Stardew Valley Secret Notes: How to Find, What They Say, and Rewards they Give

Stardew Valley 1.3 added a number of new things to the popular farming title including Secret Notes. These notes serve as a sort of hint system to unlock a variety of things in the game and learn different things about characters. To help you learn all you need to know about the Stardew Valley Secret Notes we’ve put together the guide below.

Unlock the Magnifying Glass

Image showing receiving the Magnifying Glass in Stardew Valley.
Follow the tracks to this bush by the playground to find the Magnifying Glass.

Before you can start finding and collecting Secret Notes in Stardew Valley you need to acquire a specific item wallet item to read them. This item is the Magnifying Glass. To get Magnifying Glass you need to complete a short side quest during the winter season called “A Winter Mystery.” 

To trigger the quest leave the Farm and head to the Bus stop anytime between 6am and 4pm. Doing this triggers a cutscene with a shadow guy. During the cutscene shadow guy runs away from you but leaves tracks in the snow. Follow the tracks in the snow to the right, through town, to reach the bush next to the playground by the Community Center. Shake the bush by interacting with it to receive the Magnifying Glass.

How to Find Secret Notes

Image showing a random Secret Note dropped while mining in the mine.
A Secret Note dropped while mining.

Once you have the Magnifying Glass you can start to collect and read Secret Notes. Secret Notes are a special randomly spawning drop you can find by completing a variety of different types of activities. The official Stardew Valley wiki has the exact values for each type of active that has a chance of dropping them:

Drop SourceDrop Chance
Chopping Trees0.5% each swing.
Artifact Spots11%
Resource Clumps: Boulder, Large Log, Large Stump, and Meteorite.5%
Giant Crop100%

As you can see from the table above there are a variety of sources to acquire Secret Notes from. Generally speaking, just playing the major mechanics in the game will result in finding all of the 25 of the notes there are to find.

When you do find a Secret Note off one of the drop sources listed above it will go into your inventory. At this point you need to read it. To read a Secret Note place it in the top bar of your inventory and interact with it using right-click. The note and its contents will appear on the screen for you to read.

What’s the Purpose of Secret Notes?

Image showing a Secret Note in Stardew Valley.
Example of a Secret Note in Stardew Valley.

The core purpose of Secret Notes is to give players hints and details on things that are rather well hidden in the game. These hints can be broken up into a few categories: gifts residents love (unlocked on their relationship screen), secret items, lore, and gameplay mechanics you might not know about.

Secret Note Solutions

Each of the Secret Notes that you find while playing feature either text or an image. To learn what the note is about you will need to figure it out for yourself. To help you do that I’ve listed I will walk you through the solutions to all 25 Secret Notes below.

Note: You can re-read every note you find below by accessing the Secret Note tab on the collection screen. This is useful if you need time to think about each one you find.

Secret Note #1: Abigail’s Diary Entry

Secret Note #1 Abigail's Diary Stardew Valley.
Abigail’s Diary Entry.
  • Note Text: It’s a page from Abigail’s Diary – ‘Things I love: the smell of carved pumpkin, keeping an amethyst under my pillow, chocolate cake, the thrill of spicy eel, and the comfort of Mom’s blackberry cobbler (I like to eat!)‘”
  • Purpose: Tells us what gifts to give Abigail. She like the items Chocolate Cake, Spicy Eel, Amethyst, and Blackberry Cobbler.

Secret Note #2: Sam’s Holiday Shopping List

Image showing the Secret Note #2 Sam's Holiday Shopping List in Stardew Valley.
Sam’s Holiday Shopping List.

  • Text: It’s Sam’s holiday shopping list-‘Everyone’s favourites:
    • Sebastian = Frozen Tear, Sashimi
    • Penny = Emerald, Poppy
    • Vincent = Grape, Cranberry Candy
    • Mom = Crispy Bass, Pancakes
    • Dad = Risotto, Roasted Hazelnuts
    • Me = Cactus, Maple Bar, Pizza.
  • Purpose: Tells us the loved gifts for Sebastian, Penny, Vincent, Sam, Jodi, and Kent.

Secret Note #3: Leah’s Note

Image showing the Secret Note #3: Leah's Note in Stardew Valley.
Leah’s Note
  • Text: It’s written in Leah’s handwriting-‘My idea of a perfect dinner would be salad, goat cheese, truffle, and wine. For dessert I’d need a poppyseed muffin. Yum! If someone gave me one of these things, I’d melt.”
  • Purpose: Tells us a number of loved gifts for Leah.

Secret Note #4: Maru’s Note

Image showing Secret Note #4: Maru's Note in Stardew Valley.
Maru’s Note.
  • Text: It’s a note of Maru’s-Parts still needed for my greatest invention yet!:
    • Gold Bar
    • Iridium Bar
    • Battery Pack
    • Diamond
    • Strawberries
  • Purpose: Tells us a number of loved gifts for Maru.

