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A Letterboxing Community

Atlas Quest

Help: Getting Started

  1. What is letterboxing?
  2. Where are letterboxes hidden?
  3. What do I need to letterbox?
  4. What is a signature stamp?
  5. Do I need a trail name?
  6. What's the difference between a trail name and an alias?
  7. What kind of logbook should I use?
  8. Where can I acquire letterboxing supplies?
  9. Why do we place letterboxes?
  10. Can we change or replace our signature stamp once we start?
  11. Can we change our trail name after we start?
  12. What are, and how do you do a postal letterbox?
  13. Are there other ideas for documenting one's adventures?
  14. What are Treasure Hikers?
  15. How do I add a "find" to my logbook?
  16. How do I narrow down the hundreds of boxes available?
  17. Is there a clue guide available for downtown Charlotte, NC?
  18. Is there a clue guide available for Latta Plantation and Nature Preserve in Huntersville, NC?
  19. What do I do when I find a geocache?
  20. How do I report a plant that I have made?
  21. Is there a Downtown Guide to Peoria, IL?
  22. What should I include in my letterboxing kit?
  23. Is there a clue guide available for Cane Creek Park in Waxhaw, NC?
  24. How do you agree to the Waiver of Responsibility and Disclaimer?
  25. Who do I report to if there is no letterbox at the site designated?
  26. I got bit by something that caused my arm to burn—how can I comment on hazards at the site?
  27. How do I add a comment to to a specific letterbox I have found?
  28. How do I get my letterbox to appear on the location page?
  29. Where do we get stamp carving tools?
  30. How do you read clues to find these boxes?
  31. How do I log my finds?
  32. How do you letterbox at all? This is so confusing!
  33. Can I turn a single box into a series later?
  34. What do I put into the letterbox?
  35. What should I use for the actual boxes?

What is letterboxing?

Letterboxing is an intriguing pastime combining artistic ability with "treasure-hunts" in parks, forests, and cities around the world. Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by cracking codes and following clues. Small boxes are hidden in various locations--usually outdoors, though many are planted indoors as well--and the creator of the box will release clues so others can go out and find them later. The box is expected to have a logbook that finders can log into and a unique stamp, usually hand-carved, that the finder can stamp into their own personal logbook as a record of all the letterboxes they've found. Most letterboxers have a unique stamp to represent themselves, called a signature stamp, that they stamp into the logbooks found inside letterboxes so others who find the letterbox later know they found it.

Where are letterboxes hidden?

Letterboxes can be hidden almost anywhere. Most are planted in scenic, outdoor areas, but others have been planted in bookstores, libraries, zoos, pubs, coffee shops, cemeteries, playgrounds, and one was even planted in the Smithsonian while another was planted at Disneyland. Where one can plant a letterbox is limited to only your imagination, though for legal or security reasons, you should avoid planting boxes in some locations such as national parks or airports and, well, Disneyland.

What do I need to letterbox?

To start finding boxes, all you need is a clue such as those provided on Atlas Quest. It's also recommended that you have a signature stamp, a logbook, an ink pad, and something to write with. The signature stamp is what you'll stamp into the logbook you find in the letterbox. Many letterboxes contain ink pads, but you should always bring your own since most do not, and even if they do, the ink pad in the box could be frozen solid, dried up, and otherwise incapacitated. Most letterboxers carry several small ink pads with varying colors. Having something to write with is nice so you can write in the logbook the date and perhaps a comment about the weather or experiences in finding the box. And you'll want your own, personal logbook so you can record all your finds with the stamp found in the letterbox.

Many boxes require a compass to find, so a compass should become part of your regular letterboxing kit. They're cheap and lightweight, and directions for using them can be found in our compass tutorial. You'll find gloves invaluable for those times when you need to reach your hand into deep, dark holes that letterboxes are so frequently found in. Depending on the location and circumstances, you may also want to bring water, snacks, sunglasses, hat, mosquito repellent, cell phone, flashlight, first-aid kit, and anything else that would ensure your safety, comfort, and general well-being.

What is a signature stamp?

A signature stamp is a unique stamp that represents yourself in some manner, and can be stamped into logbooks you find to show you've been there. Most letterboxers will urge you to create a hand-carved stamp rather than a store-bought one because we enjoy seeing what others can create. No artistic talent necessary! Carving a stamp is surprisingly quick and easy to do with the right guidance and tools, and our stamp carving tutorial is an excellent place to get started. Many first-time letterboxers, too eager to get out and start finding letterboxes before carving a signature stamp, will use their thumbprint. Many experienced letterboxers who forget to bring their signature stamp have been known to use this method as well!

