Letterboxing & Geocaching (Grades 3-5)

Find unique items and messages hidden in New York state parks near you!

Letterbox in forrest
Credit: New York State Parks Blog

Grab your treasure hunting gear and explore participating New York State Parks and Historic Sites to try out these fun treasure-hunting activities!

Geocaching (geo= Earth, caching= hiding/storing) is a great hide-and-seek activity that uses location coordinates and a GPS device, such as a smartphone, to find a hidden container.

Geocache container

Letterboxing is a much older hobby (at least 150 years old) which involves exchanging unique rubber-stamped images instead of trinkets. Traditionally, you find the hiding places using clues or written directions.

Each letterbox has a special rubber stamp for you to stamp into a journal like a passport; in return, you use your own personal stamp to “sign” the letterbox logbook. This is a treasure hunter’s way to say, “I was here.” 

What You Need


  • The geocache coordinates
  • GPS device or cell phone
  • A pen
  • (optional) A trinket of your own


  • The letterbox clues/directions
  • A notebook
  • Your own, “signature” rubber stamp
  • (optional) Your own ink pad, just in-case
  • A pen to sign, date and write any comments about your trip in the letterbox journal or your own. Make sure to sign with your trail name and not your real name!

Once you are ready to get started, read more about letterboxing and geocaching in New York state parks and get ready to make your mark!