Secret Note #5: Penny’s Note

Image showing the Secret Note #5: Penny's Note in Stardew Valley.
Penny’s Note.
  • Text: It’s Penny’s handwriting-I want to get everyone something they love!:
    • Mom: Parsnip, Glazed Yams, NO BEER!
    • Jas: Fairy Rose, Plum Pudding
    • Vincent: Pink Cake
    • Mr. Mullner: Leek, Fried Mushroom
    • Granny Mullner: Beet, Tulip
  • Purpose: Tells us a number of loved gifts for Penny, Pam, Jas, Vincent, George, and Evelyn.

Secret Note #6: Stardrop Saloon Special Orders

Image showing the Secret Note #6: Stardrop Saloon Special Orders in Stardew Valley.
Stardrop Saloon Special Orders.
  • Text: Stardrop Saloon Special Orders:
    • Mayor Lewis: Autumn’s Bounty (Double order of high-fiber bread on the side)
    • Marnie: Pumpkin Pie (extra whipped cream)
    • Demetrius: Bean Hotpot (Make it spicy)
    • Caroline: Fish Taco (she wants triple the sauce! Better throw in a few extra napkins…)

Purpose: Tells us a number of loved gifts for Mayor Lewis, Marnie, Demetrius, and Caroline.

Secret Note #7: A Page From Someone’s Diary

Image showing Secret Note #7: A Page From Someone's Diary in Stardew Valley.
A Page From Someone’s Diary.
  • Text: It’s a page from someone’s diary…
    • There are only a few ‘older’ bachelors in town, and none of them are perfect! Harvey is really anxious and weak, but I know he would make a loyal and devoted husband. He likes coffee and pickles.
    • Elliott is a bit foppish and melodramatic, but he does have a nice chin. He likes crab cakes and pomegranates.
    • Shane is messy and anti-social. But I think his gruff exterior is a defense mechanism, insulating his softness from the world. He likes, Beer, Pizza, and Pepper Poppers.
  • Purpose: Tells us a number of of loved gifts for Harvey, Elliot, and Shane.

 Secret Note #8: From Haley and Emily’s Parents

Image showing the  Secret Note #8: From Haley and Emily's Parents in Stardew Valley.
From Haley and Emily’s Parents.
  • Text: To Haley and Emily. Hope you two are doing well! We’ve sent you your favorite gifts: Pink Cake and Sunflowers for Haley, Gemstones and Wool for Emily! – Love Mom and Dad
  • Purpose: Tells us a couple of loved gifts for Haley and Emily.

Secret Note #9: Alex’s Strength Training Diet

Image showing the Secret Note #9: Alex's Strength Training Diet in Stardew Valley.
Alex’s Strength Training Diet.
  • Text: Alex’s Strength Training Diet:
    • Complete Breakfast
    • Salmon Dinner

(I’ve learned to love this food… I can feel the protein!)

  • Purpose: Tells us a couple of loved gifts for Alex.

Secret Note #10: Skull Cavern Note

  • Text: Someone is waiting for you on level 100 in the Skull Cavern…
  • Purpose: Unlocks the Cryptic Note mission. This quest tasks you with reaching level 100 in the Skull Cavern in Calico Desert. When you reach level 100 you meet Mister Qi. Qi gives you Iridium Snake Milk, this causes you to gain an additional 25 points to your HP.

Secret Note #11: Old Photo

Image showing the Secret Note #11: Old Photo in Stardew Valley.
Old Photo.
  • Text: N/A – Old Photo
  • Purpose: Shows a photograph of Marnie and Jaas at Marnie’s Ranch in the Forest.

Secret Note #12: Linus Garbage Tips

Image showing the Secret Note #12: Linus Garbage Tips in Stardew Valley.
Linus Garbage Tips.
  • Text: I’ve found some good things by looking the the garbage cans, on lucky days. Sometimes you’ll find the ‘dish of the day’ behind the saloon…usually fresh! For dessert, I’ll check the Mullner’s can for cookies. For treasures, check the cans by the blacksmith and museum.
  • Purpose: Garbage cans in town can be searched for items. Linus talks about different things he has found while dumpster diving in this note.

Secret Note #13: Season End Meeting

  • Text: 12 o’ clock noon SHARP. Last day of the season. Check the bush above the playground
  • Purpose: Head to the bush above the playground at 12:00 PM on the last day of the season. Interact with the bush and you will get a Junimo Plush as a reward.

Secret Note #14: Location of Hidden Item

  • Text: I hid something behind the community center.
  • Purpose: Directions to a hidden item behind the community center. The item can be found on the eastside of the community center beside the fence. You will need to walk directly into the back of the community center and click around wildly to grab it. Item you receive is the Stone Junimo garden art.

Secret Note #15: Mermaid Show Shell Code

  • Text: “Mermaid Show: 1-5-4-2-3

Secret Note #16: Treasure Location Map

  • Text: N/A – Treasure Map
  • Purpose: A treasure map highlighting a dig spot behind the hot springs. Head here and dig up the spot to receive a Treasure Chest (sells for 5000g).

