Sourland Preserve LbNA # 8435
|Placed Date||May 30 2004|
|Last Found||Dec 28 2013|
THE SOURLAND PRESERVE LETTERBOXES
BOXES 1 & 2 PLACED BY: Coyotl Clan in 2001
BOX 3 PLACED BY: The Northerner in May 2004
LAST CHECKED: April 19, 2011
ROUTE: The first two boxes of this series were actually the first two letterboxes I ever found after hearing about this secret world of hidden treasures and clues, so I was delighted when I got asked by Coyotl Clan to adopt those boxes from them when they moved out of the area in 2004. Though I have made a couple of adjustments due to changes in the land, I have tried to keep the clues for these two boxes as close to the original version as possible. In 2004, I also added a third box to the series on the same path. The hike to find all three boxes is about 4.5 miles round trip. The trail is well marked. It has a steep climb of about 500 feet within the first half-mile plus and then does a gradual descent with some slight ups and downs the remaining 4 miles back to the car. Particularly on the flats you will see quite a bit of mud if there has been any significant rain recently and footing can be tricky in places with a lot of rocks. I don't want to discourage anyone, it is a great trail that I run frequently, I just wouldn't test out your new high heels here! Allow 2.5 to 3 hours to find the whole series.
Route 206 from North: Follow Route 206 through Somerville and Hillsborough - approximately six miles from the Somerville Circle to Route 514 which is Amwell Road. Make a right turn onto Amwell Road and proceed one and a half miles to East Mountain Road. Turn left onto East Mountain Road. Travel for one mile, and you will see the Sourland Mountain Preserve entrance sign on the right.
Route 206 from South: Follow Route 206 through Princeton and Montgomery. Traveling up a small ramp, make a left onto Route 601. Follow Route 601, and make a right turn onto East Mountain Road by Carrier Clinic. Travel for one mile, and you will see the Sourland Mountain Preserve entrance sign on the left.
All 3 boxes are hidden along the White Square Trail. Maps of the preserve may be available at the information kiosk adjacent to the parking lot, but if not don't worry! The trail is very well marked and begins at the edge of the woods just up from the kiosk. Notice the numbered markers as you travel the Square Trail.
Box 1 (updated clues 4/11 due to change in trail system):
Right before post 6 there is a break in a fence that the trail travels through. Right before this is a large rootstock (a fallen tree with its roots sticking up in the air) just to the left of the trail. Right next to the rootstock, on trail, is a large flat rock. Standing on the center of this rock take a bearing at 75 degrees and walk 28 paces to a large boulder. The boulder rests on a large flat rock of its own! Look under the easternmost end of the large flat rock.
For box two continue down the square trail in the direction you were traveling. As you follow along the trail you will eventually cross a wooden bridge over a creek. Immediately thereafter you will pass the ruins of a stone structure on the left of the trail. You will then find intersection #9. At this point, retrace your steps coming past the ruins and back over the bridge. After passing over the creek the trail splits briefly while heading uphill for a short distance. Off of the right fork, as it levels out again you will see an unmarked trail heading off at 257 degrees. Follow it for 16 paces and you will reach another old stone structure in the forest. From the southernmost end of the structure go 12 paces on a bearing of 204 deg. It's under the rocks.
From Sourland Preserve Letterbox #2 return to the square trail and continue all the way to marker 12. Here the square trail turns right and heads down to the pond and parking lot. To find the third box, however, you will take a quick detour left up the circle trail. 38 paces from post 12 you will find a tree on your left that started out as crooked as they come, but has found the straight and narrow path since then. From here leave the trail heading due south for 32 paces to the largest rock around. From the west end of this rock, if you head 24 paces at 260 degrees, you should find a tree that has found itself between a rock and a few hard places, but seems to be doing just fine with that predicament. On the north side of that tree you will find two dark and narrow spots that the tree has not yet explored. Hidden in the depths of the one to the left will be your prize.
Once you stamp in retrace your steps back to marker 12 and then head down to the clearing and pond and on to the parking lot to complete your hike. Hope you enjoyed the hunt! Please remember to be discrete while stamping in and rehiding the boxes. Let me know how the boxes are doing if you get a chance. Please remember to bring your own stamp pad.
NOTE: I consider one pace to equal two steps.