Do I need a trail name?

Trail names are optional, though a growing number of letterboxers are adopting them. Part of it is just for fun, though others have made the argument that for personal safety and security, it's best not to be too loose with your real name. If you choose to go with a trail name, though, consider that it might follow you around for a long, long time to come. Don't select one you may regret later.

What's the difference between a trail name and an alias?

A trail name is the normal name that other letterboxers will know you as. An alias is like a secret identity—another trail name that nobody knows is you. Letterboxing is a very secretive hobby so it's not surprising the some letterboxers have adopted one or more aliases for any number of reasons. Read SpringChick's An Alias Among Us for more details about aliases and reasons you may or may not want to choose one for yourself.

What kind of logbook should I use?

New letterboxers always have a barrage of questions about logbooks. What size should they be? What should go in them? In a nutshell, it comes down to what you want to do. Every letterboxer has their own way of doing logbooks. Some people stamp finds onto index cards that can be sorted and easily carried. Others create diary-like journals where they paste in pictures of the hike or the clue itself along with information about the date and time, who they hiked with, or any other notes they care to take. For less-ambitious folks out there, they might only include the stamp image with the name of the box and the date it was found.

Those who use index cards generally save them in a photo album. You can add, remove, or rearrange pages from some types of photo album. Obviously, you can insert photos from the adventures right alongside the cards with the stamp images. This method has the benefit that you're not carrying the entire logbook with you on the trail, which means you're not carrying as much, and if it starts raining or you fall in a creek only the cards you have along get wet. On the downside, if you run into another letterboxer on the trail, you won't have your logbook along to show off. You could keep it in the car, of course.

Others prefer to use an heirloom-quality book of some sort, perhaps leather-bound. A collection of unique hand-carved stamp images can be very impressive when collected in a fine volume. The fact that the book has been carried over many trails just adds to its character.

If there's one thing most letterboxers can agree on when it comes to logbooks, it's to use one with blank, white pages. Lined pages look tacky—lines are for writing between, not for stamping on—and stamp images show up best on white pages. Also, if you're into making your own paper, you might reconsider for your logbook. Home-made paper tends to be grainy and doesn't stamp very well. Outside of that, it's really up to you and your imagination!

Where can I acquire letterboxing supplies?

Rubber stamp stores have many of the supplies letterboxers will need—especially the ink pads. Carving supplies can be more challenging to find since most rubber stamp stores actually expect you to buy rubber stamps rather than provide supplies to carve your own, though they usually have something for carving. Arts and crafts stores such as Michael's carry lots of useful supplies, though the employees that work there may not be familiar with carving tools! The carving blocks and carving tools, contrary to what you might think, are not located in the stamp aisle. Most likely, you'll find carving materials in the same area where you'll find stencils and calligraphy items. Don't ask why—nobody has a good answer for that and it may rank as one of the world's most enduring mysteries.

You can also find online sources at great prices such as One low-cost alternative many letterboxers prefer to use for carving blocks is PZ Kut, which can be purchased at Stampeaz.

Why do we place letterboxes?

Can we change or replace our signature stamp once we start?

Of course! Sometimes old stamps wear out and need replacement, but more often than not, people just like to shake things up a bit. Some people have created seasonal signature stamps, others have different sizes for different sized logbooks, others have several they carry around and use the one they feel best fits the letterbox, and still others like to change their signature stamp after every 100 finds or some other criteria of their choice. Others have replaced old, store-bought stamps with a beautiful hand-carved stamp once their carving skills have improved, or maybe even replace old, 'rustic' signature stamps with more refined carvings after a little more experience.

You are welcome to change your signature stamp as often as necessary, for any reason that suits your moods.

Can we change our trail name after we start?

Of course! While changing one's signature stamp may not cause too much confusion, however, changing your trail name can confuse people who want to contact you or list exchanges with you, so it's best to keep trail name changes to a minimum. Try to pick a good name you'll enjoy for years to come before the name 'attaches' itself to you. Once it's attached, you'll find it much more difficult to change later. You can change it, but the process becomes more difficult.

On Atlas Quest, you can change your trail name from the Account Information page. Your old trail name will stay on your profile, though, to help others identify you. If you change your trail name, none of your other information will change. You'll still have the same PFX counts, anyone who has exchanged with you will automatically have the name change reflected in their exchanges, and so forth. As far as Atlas Quest is concerned, it is like you had always been using the new name.

Additionally, you may want to announce your name change on the message boards so people who know you by your old trail name will know about the change. For a month or so, many people find it useful to include a note with their e-mails or posts indicating the name change, such as "Green Tortuga, formerly known as Green Turtle."