Secret Note #17: Treasure Map Location 2

  • Text: N/A – Treasure Map
  • Purpose: A treasure map highlighting a dig spot on the east banks of the river beside the community center. Head here and dig up the spot to receive a Strange Doll (Green) artifact.

Secret Note #18: Treasure Map Location 3

  • Text: N/A – Treasure Map
  • Purpose: A treasure map highlighting a dig spot in the Calico Desert. Head to the desert and make your way to the bench in the lower southeast corner. Dig up the spot to receive a Strange Doll artifact (item I received).

Secret Note #19: Follow the Directions

  • Text: N/A – Follow Directions
  • Purpose: Follow the directions on the Secret Note starting from Jodi’s house and you will eventually arrive at the back of the Mayor’s house. Click around the circled area (pictured) to get the Solid Gold Lewis Statue. If you want you can display it in the Town Square to make 750g, or keep it on your farm.

Secret Note #20: Follow the Directions 2

  • Text: N/A – Follow Directions
  • Purpose: Starting in the Town Square, follow the directions on Secret Note #20. Eventually you will end up at the Truck beside Joja Mart. Approach the driver’s side door and interact with it. The Joja Truck Driver will ask for Rabbit’s Foot. Give it to them and you will receive the Special Charm which increases your base luck.

Secret Note #21: Follow the Directions 3

Image showing the Secret Note #21: Follow the Directions 3 in Stardew Valley.
Secret Note 21.
  • Text: N/A – Follow Directions
  • Purpose: Shake the bush indicated in the note (beside the bridge to the beach) at exactly 12:40 AM to reveal Marnie and Mayor inside. This adds a little bit extra to the story of them having a romance together.

Secret Note #22: The Mysterious Mister Qi Questline

Image showing the Secret Note #22: The Mysterious Mister Qi Questline in Stardew Valley.
Secret Note 22.
  • Text: “

Greetings, <Farmer>

Have you found my ‘secret’ in the dark tunnel?

I look forward to meeting you!


Secret Note #23: Maple Syrup Request

  • Text: “If you can read dis… come to secret wuds. Please bring may-pal surrup.”
  • Purpose: Once you’ve acquired Maple Syrup, make your way to the Secret Woods to meet Bear. The bear will give you Bear’s Knowledge wallet item which increase the sale price Blackberries and Salmonberries sell for by 3x (thanks Ben!).

Secret Note #24: M. Jasper’s Book

Image showing the Secret Note #24: M. Jasper's Book in Stardew Valley.
M. Jasper’s Book.
  • Text: “It’s a page from M. Jasper’s book: …the creatures, known by some as “Forest Spirits” or “Junimos”, are said to appear in abandoned buildings after they’ve “gone to seed”. As a general rule…when humans leave, and nature begins to reclaim her territory, the Junimos will undoubtedly appear. Folk wisdom holds that the Junimos display some kind of resonant affinity with gemstones that are placed inside their little huts… Of course, all these claims come from dubious, unverified sources…As far as I know, even the mere existence of these creatures has never been proven!
  • Purpose: Tells you about placing gems inside the Junimo Huts to change the color of the Junimo that harvest your crops.

Secret Note #25: Note from Abigail

  • Text:I ‘borrowed’ a necklace from Mom, but lost it somewhere near the bath house.. She’s going to freak out if she notices it’s missing.
  • Purpose: Clue to help you find the lost necklace. To find the necklace fish outside in the water outside the Bathhouse during any season but winter to get the Ornate Necklace. Give the necklace to either Caroline (+50 Friendship) or Abigail (+100 Friendship) to return it.

That’s all you need to know about the Secret Notes collectibles in Stardew Valley. These notes are well worth finding and completing where applicable. One interesting thing to note is that ConcernedApe added more notes to the game with the release of Ginger Island. These notes are called Journal Scraps.

Thoughts on this Stardew Valley Secret Notes guide? Let me hear them in The Pit below.


Enricofairme is the pioneering founder and chief author of, a premier platform for discussing and analyzing video games. His illustrious career spans six years, during which he has consistently produced high-quality content in the video gaming niche. To stay updated with his latest works and musings, kindly follow Eli on Twitter via the handle @enricofairme.

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9 responses

  1. Chris says:

    You can put the golden lewis statue outside, it will be replaced with a rotten plant. But if you go into Lewis’ house after he sends you the letter and pays you, you can pick the statue up from his room and put it on your farm anyway.

  2. Nauron says:

    The Mermaid show combination is incorrect. Actual combination is 1-4-5-3-2. Spent a while at this one and didn’t get anywhere until I accidentally stumbled on the right combination, as opposed to the one mentioned in the secret note. Other way to tell is by the background melody, that gives you the right tones to the five notes.

  3. Jake says:

    Um, with the golden mayor Lewie statue, I placed it in the square, and the next day it had become a rotten plant. Bug?

  4. Kate says:

    When I found a secret note, it registered the note as an item not as part of the collection. How do I fix this?

  5. ben says:

    the purpose of number 23 is to triple the amount of gold salmon berries an black berries are sol for

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