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Atlas Quest

Help: Florida

  1. Florida Wildlife Management Areas (WMA)
  2. Florida State Forests
  3. Key West, Florida
  4. Walt Disney World
  5. Erna Nixon Park
  6. Florida State Parks

Florida Wildlife Management Areas (WMA)

Florida has a hodgepodge of bureaucratic departments in charge of various public lands, but as a general rule you can plant letterboxes in any of them as long as you have a permit. And note, these departments generally consider letterboxing a type of geocaching; as far as they're concerned, whatever rules they come up with for geocaches apply equally to letterboxes.

For the specific case of Wildlife Management Areas (WMA's) that are owned and regulated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, you can apply for a geocache permit online at:

The online form will ask you to fill in a latitude and longitude for your letterbox. Remember, these guys think a letterbox is a type of geocache. Just enter some approximate numbers, which you can get off a map or an online map. The form won't let you leave the fields blank.

You also will need to describe where to park.

And, of course, you're supposed to know all this before you get the permit. And once you get a permit, you're supposed to affix a sticker inside your letterbox. This means you're supposed to know all this info before you go ever out there and look for a place to plant your box.

the person to contact about a permit is:

Tom M. Matthews
Recreation Planner
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Office of Recreation Services

You can look up the FWC Lead Areas and Cooperative Areas at:

Florida State Forests

As a general rule you can plant letterboxes in Florida's State Forests as long as you have a permit. And note, these managers generally consider letterboxing a type of geocaching; as far as they're concerned, whatever rules they come up with for geocaches apply equally to letterboxes.

If you wish to plant a letterbox in Talquin, Wakulla, or Tate's Hell State Forests, you should contact:

Marti Miller
Recreation Coordinator
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Forestry
865 Geddie Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32304
(850) 487-3766
(850) 922-2107 fax

Standards for geocaching in these areas:

  • One geocache per trail or loop on recreational tracts (a tract where hunting is not allowed)
  • One geocache per tract for all other tracts

Since they consider a geocache and a letterbox the same thing, if there's already a geocache on a trail or loop your application for a permit to plant a letterbox there will be denied.

One of their key concerns is the prospect of shortcutting a trail. Many public lands have hiking trails that loop back and forth so they can put several miles of trails within a relatively small tract of land. They don't like it when hikers cut across between these loops. When one does, he often leaves a visible path tempting others to follow. In short order, the shortcut looks like a well-worn path. One of their concerns is that someone may plant a geocache or letterbox between loops and finders will beat a path that looks like a shortcut, and eventually will actually become a shortcut. Any letterbox planted between such hiking loops is likely to be denied.

Key West, Florida

The historic cemetery in the middle of Key West has hassled people about letterboxing in the past, including threats of charging those who do with a third degree misdemeanor. Exactly which law is being broken is unclear—the e-mail administrators received did not include information about applicable laws or who decides such matters, except that they consider it "highly offensive" and that the cemetery is not "an adult playground."

If you want your boxes in Key West to live long and happy lives, don't plant boxes there.

Walt Disney World

Letterboxing is not allowed anywhere on Disney's properties, inside or outside their parks. Just say no!

Erna Nixon Park

Erna Nixon Park in Melbourne, Florida, is off limits to letterboxing. They weren't happy when they discovered a box on their premises in the past.

Update: They were unhappy because the box placed there had clues directing the finders to climb over a locked gate and heading down a clearly marked "Staff Only" trail.
Cheryl Caldwell is the new park supervisor and she would love to have a letterbox placed here!

Florida State Parks

Letterboxing is allowed in Florida State Parks, but you do need to get verbal permission before planting from the park manager.

Describe the location, how you intend to hide it (digging is not allowed) and provide a description of the container. The park manager will consider the site attributes and give verbal permission for you to hide the letterbox in the location. Archaeological, ecological and historical areas are typically off limits. Also consider frequent flooding, fire frequency, animal habitat, etc. before requesting permission.

Letterboxing in Florida State Parks
Environmental Responsiblity in Florida State Parks