The point is you want to make an extra effort to let people who knew you by your old trail name be able to identify you with the new one.

What are, and how do you do a postal letterbox?

Are there other ideas for documenting one's adventures?

One idea is to get a map and put a dot in every spot where you've found a letterbox. You could use one big national (or even world) map, or you could do it state-by-state using state maps if you want. You can fold these maps up and carry them with you to events, or you can post them on a wall in your home. You can use different color dots for different years.

What are Treasure Hikers?

Yep. We're all treasure hikers in the general sense of the word... each little piece of art set free in the world is a treasure to plant and find.
But there is a larger game afoot to encourage more boxes on longer distance trails and paths, and that game is Treasure Hikers!
Mama Fox, of the Little Foxes, came up with the original idea and it wasn't long before other states wanted to kick up their hiking heels as well.

Treasure Hiking is a fun way to set hiking goals while letterboxing and earn cool pathtags or other accessories!


Here's the only rule: One point for each mile hiked while letterboxing, either finding or planting, on hikes of 1 mile or longer round trip.

If you have a question about whether something fits the Rule, use your own judgment, bearing in mind that we are operating on the honor system when you report your points. If you need clarification, read through the Suggestions and Footnotes below. The FAQ list is found below the table showing participating states and state coordinators. If you have questions about the program in one of the participating states, please contact the coordinator for that state.

Friendly Suggestions:
  • Each hike must be a minimum of one (1) mile in length round trip.
  • Maintenance should not count -- you will be doing maintenance anyway ;-))
  • Boxes and plants should only be counted once for the purposes of "hiking while letterboxing". So if you hike out to a box you have already found with a friend or for maintenance, enjoy the walk, but don't count the points. Or take a new box with you to plant.
  • The true Treasure Hiker Spirit is about hiking while letterboxing, and reporting is on the honor system, so let's all try to play fair and have fun. If you "cheat", you are only denying yourself boxes you haven't found, miles you haven't hiked, and beautiful places you haven't seen!

Other Footnotes:
  • Refer to your state's hiking motivator to find out when the start date for the program is.
  • Keep track of your hikes and boxes found, maybe like this or just add the Treasure Hiker Widget. When you earn enough points for a new pathtag, email your list to the state motivator and you will receive your tag!! List should include date, mileage, boxes found.
  • All hikes must be done IN the state you are requesting a tag from -- but ANY letterboxer is eligible- you don't have to be a resident of that state to participate. Trail miles earned in each participating state count toward that state's particular pathtag.
  • Refer to your state's hiking motivator for the cost of the tag (most are around $3 - $3.50). The cost is to recoup the upfront costs and shipping-- like state patches, no profit is made off of these.

If you are interested in starting a program for your state, contact one of the state representatives listed below:
Participating stateWho to contactHow to contactStarting DatePathtags Available
Alaska KnottyKnitterDirtMonkeyAQ Mail1/29/201425, 49
CaliforniaTurtlegirl 19AQ Mail4/1/2009
ColoradoThe3DTsAQ Mail1/1/2010
ConnecticutKit Kat 61 or The QuackersAQ Mail6/1/2009 25, 50, 75, 100, 250
FloridaMonkey Wrangler AQ Mail5/1/2009
Georgia Buttercup, Hawkeye AQ Mail3/20/2009
IllinoisNitrocatAQ Mail4/24/2009
KentuckyEeny Meany Miney MoeAQ Mail3/1/2009
MaineAiphidAQ Mail5/1/2009 25, 50, 100
MassachusettsMATreasureHiking (aka ladybugsmom)AQ Mail to MATreasureHiking4/25/2009 50, 100, 150, 200
Michiganthe hicks from the sticksAQ Mail5/22/2009
New HampshireBubbaloo MagooAQ Mail5/21/2009
North CarolinaThe Little Foxes, The Wolf family, Knit WitAQ Mail3/1/200925, 50, 100
Ohio Mn8X AQ Mail3/1/2009
OregonMystic DreamerAQ Mail3/20/2009
Rhode IslandSouthpawAQ Mail6/30/2012 25, 50
South CarolinaGreycrazyAQ Mail3/1/2009 25
TennesseeScouttrekkieAQ Mail3/4/200925
Virginiawee3AQ Mail6/1/2009
WashingtonCampFireLadyAQ Mail3/20/2009

There are other similar hiking incentive programs. Contact the organizer(s) listed for the program.
Program nameWho to contactHow to contactStarting Date
New York Letterbox Hiking ChallengeJackbear, Scout, or SahalieAQ e-mail4/2/09
NC Mountain ChallengeDixie or The Little FoxesAQ e-mailin planning stages

Frequently Asked Questions
Really the program is on the honor system, and we prefer that you have fun in the spirit of the game and count your points using your own conscience.
However, some questions get asked regularly so, for the sake of consistent answers (and the sanity of the moderators), this section was added.

