Letterboxing is an old English tradition dating back to 1854 where people began leaving self-addressed post cards or notes in a jar, hoping for them to be returned in the mail by the next visitor.

Today we’ve adapted this English tradition and put it to use on Saratoga PLAN’s nature preserves and partner trails. Each preserve and trail has a letterbox ranging in difficulty for participants and gives each type of adventurer an exciting opportunity to explore our preserves and have fun while doing so.

Follow clues. Find treasure. Win a prize.

Letterboxing steps:

Step 1. Get a PLAN Nature Passport by downloading it from this page, or stopping by the PLAN office (call ahead to see if we’re in!), or emailing alexf@saratogaplan.org.

Step 2. Pick your preserve and download clues. Click the preserve links below to download site-specific clues, or pick up laminated clues from trailhead kiosks. Please remember to return laminated clues. (Note: Round Lake Preserve does not have a kiosk, clues need to be downloaded).

Step 3. Hit the trail! When you find a letterbox, use the stamp inside to mark your PLAN Passport, leave a note in the notebook or take one of the post cards inside with you and send it back to us with your comments on how the hunt went for you. 

Step 4. Once you’ve collected at least 5 stamps, or written down three species you saw at each of those 5 preserves, bring your passport into the PLAN office for a t-shirt prize!


Beginning Earth Day, April 22, the following locations will have letterboxes awaiting your arrival:
  1. Ballston Creek Preserve
  2. Bog Meadow Trail/Meadowbrook Preserve
  3. Coldbrook Preserve
  4. Galway Nature Preserve
  5. Hennig Preserve
  6. LeVine Preserve
  7. Orra Phelps Nature Preserve
  8. Round Lake Preserve
  9. Rowland Hollow Creek Preserve
  10. Woodcock Preserve
  11. Glowegee Creek Trail
  12. Barkersville Trails
We are also working on getting letterboxes re-hidden at the following trails that are not managed by Saratoga PLAN:

13. Lake Lonely Trails
14. Railroad Run Trail
15. Saratoga Siege Trail
16. Spring Run Trail
17. Spruce Mountain Trail
18. Zim Smith Trail