collage of parks, center image first wilderness heritage corridor letterboxing passport

Letterboxing in the Southern Adirondacks

There are so many fun and family-friendly things to do in Lake George, and letterboxing is no exception! Letterboxing is a treasure hunt-style activity that dates all the way back to 1854. The First Wilderness Letterboxing Trail is the southern Adirondack’s take on the age-old activity and consists of 28 letterbox locations across towns in Warren County, NY. The locations are a mix of trails, parks, beaches, and historical landmarks. Letterbox locations include Grandmother Tree Nature Trail in Warrensburg, Warrensburg Mill District Historic Park, Harris Preserve in Lake Luzerne, and the Kinnear Museum in Lake Luzerne.

The basic concept is to travel to each letterbox location, where you will search for a hidden weather-proof box that contains a logbook, stamp, and inkpad. There are clues provided for each site to help you locate the box, and once you do, use the stamp in the box to mark your Passport (more info on how to get a free Passport below) and leave a positive note for future explorers.

Letterboxes are available from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day unless otherwise noted, so you have plenty of time to visit all the locations! There are a few special event letterboxes associated with local events, such as Brant Lake Winter Carnival and Stony Creek Mountain Days, that are only available during the day(s) of the event, so some planning is required for those locations. We should note that finding the special event letterboxes is not required to complete your passport and receive a patch, but you will earn an extra prize if you find and log them!

blue warren county historian challenge box

Getting your Passport.

The first step in your letterboxing journey is to obtain your First Wilderness Letterboxing Trail Passport, a small booklet to track your successes. The passport has a page for each letterbox location with a spot to stamp, the clues that will help you locate each box location, and a place for comments.

You can pick up your free passport at any of the various local locations listed on this map. Or, if you want to print your own passport(s) at home, you can do so by downloading the file here.

Tricks of the trade.

Scope out the letterbox locations ahead of time on the map so you can plan your journeys. The map also has driving directions and activities to do nearby so that you can make a day of it!

If you find a box that is missing its stamp or ink pad, email letterboxing@warrencountyny.gov so they can fix it. Take a picture of the box to submit with your passport in place of the stamp so you can still get credit for that location.

Submitting your passport.

When you collect 18 stamps on your Passport, you will earn a free First Wilderness embroidered patch. There are a few different ways that you can submit your passport; you can submit it in person at the Warren County Planning Department (M-F, 8 AM – 4 PM), you can mail it to the Planning Department at 1340 State Route 9 Lake George, NY 12845, or you can take photos of all passport pages and submit them online here.

If you have any questions, call 518-761-6398 or email letterboxing@warrencountyny.gov. And remember that Lake George Campsites would make a great home base for all of your letterboxing adventures. We’ve got tent sites, RV sites, and cozy cottages loaded with amenities for your family vacation.

Happy letterboxing!