What if the box is a one mile hike but I get lost and travel for 3 miles? How many points would that be? Only one. No extra points for being directionally challenged.
Can I go get 10 drivebys at .1 mile each and say that's one mile? No. None of these are qualifying boxes. A qualifying box must be a one mile hike (round trip).
Can I use a bike instead of hiking? No. The program is for hiking. There's nothing stopping you from making your own Treasure Biking program, though.
Do attempts count? No. They don't count as finds and they don't count toward points in this program either. However, if you take a box with you and plant it at one mile or more you could get a point for that.
What if I start a 6 mile hike but I don't finish it? I only do 3 miles one day, then next week I go back for the farthest boxes and do 6 miles? Do I count 9 miles total or only 6? You should count 9 miles total. You did 3 miles one day and 6 miles another day. Just because the boxes happened to be in a series does not change that you hiked 9 miles total on 2 separate days to qualifying boxes.
Can my dog get a pathtag? If your dog walked the distance with you, go ahead and order one for his collar too!
What if I walk a mile to get to a driveby box? Then can I count it? No. A qualifying box is one that is one mile in hike length for anyone to get to. You can't make it a qualifying box by just setting your own starting point.
If I am in a park where there are several separate letterboxes listed and I can find them all by stringing them together to make a hike greater than one mile, can I receive pathtag points? The Treasure Hikers program was originally envisioned as a way to encourage planting boxes on longer hikes in areas where the tendency seemed to be planting drivebys. While many of the coordinators still adhere to the idea that the box you are seeking should require a hike of one mile or more, we also recognize that there are some areas where finding a mile-long trail may be a challenge. Follow your conscience. If you live in such an area, consider planting an urban box that might incorporate a mile-long "sightseeing tour" of your city in the clues.
I heard New York was doing things a little different, what's the deal with that? The New York organizers were inspired by the original Treasure Hikers group, but being New Yorkers, wanted to put a little different spin on it. A Challenge Patch is available for different miles accomplished, 25,50, 75, and 100 instead of a pathtag. They also honor attempts and maintenance, and any other excuse you have to get out and letterbox. As with the Treasure Hikers, the New York Letterbox Hiking Challenge encourages participants to challenge themselves to go on longer hikes. For more information on the NY guidelines, go to:NY Letterbox Hiking Challenge Patch Guidelines
What about partial miles? If we hike 3.5 miles round trip can we round our points up to 4? Rounding up from the halfway point is technically taking credit for mileage that you didn't really hike. Most of the members are rounding down to the whole if the fraction is under a half and rounding down to the half if it is over the halfway point. The beauty of the tracking widget designed by Wassa is that you can input exact mileage without rounding at all. If you truly want credit for that partial mile, use the widget tracker. :-) In addition, as stated above, each individual hike must be at least one mile round trip to begin with. No hiking .7 miles one week and .3 the next and adding them together for one mile.

How do I add a "find" to my logbook?

Reference the Recording Finds category of the help pages for help with adding finds and attempts to your logbooks.

How do I narrow down the hundreds of boxes available?

There are several ways to more effectively search through many box listings to find the ones that you would like the most:

  • Learn Atlas Quest's Advanced Search feature. This feature allows you to sort by hike length, by specific planters, only for hand carved, pet friendly, etc. If you change the search type to "area" you can even search for all the mysteries in a particular state. By changing the search type to "trip," that enables the trip planner search which allows you to search stretches along major highways and trails such as Interstates or the Appalachian Trail.
  • Look for boxes that others have rated highly with Blue Diamonds icons.
  • Look for boxes that planters have rated highly (of their own boxes) with Planter's Choice icons
  • Do a search on that city and when it pulls up all the listings, hit the "map results" button in the upper right hand corner. It will give you a map of the locations of the boxes that are listed IF the planter gave the address.
  • Contact a local boxer. Out of all the choices above, a local boxer is going to be the most knowledgeable. You can do this privately in an e-mail (you may notice a lot of boxes in an area planted by the same person) or publicly on the state message boards. Some areas also have developed clue guides with tips and boxes for specific frequently visited places in their area.

Is there a clue guide available for downtown Charlotte, NC?

Yes. After answering this question repeatedly, it just seemed to make sense to put one together. Every box listed in this guide as well as the tips to each box has been done only with permission of each planter. By listing it in Wiki, anyone can update it to keep the information more up to date (or add or remove their boxes as they see fit). You can also check the revision date of this question listing to see when the guide was last updated.

