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 amyp@saratogaplan.org.

Step 2. Pick your preserve and download clues. Click the preserve links in the sidebar to download site-specific clues, or pick up laminated clues from trailhead kiosks. Please remember to return laminated clues. (Note: Railroad Run, Round Lake Preserve, Saratoga Siege Trail, Spring Run Trail, and Zim Smith Trail do not have a kiosk so the clues need to be downloaded).

Step 3. Hit the trail! When you find a letterbox, use the stamp inside to mark your PLAN Passport and then leave a note in the notebook to tell us about your adventure!

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!

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