Hidden Pond Nature Center  LbNA # 822

Ownerpaper trail      
Placed DateMar 24 2003
LocationSpringfield, VA
Found By DC Stones
Last Found Oct 17 2015
Hike Distance?
Last EditedNov 10 2015

Placed by the Happy Homeschoolers on March 24, 2003
Adopted by Missslady on November 04, 2003
Adopted by paper trail on July 23, 2008

*All boxes were MIA by July 2006: we were able to reproduce #1 & #2 and added more stamps to the series. A bit of time passed by - and a lucky find by a letterboxer of the ORIGINAL #2, and we've restored the original series. As much of the original clues as possible are re-used here (including the Latin), but we updated where necessary.

A Trilogy of Boxes
Clues: easy
Hike: easy

Be sure to bring your compass, you’ll need it!

Nature center with exhibits, trails, pond, tot playground with picnic tables and a picnic shelter. Bathrooms inside nature center, (which is closed Tuesdays and holidays.) Pets allowed on leashes.

Directions to Hidden Pond: Beltway exit 57A (95 South) to west on Old Keene Mill Road (Rt. 644) to left on Greeley Blvd. (second left after Rolling Road)**THERE IS A GREELEY BLVD. BEFORE ROLLING ROAD DO NOT TAKE THIS ONE** to entrance at end of street.

Box 1
Take the paved trail to the Nature Center. Go to the right of the Nature Center and take the stairway around to the back of the center. Pass the picnic shelter on your left. At the fork take the paved trail to the right, which turns into a dirt path shortly. At the next fork bear left down a short steep hill with wooden steps (you will pass a bench and white/black trail marker on your left). Bear left at the next intersection to cross where there used to be a bridge. From there, go 27 steps to tree on your right with a root curved around the base. At this tree turn right into the woods about 15 steps to triple-trunk with one dead trunk. The box is hidden there, hidden in its backside hollow, covered with bark and leaves.

Box 2
Return to the path and turn right. Bear left at the “Y”. Cross over two small foot -bridges. At the next intersection (gravel path) go straight-ahead and follow the path with the blue trail blaze on the Liriodendron tulipifera. Cross the next five bridges/boardwalks (actually looks like a few more have been cobbled together). Walk some more and enjoy the sights and sounds of the swamp. Look for the Fagus grandifolia tree with the blue “bow” blaze (blaze is fading; look for the tree with a 2-foot hollow at head height). Go to the back of the tree and find carved initials W.M. + M.G. Take a compass reading of 290 degrees and walk to the 10' spar (top 8` have fallen down; look for a two-footer). From there take a compass reading of 166 degrees and walk 35 steps over dead trees and debris to the two Quercus alba trees covered with moss at the bottom. Stand between the trees and look 208 degrees for a fallen Pinus virginiana with exposed roots. As you count your steps towards it, stop at the fallen pine that blocks your way at 14 steps. Follow it to the right to the root end. The box is tucked under the base of the tree covered with sticks and leaves.

Box 3
Go back to the Fagus grandifolia tree with the blue “bow”. Take the “path” keeping the swamp on your right, follow along the “path” to find the old yellow wooden trail marker on your left. From the trail marker take a compass reading of 262 degrees and go 27 steps. Don’t go too far or you’ll end up in the creek! Look in the root cove of the beech to find the last box is hidden under some bark and leaves.

To return to the Nature Center just retrace your steps. Be sure to visit the Nature Center and take a stroll around the pond before you leave.

In case you’ve forgotten your Latin:
Pinus virginiana – Virginia Pine
Liriodendron tulipifera – Tuliptree
Quercus alba –White Oak
Fagus grandifolia - American Beech
Ilex opaca – American Holly