If you'd like a visual map of the guide you can see a google map here or contact The Wolf Family with a private e-mail address to have a better version sent to you.


This is downtown Charlotte -- the nation's second largest banking center-expect it to be busy during the week. That being said, you won't have problems with parking in these 'boxing areas. You should be able to find free parking at or near each area. If you go during rush hour in the morning or late afternoon expect the traffic to crawl. If you go on the weekends all parking is free on the streets and it is oftentimes practically vacant unless there is an event (at Panther's Stadium or the Bobcat's Arena).


Elmwood/Pinewood United
Elmwood/Pinewood History
The Confederate
GAQLBE09: Registered Nurse
What's that behind you?
Truly, Truly, Truly Outrageous
They Moved to North Carolina Because...
RAY'S SPLASH PLANET (215 N. Sycamore)

GAQLBE09: Go Green
Park in the lot here and you can walk to the locations within a couple blocks
ALL of these boxes were created by the Middle School age children of Trinity Episcopal School

Trinity in the Park
Three Poles
You can see the school from here. You just made a loop back to the school. Now start back at the school and follow these boxes out to Alexander Street Park://

Stone Plus Crack
Pond Life


Street parking is free on weekends. See clue for other parking recommendations. You can also just take the Lynx line here (see the clue for more information).

Center City Walking Tour

Check the links in the clue for the times that ImaginOn is open. You will need to go inside the building for the clues to the box.

At the end of the Center City Walking Tour Series you can easily pick up several more boxes as part of the "tour". If you do this the one way total mileage is just over 2 miles. If you walk back to 7th Street it will be a total of 3 miles.
From Disco Chicken, continue down Tryon to Stonewall. You will be in the location for

Lynx Light Rail Line Series: Charlotte Observer

Then back to Disco Chicken and cross Tryon and you will be at The Green where you can pick up:

Moon and Stars

Cross through The Green and cross the street and go into the Convention Center.
Keep going straight through following the signs to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
When it puts you back out on the street, go pass Buffalo Wild Wings to the front of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and you and do these boxes:

Lynx Light Rail Line Series: Moonshine Runners

You end up on Stonewall at the end of these clues.
Head up Stonewall pass the NASCAR Hall of Fame to the Stonewall Station for the Lynx (you'll see the overstreet tracks ahead). You can ride this back to the 7th Street Station.
Or you can under the overstreet station and take a right on College St. And then head about 8 blocks down College St until you get to 7th St. Look right and you'll see where you started on 7th.
This one has easy access free parking//

Hope is the Thing with Flowers

The clue guide has all the boxes in the area listed regardless of their current status (they are only deleted from the guide if they are retired). Please check the status of the listed boxes to see if they are currently available

Is there a clue guide available for Latta Plantation and Nature Preserve in Huntersville, NC?

Yes. After answering this question repeatedly, it just seemed to make sense to put one together. Every box listed in this guide as well as the tips to each box has been done only with permission of each planter. By listing it in Wiki, anyone can update it to keep the information more up to date (or add or remove their boxes as they see fit). You can also check the revision date of this question listing to see when the guide was last updated.

Latta Plantation and Nature Preserve Clue Guide

This Mecklenburg County Park has fishing, horseback riding, hiking trails, plantation tours, a raptor center exhibit, nature center, and gift shop. Entrance to the park is free and all the letterboxes are located in free areas. There is a fee to see the plantation and the raptor center only.


Clues are listed in order from the entrance of the preserve to the back. The boxes are also listed as in order as they are on the trail unless otherwise indicated. You will need to check the links to the clues to see if the boxes are currently available or not.

HILL TRAIL (Hiking Only)

The Three Little Pigs: Patrick

Bell *

Bell's Bodyguard!!! *

*this is actually on a Connector trail off of the Hill Trail. If you continue on this Connector trail past this box it will connect to the Cove Trail where you pick up the clues for Battle of the Blues.

(this section of the Cove Trail is picked up from the Connector Trail that BELL and BELL'S BODYGUARD is on)

The Golden Unicorn!

