend it for children of all ages. They also have an IMAX theater that shows both documentary and popular films.

A few practical points before I outline the clues:
Since the letterbox is outside the zoo grounds, you do not have to shell out any money to do the stamp if you aren't up for a zoo visit. If you are, please note that Zoo hours are 9-4 from Oct thru April; Weekdays in May & Sept 9-4; Weekends in May & Sept 9-6; 9-6 all days from June-Aug.

Admission cost:
Age 0-2 free
Age 3-12 $7.00
Age 13-64 $13.00
Age 65+ $7.00
Parking is an additional $5.00 per car, paid at the admissions desk (i.e., you can slip in and out of the parking lot without paying if you don't actually enter the zoo grounds.)

For more information, visit their website: www.mnzoo.org

Now on with the letterboxing...
There are two ways to get to this letterbox. If you are lucky enough to park in either the Tiger or Toucan lot by the East Entrance, you are very close to the stamp location. However, you will not have much control over where you park, as zoo attendants will direct you to a lot depending on how busy they are that day. If you park in the Gibbon or Dolphin lots (or take the bus), you will have a short walk to the box. I would suggest stamping in after after you visit the zoo, because then you will have a zoo map to refer to in looking for the starting points.

To access Letterbox from the Zoo East Entrance/Tiger or Toucan parking lots:
Face the zoo east entrance and look to your left. You will see a paved sidewalk that runs parallel to the parking lots. Follow this path past the sign for the Lion's Den and Puma Pavilion picnic areas to the second paved entrance to the Toucan lot. Enter the parking lot here; you should see a large green electric service box to your right. Walk straight ahead until you see a gravel driveway to your right. Go 20 paces on the gravel driveway and turn left towards the lightly wooded area. Walk forward into the brush 60 paces; you will pass 4 poles up the hill to your left. Stop when you reach the thicket of white-barked trees (we weren't sure if they were Aspen or Birch), and look down. You should see a small rock at the start of a "path" (I use this term loosely, because it is becoming grown over and isn't really much of a walking path anymore) that is framed by two railroad ties. Following the RR tie on the left, take 16 steps forward. Turn left and look up the hill and you will see 4 oak trees and a large vine surrounded by some dead-fall on the ground. Walk up the hill past these trees approximately 10 feet and stand between the two trees that are just in front of another larger pile of dead-fall. The letterbox is hidden under some bark to your left.

To access the letterbox from Zoo South Entrance/Gibbon or Dolphin parking lots:
Locate and face the bus stop that is directly across from the Gibbon/Dolphin parking lots and in front of the IMAX theater. To your right, you will see a paved sidewalk that runs parallel to the parking lots. Follow this sidewalk to the Lion's Den picnic area. IF THE PICNIC AREA IS OCCUPIED, KEEP WALKING ON THE SIDEWALK AND USE THE OTHER SET OF CLUES. If not, enter picnic area and walk towards the gravel driveway. Stand at the beginning of the gravel driveway next to 2 large oak trees; you will see two more oaks ahead and to the left, the picnic area and the lake will be on your right and a maintenance shed directly behind you. Walk forward on the gravel driveway 107 steps and turn right towards the lightly wooded area. Walk forward into the brush 60 paces; you will pass 4 poles up the hill to your left. Stop when you reach the thicket of white-barked trees (we weren't sure if they were Aspen or Birch), and look down. You should see a small rock at the start of a "path" (I use this term loosely, because it is becoming grown over and is isn't much of a walking path anymore) that is framed by two railroad ties. Following the RR tie on the left, take 16 steps forward. Turn left and look up the hill and you will see 4 oak trees and a large vine surrounded by some dead-fall on the ground. Walk up the hill past these trees approximately 10 feet and stand between the two trees that are just in front of another larger pile of dead-fall. The letterbox is hidden under some bark to your left.

You should recognize the stamp from the zoo signs, brochures, maps, etc. (if you don't, you can blame my evolving carving skills!) Stamp in and remember to rehide the LB well. We will check the box as often as we can but if you notice that the log book is getting full, please email me and I will be sure to replace it quickly.

Happy hunting!