Thursday, May 24, 2007

Green Hill Park Letterbox

This box was planted for International Plant a Letterbox Day, May 24, 2007, and is my very first plant! Let me know if you enjoy the hike!

First, a little bit about Green Hill Park. In 1903 the Green family donated the Green Hill area
land to the city of Worcester, making Green Hill Park the largest in the city. It is over 480 acres and houses a number of activities and facilities. It contains two ponds, a zoo, picnic grove, playground, little league field, golf course, and handball courts and in June 2002, city and state leaders dedicated the state's Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Open from 5am-10pm; Dog-friendly, kid-friendly, and even mountain-bike friendly! There are no trail maps available, but there are trail markers and/or blazes on most of the main trails. You really can’t get lost in these lonely woods bordered by Route 9, Worcester State Hospital and the Green Hill Golf Course.

From Route 9 Westbound: Follow Route 9 West into Worcester (Crossing over Lake Quinsigamond) Route 9 becomes Belmont Street. After you cross the lake, go through 3 sets of traffic lights, passing the Picadilly Pub at the 3rd on your left. Take a right at the next (4th) light for Skyline Drive/Green Hill Park. Follow Skyline Drive into the park, passing the Golf Course and park in the playground parking area.

For directions to Skyline Drive from other starting points, please consult

Walk left out of the playground parking lot and back up the sidewalk on Skyline Drive. Cross the street and take a right into the woods at the Concrete Marker w/Yellow Blaze. Follow the yellow-blaze path up the hill and through the woods, take the third path on the right to gaze out at the shallow pond. Here you can see pollywogs and frogs and other small aquatic life!

Back to the path we go, cross Skyline Drive to the sidewalk and go right towards the entrance to the park. Shortly before the end of the wooden guardrail, take a left into the woods at the Park HQ Spur sign on the tree. Don’t go to school, and take a left at the next T intersection. Cross a the stream, and continue on towards the water tower.

When you reach the water tower, take a left. At Y intersection and East Side Trail tree sign, go North towards the right following the Blue Blazes. Stop at the old rock columns, and carefully look off to notice the old stone wall that goes off into the woods, my inspiration for the stamp. The glaciers left a lot of smaller rocks which the farmers used to line their property and clear their fields for farming at the same time, making thousands of wonderful stone walls throughout the New England woods.

Follow this blue-blazed trail for a short while until the slope on the right decreases, look for a Red-Blazed-tree and a sign for the Ledge Loop trail on the right. Take this right down the hill. Once you see the old U-shaped foundation, count the red blazes on the trees. Stop at the FOURTH blaze! Turn to your left and you'll notice a large area of boulders bordering the left edge of the trail. (Note: Many hunters stopped when they saw the old foundations, but you aren't there yet, you must keep going on the red trail and watch for BIG BOULDERS that can't be moved by hand.)

You'll know you are in the right place if it looks like a nice spot to sit and stamp in! Your letterbox will be found very close to the trail and that last blaze, on the left of the rock formation, hidden inside a miniature cave behind a triangle shaped rock.

Now that you've got your quarry, continue on the red-blazed trail. It is not traveled much, and thus is a slim rabbit trail through the woods. Follow until you reach the yellow/blue intersection, and take a right onto the Yellow-Blazed trail to the Worcester State Hospital Cart Path. Take a right when you meet the main trail and enjoy the two open granite areas where you can view the Clock Tower and Shrewsbury off in the distance.

Follow this cart path, which turns into a fire road right up the hill. Shortly you will see the water tower again, take the left before the water tower, and head back to Skyline Drive (don't go to school, take the first right after the stream, when you see the school). Back at Skyline Drive, go right and then cross to stop and look at the pollywogs again. Follow the Yellow-Blazed trail to the end, then take a left and you'll be back at your car.

While you’re here, why not continue down to the main parking lot to see Green Hill Pond, visit the Vietnam Memorial or feed the ducks?!


Anonymous said...

We really enjoyed finding this box and the directions to it were excellent. The directions back were confusing,however. Suggested changes:

After you view the clock tower, don't get back on the yellow-blazed cart path when you see it on the right; it just leads to a dead end on the ledge loop. Instead, follow the unmarked main trail until it ends next to a construction site. Then turn right onto the gravel fire road and go up hill. When you get to the water tower, take a sharp left.

Before long you will come to a fork. The white-blazed righthand path will take you back across the stream, and after you cross the stream you'll see the school.

Anonymous said...

This was our first, and hopefully not last, letterbox. We had no pen to write a note but we left a spongebob that the next child can take and enjoy. I grew up in GHP and know it well. THANKS for the fun! The kids loved it!