Battle of the Blues


Twin Sons of a Different Mother

Rowling's Raptors: Hedwig

SPLIT ROCK TRAIL (starting at Rowling's Raptors: Hedwig)

Where Have all the Cowboys Gone?*

*From the Piedmont Prairie trail you turn right to get this box. Then turn back and head in the other direction for the rest:

Freebird's Economic Stimulus Package

Nina Remembered


Bible Belt: The Dove *

*this one does not necessarily come before the other boxes. I just listed it first since you need to count benches and will have to keep track of that as you go around. I have also not told you which direction you are traveling-you'll need to figure out the clue for that

Flying Purity

Tu-Whit Tu-Who


3 21's

Bible Belt: O Tannenbaum *
Birds of a Feather
Carolina Raptor Center

SHADY TRAIL (Hiking and Horse) --Gazebo end

The Raptor Letterbox

BUZZARD ROCK TRAIL (Hiking and Horse)

Bible Belt: Noah's Ark *

*You will pass the intersection with the sign "Washwoman Rock". Remember this since you need to come back to it for the next clues

Igpay Atinlay *

*You will just past Laura's Trail. Double back to it and pick up the clues there for the next box.


How How (WOM-not listed on any online website) *
Pass Brock-Snake and head up to the large rocks. HUGE rock on the left near the trail. Behind the back of this rock, under another rock.

*I discovered this old letterbox while planting one day. It was created by Eagle Ray. When I contacted him about it, he stated that he gave it to some friends for planting and never heard about it again. He thought they hadn't planted it. That was about 3 years ago! I told him where it was but he has not listed it yet. I did give me permission to put it on this guide with the clues, though.

GAQLBE09: Harbor Lights

AUDUBON TRAIL (Hikers only)-starting at end of road (across from plantation)

Pride of Charlotte: Box #1-3

Rowling's Raptors: Errol *

*Look for the gazebo while doing Pride of Charlotte series and pick up the Errol clue from there.

I Held an Owl Call!!

PREbox...H.E.R.e.s. - A Toast!!

CATTAIL TRAIL (Hikers only)

Pride of Charlotte: Box #4-5

Rowling's Raptors: Pigwidgeon *

*Look for the owl perch in this clue while doing the Pride of Charlotte boxes.


Three Little Pigs: Peter

What do I do when I find a geocache?

All geocaches contain a logbook or log sheet that you can use to sign in with your trail name and the date, if you want.

Some geocaches contain trade items. If you decide to take a trade item, remember to leave an item of equal or greater value and to document the trade in the log. You can always write TNLNSL (took nothing, left nothing, signed log) if you decide not to trade.

If the box contains a trackable item, do not take the item unless you intend to leave it at a different geocache in the near future. Geocaching trackables are similar to letterboxing hitchhikers.

Whether you sign in or not, and whether you trade or not, always return the geocache to the place where you found it!

For more information, see the Geocaching 101 Tutorial at

How do I report a plant that I have made?

Plants aren't "reported" per se, but rather listed on Atlas Quest,, or other websites. To list a letterbox on Atlas Quest, use the Add Letterbox option under the Letterboxes menubar option.

Is there a Downtown Guide to Peoria, IL?

Downtown Peoria, IL

* Soldiers & Sailors
* Bradley Braves
* Remember 9/11
* The Spirit of Peoria
* A Portrait of Mark Twain
* St. Mary's Cathedral
* Knockin' on Freedoms Door-coming soon

All of the Downtown Peoria Boxes are with walking distance of each other. The farthest one out is the Cathedral, so that one may be best to drive to first, or at the end, your choice.

There is parking all around the streets, but there if free parking down by the Riverfront building on NE Water Street, behind the parking lot-take a left on Hamilton onto Water St.

** For a visual map of the approx. locations of these boxes are, click HERE.


Do NOT attempt any of these boxes during lunch time. This is when all the foot carts and breaks are taken and it gets busy!
The same applies for anytime, if there are people around, come back another time.

For those parking down by the Riverfront, the order below is best to do them in-in a row. The cathedral can be done 1st or last, doesn't matter.

The Spirit of Peoria-When retrieving/replacing, make sure no one is watching! Down by the river is a busy place, especially with the riverfront fountains up off to your right! Make sure you get the pouch with magnets tape in put back securely!

Knockin' on Freedoms Door--Coming Soon-Also on the Convention Center, in the piece of art dedicated to Moses and Lucy Pettengill's Underground Railroad home which is now the site for the Convention Center.
Make sure the Velcro and stamp are connected securely and that it is out of sight!

Bradley Braves- Simple silver Velcro'd pouch to the sign on the Convention Center. Stealth is still required!

Remember 9/11- Small black pouch Velcro'd to sign, please make sure you get it fully connected before leaving. If the Velcro is falling apart, let me know Asap, Please!

Soldiers & Sailors- "Box'' is next to the courthouse and on Main St. Extreme Stealth is required! Please make sure you put it back exactly where you found it-wedged between the 2 branches and out of sight!

