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Connecticut State Forests - Seedling Letterbox Series Clues for Enders State Forest

State Map showing location of Enders State Forest

Enders State Forest -
 the 29th State Forest

Seedling Series Letter Box Stamp #29


Enders State Forest, known formally as John Ostrom Enders and Harriet Whitmore Enders State Forest, was a gift to the State of Connecticut by their four children in 1970.  The Enders family donated additional land in 1981 and, after a purchase in 2002, the forest is now 2,098 acres.  Enders State Forest is found within the towns of Granby and Barkhamsted.  

The forest is managed for sawtimber, firewood, wildlife habitat, and recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, and bird watching. 

To find this letterbox you will need to know how to figure distance by pacing.  A good place to start would be to figure how many paces you take in 100 feet.  A pace can be counted as one step or, as it is in forestry, as two steps.  For a forester, one pace is measured from the heel of one foot to the heel of the same foot in the next stride.  Whether you count your pace as a single step (one foot to the next) or as every two steps (one foot back to the same foot) does not really matter, as long as you are consistent.  To learn your pacing, first measure a 100’ distance on the ground.  Walk this distance at a comfortable pace for yourself, taking “normal” steps.  Count the number of paces it takes to walk the 100’.  Repeat this several times to figure your average pace for 100’.  Now that you know your pace, you are all set to find the letterbox.  

Description:  The letterbox is located off Fox Road in the town of Granby.  The walk is almost one-third of a mile round trip and should take about 20 minutes.  It is on level to gently sloping ground along a road and skid trails. 

Clues:  From the junction of routes 20 and 219 in Granby, take Route 20 west.  At the first intersection, turn west on Fox Road.  Continue on this road and park after you cross the bridge.  You will need to start your walk at the bridge. 

From the west side of the bridge, head up the road approximately 585’ until you find an ash tree on the north side of the road that looks like it could be a home to animals.  Continue up the road another 60’ beyond this tree until you reach an old skid trail on the north side of the road.  Follow this trail for approximately 75’ until you come to a fork.  Take the fork that sends you in northerly direction and walk approximately 95’ until you reach an oak tree that is 33” in diameter, or as a forester would say, 33” DBH (diameter breast height).  Foresters measure the diameter of a tree at a point on the tree that is 4.5’ above the ground.  Within 30" of the oak, look for an old tree stump.  This is where you will find the letterbox. 

The part of the forest that you are in was acquired by the State in 2002.  If you look around the area, you should notice evidence of an old timber harvest.  This area was harvested around 1990, while it was in private ownership.  The path you walked in on is an old skid trail used to haul the harvested wood out of the forest.  There are old stumps found throughout the area.  See if you can find some.   

There are pockets of smaller trees (seedling – up to 1” DBH and saplings - 2” to 4” DBH) found throughout the cut area.  These trees became established or were released by the harvest.  Opening the canopy allowed additional sunlight to reach the forest floor, helping to promote the growth of these trees.  They are now part of the “next” forest.  Species such as beech, birch, maple, oak, and pine are found in this area. 

Learn more, earn a patch:  Some of our forests are composed mainly of trees.  Enders has a mix landscape features such as water, open swamp, wooded swamp, open field, old field, and various types of forested areas.  This varied habitat is ideal for many different types of wildlife ranging from species that prefer open areas to those that prefer mature forests.  Through forest management activities, we can maintain various types of habitat for the benefit of a wide range of wildlife.

This is one of 32 letterbox hikes that is being sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Division of Forestry. When you have completed 5 of these sponsored letterbox hikes, you are eligible to earn a commemorative State Forest Centennial patch.

When you have completed five of these hikes, please contact us and let us know what sites you have visited, what your stamp looks like and how we may send you your patch.  We will verify your visits and send the patch along to you.  Contact DEEP Forestry

The Letterbox Page

Content last updated July 2016