Mt. Minsi Letterbox Clues

    Overview: Located near Route 80 in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Mt. Minsi is a prominence on the banks of the Delaware River near the town of Delaware Water Gap, PA. It is located at the southernmost end of The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and is quite a nice place to hike. The top of Mt. Minsi is 1,461 feet above sea level. If you decide to hunt this letterbox, you will find yourself on a section of the historic Appalachian Trail (The "AT") that runs from Georgia to Maine. The AT in Pennsylvania has a reputation as the rockiest section of the trail, so be prepared for rocky terrain and wear sturdy hiking boots. Also, be prepared for a little elevation gain (about 1000' of elevation gain from the parking lot to the top of Mt. Minsi) which should be no problem for folks who are reasonably fit. The entire round trip hike to top and back is under 5 miles. You'll also need a compass to help decipher the clues.

    Getting There: Take exit 53 from Route 80 and head south toward the town of Delaware Water Gap. Turn left at the first traffic signal toward the town of Delaware Water Gap. Turn right onto Mountain Road immediately after passing the Deer Head Tavern on the right. Bear left in about 1/8 mile (following the white blazes on the trees) and enter the Lake Lenape parking lot on the right. From there, the hunt is on!

    Clues: (See trail map above) From the Lake Lenape parking lot, walk around the metal gate that blocks vehicle access to the Mt. Minsi fire road/Appalachian Trail. Follow the white rectangular paint blazes to stay on the Appalachian Trail. After a short while, you will pass Lake Lenape on the right, and the fire road/AT begin to climb a bit past cliffs on the right. Watch for the AT to break off from the fire road and head left. Leave the fire road and follow the Appalachian Trail to the left. Follow the AT blazes all the way up Mt. Minsi (about 2 miles), being careful not to loose the trail. Be sure to notice some of the fine views of The Delaware River and Mt. Tammany across the river in NJ.

    You will scale a rocky outcropping that is sort of a "false summit" about 400 yards before the actual summit. Don't be fooled. Continue on the AT, actually descending a little bit, before ascending to the actual summit. You'll know you've reached the top of Mt. Minsi when you see the remains of a stone foundation of what used to be an aircraft navigational radio tower, and a fenced-in structure to the left.

    From the remains of the stone foundation, 37 paces on about bearing 130 past the fenced-in structure to the overhead power line. Take another 33 paces along the power line on a bearing of about 160. With your back to the wooden power line pole, find bearing 235. About 10 paces on this bearing will take you to what you seek. Hidden in some rocks. If you're the GPS totin' kind, the box is near:

    UTM ZONE 18: 489217 4534039

    Once you have found the object of your search, you can backtrack on the AT (follow the white paint blazes) all the way back to the parking lot. Or you may make it a circuit hike by jumping onto the fire road and following that back to the parking lot. If you decide to take the fire road back, just follow it straight back to the parking lot, as some of the side trails dead-end, and there are some that I have not explored. You'll know that you're getting close to the parking lot on the fire road by noticing the rusty culvert pipes at the juncture with one of the side trails.

    Notes: Some or all of this hike is on State Game Lands and other hunting areas. If you're going to search for the box during hunting season, it's best to limit your hiking in this area to Sundays. Outside of hunting season, no worries! Wear sturdy hiking boots as this trail is somewhat rocky.

DISCLAIMER: PERSONS USING THIS CLUE OR HUNTING THIS LETTERBOX DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK. Do not hunt this letterbox without reading and agreeing to the waiver first. Children, do not hunt this letterbox without the supervision of an adult who has read and agreed to the waiver. Possession of this clue does not imply rights of access to particular lands and route choices, or the safety thereof, including the location of the box itself. Always observe current local regulations, signs, property rights, and customs; you are responsible for your actions. Clue not indended to be taken literally or to suggest route choices; route choices (and the choice to proceed at all), are your choice.

NOTE 1: Off-trail walking may be involved. There is very steep and rocky terrain in the area.

NOTE 2: Be wary of snakes and other wildlife when reaching into dark places. All bearings magnetic unless otherwise noted. A pace is a long stride counted on a footfall of either foot, i.e. two paces are counted each time the right foot hits the ground.

NOTE 3: Please replace all letterbox contents and re-hide the thing well were you found it.

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