A Portrait of Mark Train-During the week, especially during lunch, many employees come out to take a break/eat/smoke/ect... Be wise when retrieving/replacing the stamp in the sprinkler!

St. Mary's Cathedral-Park as close as you can to the light post to 'block' some of your view from muggles. Make sure you are not interrupting church go-ers and that you are not seen when finding/replacing this box.

*The only box with a logbook is St. Mary's Cathedral, the rest are just the stamp.


What should I include in my letterboxing kit?

The Absolute Minimum

  • Signature stamp
  • Personal logbook
  • Ink pads or markers (small and a variety of colors is nice)

Should Also Have

  • Compass or GPS or Map
  • Pen or other writing implement
  • Water

Nice to Have (but not strictly required)

  • Cell phone (in case you need to 'phone a friend' for help with a clue or directions or because you're lost or hurt! Make sure it's fully charged before heading out.)
  • Flashlight (to peek into dark spaces) & extra batteries as needed
  • Extra batteries if you're relying on a GPS to get you back to the car
  • Gloves (for reaching into those deep, dark hidey-holes)
  • Trekking pole or stick (for poking into those deep, dark hidey-holes)
  • Umbrella (at least if rain is in the forecast)
  • Small tarp or pad (to sit on while stamping—especially if the ground is wet)
  • Maintenance kit: zipLock bags, logbook/logsheet, paper towel to wipe up damp boxes
  • Nature guidebook (especially to identify trees, which is very common in clues)

Looking beyond what you need for letterboxing, it's also important to prepare for where you'll be going. If the letterbox is on a long hike, you'll need water, snacks, mosquito repellant, and everything else you'd normally carry for such a hike.

Is there a clue guide available for Cane Creek Park in Waxhaw, NC?

Yes. After answering this question repeatedly, it just seemed to make sense to put one together. Every box listed in this guide as well as the tips to each box has been done only with permission of each planter. By listing it in Wiki, anyone can update it to keep the information more up to date (or add or remove their boxes as they see fit). You can also check the revision date of this question listing to see when the guide was last updated.

Most of these boxes were planted in 2007. The trails have been extensively changed since then and many clues became outdated. Any clues that have not had a chance to get updated by the planters yet have additional notes after the clues. Planters are all aware of this guide and may update it as clues are updated and the additional notes are no longer needed

Clue Guide for Cane Creek

This Union County park has hiking, fishing, camping, rental boats, miniature golf, climbing wall, soccer field, and horse trails (including areas to camp with horses).

Important information about the park and trails
1. There is a $4 fee to park
2. Park hours are STRICTLY enforced (they WILL lock you in if you are not out on time!!). Check the sign when you enter but they are typically 8 to 5pm.
3. You can pick up a map when you pay the parking fee or get one here.
4. Most trails are horse trails as well.

RED TRAIL starting at the entrance of the park
A little under 4 miles round trip if you get all the boxes. The trail is generally flat and clear.

NOTE: LOOK FOR A YELLOW GATE AS YOU GO ON THIS HIKE-- It's actually the "pink gate" referenced in Tomatoes are Evil

Fiesta! is a short distance down the BLUE TRAIL. Then go back to the RED TRAIL and continue on for

When is a Raven like a Writing Desk?

YELLOW TRAIL starting at the entrance of the park
About 1.5 miles round trip if you get all the boxes. The trail is clear with some hills and narrow near the water's edge sometimes.

Grandma's Flowers

After finding this box, go back to the bridge and start at that point from the bridge referenced in
Waxhaw 2007

Tea Party Guest of Honor?

From the yellow post in the hill ridge line you should be able to see the chain link fence you need in the following clue (it's NOT the chainlink fence ON the ridgeline):

The Dead Lemur
Note: the yellow and purple trail intersection is now marked by a yellow post on a hill line. The blazes have changed (none are now painted on the tree). It's currently the 6th yellow mounted blaze. This tree is cradling white rocks. Count the referenced paces from this tree.

LOT #4
Less than a mile roundtrip

NOTE: LOOK FOR THE TRAIL BEHIND THE BASEBALL FIELD -- it's referenced in Tomatoes are Evil

The Path Home

About 3 miles round trip of you get all the boxes-- this includes looping back to start again for one of them

Mother & Son + The Waxhaws
You will do this box and loop back to the start for the rest so you can do it first and come back or last and come back.

You will go a little ways up the YELLOW TRAIL to get this box:
Attack of the Mosquitoes!

Then return back to RED TRAIL and continue on to the ORANGE TRAIL. You will go up the ORANGE TRAIL to get this series:
The Perfect Cup of Tea

Then return back to the RED TRAIL and continue on
you will then look at the clues for Determined Smail and pick them up where I have indicated you need to if you are using the clue guide.

