MT. DESERT ISLAND LETTERBOXES, ME 
Mt. Desert Island is located in Maine's Penobscot Bay, and contains Acadia National Park The park is small but exceptionally lovely, and receives the most visitors per square foot of all the national parks in America. 

Click for a more detailed map of the park, or to visit the Acadia National Park web site. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


CADILLAC MOUNTAIN LETTERBOX

"Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
 Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
 To meet the sun upon the upland lawn."
                          - - Thomas Gray 

Hider:   Tom Cooch 
Clues:   Trivial 
Terrain: Moderate 
Hidden:  06/30/99

Cadillac Mtn., at a longitude of 68.2 degrees west and a height of 1,532 feet, has the distinction of being the first point in the country to see the morning sun. 

DIRECTIONS

Take Maine Route 3 south one mile east of Ellsworth, and proceed to Bar Harbor. Take Route 233 west for 1.1 miles. The entrance to the park will be on your right  (You will immediately loop back over a bridge to proceed southwards). After another 1.1 miles, turn left onto the Cadillac Mtn. access road and continue to the summit. 

CLUES

In order to use the clues for the Cadillac Mtn. Letterbox, you must first answer the following trivia questions: 

a.  At what angle of elevation does the sun appear to a person on Cadillac Mtn. at noon on 
     the summer solstice? 

b.  How old was Ernest Hemingway when he published The Sun Also Rises?

c.  What is the sum of the atomic numbers of the two chemical elements whose symbols 
     are both names of the Egyptian god of the sun? 

d.  How many French kings of the same name preceded the one known as "the Sun King"? 

e.  What is the height in feet of Teotihuacan's ancient Pyramid of the Sun

f.   How many times does the word "sun" occur in George Harrison's song Here Comes
     the Sun
 

You may check the answers to the trivia questions before heading to the park! 
 

From the parking lot at the summit proceed upwards towards the observation circle that contains two vista maps. Standing at the northern entrance to this circle, take a bearing of  a.  degrees. Follow this bearing across rocks and scrub until you intersect a concrete path, close to the spot at which you can best appreciate the fine pink granite of Cadillac Mountain! From this spot, continue another b.  paces down the path. Then take a bearing of  c. degrees, and go forward  d.  paces, leaving the path. Reorient yourself to  e.  degrees, and advance  f.  paces, crossing the path. The box is nestled at the base of the small fir tree. 

NOTES

At any given time during the summer, there may easily be several hundred people within fifty yards of this spot. Please be discreet in removing and returning the letterbox from and back to its hiding place. 

A pace is taken to be the average distance an adult will advance by moving one foot forward - approximately three feet. 

All bearings are magnetic. 

Before you set out read the waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.

This letterbox is #5 placed by The Orient Express


SAND BEACH LETTERBOX

"On a day like today
 We'd pass the time away
 Writing ---- letters in the sand."
                     - - Pat Boone 

Hider:   Tom Cooch 
Clues:   Moderate
Terrain: Moderate 
Hidden:  06/29/00

Sand Beach is a small sandy beach nestled in a deep crescent cove and surrounded by spectacular cliffs. It would be remarkable even if it were not the only non-rocky beach on all of Mt. Desert Island!

DIRECTIONS

Take Maine Route 3 south one mile east of Ellsworth, and proceed to Bar Harbor. Take Route 233 west for 1.1 miles. The entrance to the park will be on your right  (You will immediately loop back over a bridge to proceed southwards). After 0.4 miles, make a sharp left onto the Park Loop Road (which here becomes one-way). Proceed about 10 miles along this beautiful drive. There is a toll station along the way where you will be required to pay a $10 fee, good for a week. However, if you come early in the morning you can avoid both the fee and the traffic! There are signs and a parking area at the Sand Beach site. 

CLUES

I hid my box and then discovered that I had no pencil or paper with me. So I wrote my clues quickly in the sand. When I returned with writing materials, I found the tide had washed some letters away. I couldn't remember the clues. Guess I'm showing my age. Sorry! Hope you can still figure it out.

          ---K B---W ST-N-S IN H----W --G AT AB---M-ST ---R---K
 
 

Before you set out read the waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.