How do you agree to the Waiver of Responsibility and Disclaimer?

If you follow clues for any box listed on Atlas Quest, you are implicitly agreeing to the Waiver of Responsibility and Disclaimer. There is no button to click to formally agree to it--let's face it, most people click "Agree" to just about anything without reading it anyhow. We don't want to waste your time like that, but if you do follow any clues to boxes listed on Atlas Quest, you've implicitly agreed to them whether you wanted to or not!

Who do I report to if there is no letterbox at the site designated?

Besides recording finds, you can also record attempts on a letterbox if you believe that the box is missing. Use the same same link as you would for Recording a Find--it does double duty for attempts as well. AQ will give you the option to mark the box as a find or an attempt, and it'll give you space to leave a comment that will be sent to the owner and all planters of the box. If you do leave a comment, you'll usually have the option to post it publicly as well where a wider audience can see it.

I got bit by something that caused my arm to burn—how can I comment on hazards at the site?

Contact the owner of the letterbox if you have concerns about the safety of the letterbox. You can also post a public comment you record your find to warn others of any hazards, although the owner may choose to not approve your comment or delete it.

How do I add a comment to to a specific letterbox I have found?

Use the 'Record Find' button. When you report a find or an attempt, Atlas Quest gives you the opportunity to leave a comment. If you don't want to actually record your find or attempt, there is an N/A option you can select but still leave a comment.

How do I get my letterbox to appear on the location page?

It shows up automatically immediately upon listing your letterbox. If you aren't seeing it, it's because the search you are running does not match your letterbox. Click the "Edit Search" link in the upper-right corner of the search results page and take a close look at every single option that's checked. One of those options, somewhere, is suppressing your result.

The most common options that would hide your letterbox is if the option to "Hide my plants" is selected. Obviously, you won't see your own plants if that is selected. If you've recorded a "find" on it as well, you won't see it if the option to "Hide my finds" is selected.

If you've listed a letterbox but haven't posted clues for it yet, your box will not show up if the "Clued Box" attribute is checked.

If you're absolutely convinced that none of your search options should be hiding your box, the problem might be in the location you listed for the letterbox. The more specific your location, the more accurately it will show up in the search results. A box "somewhere in New York City" is pretty vague--New York City is a very large city! Unless you narrow down the location of your box, AQ will sort it a lot further down the list of search results than you might otherwise expect to find it. If you created a custom location, be sure to set the radius of the location accurately. The bigger the radius, the less AQ knows about the box's location, and the lower down in the search results you'll find your box. More than once people have asked why their box wasn't showing up in a certain search just to find out it was showing up -- but on page 3 of the search results because the location they listed for the box was so vague.

Where do we get stamp carving tools?

Most hobby and craft stores such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Ben Franklin craft stores will carry stamp carving tools.

Another place to look are in your local rubber stamping stores.

And finally, you can order tools online from Stampeaz, MisterArt, or whatever business you prefer.

How do you read clues to find these boxes?

When you pull up a box listing, click the "Clue" button to read the clues.

How do I log my finds?

Use the Record Find link, found under the "Letterboxes" menubar option. Search for the name of the box and/or owner along with the type of the box and click on the result of the box that you found. Fill out the date of the find and such and save.

How do you letterbox at all? This is so confusing!

Take a big breath and relax. This isn't a test! Then read the Getting Started page and get out looking for some letterboxes!

Can I turn a single box into a series later?

Yes. In the toolbar at the top of this page select My Page, then My Logbook, and the original letterbox which you planted. Choose Edit at the top of that page, then select Series Info and Add Box.

What do I put into the letterbox?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Use the stamp in the logbook in your own logbook, and sign the logbook in the letterbox. If a ZipLock bag is torn or has a hole in it or something, it's okay to replace the bag, but putting items into the box is a geocaching gimmick, not a letterboxing one.

If this question is asking what does a person who is making a letterbox put into a letterbox then the answer is go out and find some letterboxes and observe what is found: usually that will be a stamp, maybe a cloth cover for the stamp so that it doesn't get ink all over, and a logbook. Most letterboxers carry their own ink and pen so those are rarely included.

What should I use for the actual boxes?

There's no one right answer to this sort of question. Most people use some sort of Rubbermaid or Lock-n-Lock container, something sturdy and waterproof. If a letterbox is planted indoors, it may not need something that sturdy. If it's planted underwater, it might need something more sturdy. Your best bet is just to find several boxes and see the kinds of containers other people are using and check out how well they're holding up.