This letterbox is #14 placed by The Orient Express


THUNDER HOLE LETTERBOX

Note: Thunder Hole Letterbox is reported missing - June '01

"'Come in,' she said, 'I'll give you shelter from the storm.'"
                                                 - - Bob Dylan

Hider:   Tom Cooch 
Clues:   Easy 
Terrain: Moderate 
Hidden:  08/17/99

Thunder Hole is a cleft in the ocean cliffs on the east side of Mt. Desert Island. The waves travel down the channel, tumbling basketball-sized rocks around and trapping pockets of air at the end. This produces loud thundering claps, particularly when the tide is advancing.

DIRECTIONS

Take Maine Route 3 south one mile east of Ellsworth, and proceed to Bar Harbor. Take Route 233 west for 1.1 miles. The entrance to the park will be on your right  (You will immediately loop back over a bridge to proceed southwards). After 0.4 miles, make a sharp left onto the Park Loop Road (which here becomes one-way). Proceed about 10 miles along this beautiful drive. There is a toll station along the way where you will be required to pay a $10 fee, good for a week. However, if you come early in the morning you can avoid both the fee and the traffic! There are signs and a parking area at the Thunder Hole site. 

CLUES

Your stroll begins on a paved walkway a bit below the road. You are a little nervous at the rumbling noises you hear, but the sky looks clear. You start off  following a course of 40 degrees onto a dirt path. The path soon forks, and you bear left away from the shore, then right, and proceed along a rocky ledge in the direction of a tall spruce. 

At the next fork, you bear right towards the ocean cliffs, and proceed downhill and out about 10 paces onto a large flat rock. The tide seems to be coming in and the sounds of thunder are growing louder. You glance nervously around and at 230 degrees notice a cavelike opening that might offer shelter. You scramble over towards it and take a seat inside. You can feel the booming in the rocks themselves. Your hand comes upon an object stashed in a cleft. 

NOTES

Hunting for this letterbox involves scrambling over some steep shoreside rocks. Caution is needed and children should not be unaccompanied. 

This box is well-concealed in its hiding spot, and is frequently reported missing. Be persistent!

A pace is taken to be the average distance an adult will advance by moving one foot forward - approximately three feet. 

All bearings are magnetic. 

Before you set out read the waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.

This letterbox is #10 placed by The Orient Express


THE BEEHIVE LETTERBOX

"How doth the little busy bee
    Improve each shining hour,
 And gather honey all the day
    From every opening flower!"
               - - Isaac Watts

Hider:   Tom Cooch 
Clues:   Difficult 
Terrain: Difficult 
Hidden:  08/14/00

The Beehive is a small (520 ft.) rounded mountain near the eastern shore of Mt. Desert. A trail leads off from the right side of the Park Road, just a few hundred feet north of Sand Beach. After 0.2 miles the Beehive Trail branches off to the right. There are iron railings and ladders that provide excellent hand and foot holds, but the trail is very steep and exposed! 

DIRECTIONS

Take Maine Route 3 south one mile east of Ellsworth, and proceed to Bar Harbor. Take Route 233 west for 1.1 miles. The entrance to the park will be on your right  (You will immediately loop back over a bridge to proceed southwards). After 0.4 miles, make a sharp left onto the Park Loop Road (which here becomes one-way). Proceed about 10 miles along this beautiful drive. There is a toll station along the way where you will be required to pay a $10 fee, good for a week. However, if you come early in the morning you can avoid both the fee and the traffic! 

CLUES

Honey sat on top of the hive and stretched her wings. The sun had recently risen out over the lighthouse on Egg Rock and the day promised to be a warm one. A summer breeze carried the scents of laurel and milkweed. Honey knew they would be busy today. She crawled down the side of the hive and entered.

Suddenly her friend Polly came buzzing in. The other bees clustered around Polly as she began to dance a little figure-eight up and down the side of the hive. Honey watched Polly's steps carefully.

'Let's see now,' Honey said to herself. '17 steps forward times 1,613 makes 27,421 paces. Then to the left. Okay. Sine 345° x pi/4 is ... No. That's not right. I do wish I'd paid better attention in class last winter. This is very frustrating.'


Polly's Dance

The other bees swarmed out of the hive, leaving poor Honey confused and unhappy. Who would be the first to find the treasure?

NOTES

This is a potentially dangerous hike that should not be attrempted by unsupervised children, or adults who are not in good physical condition or who have a fear of heights.

A pace is taken to be the average distance an adult bee will advance by moving one foot forward - approximately three millimeters. 

All bearings are magnetic. 

Before you set out read the waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.

This letterbox is #16 placed by The Orient Express