Friends of Itasca State Park

Itasca State Park is participating in 2022!

Nature Scavenger Hunt at Itasca State Park

Visitors to Itasca State Park can add some extra fun to their experience this summer with an educational scavenger hunt launched by Parks [&] Trails Council of Minnesota.

This scavenger hunt is part of a statewide challenge happening at 69 Minnesota State Park locations and five local parks. Each scavenger hunt is tailored to a specific park and highlights 19 different types of birds, mammals, wildflowers, trees and recreational activity that can be found in that location.

The hunts combines online technology with in-person experiences. Participants access the hunts online in the form of a interactive checklist that features a photo of each item along with a brief description or fun fact about that plant or animal. Some items are very common and will be seen by most people who visit the park, such as a black-capped chickadee, while others are more elusive, such as a sundew plant or a ruby-throated hummingbird.

"Even if a participant isn't able to check off a specific item, we hope the experience of looking for that plant or animal opens their imaginations to the diversity of plant and animal life that exist in the parks," said Lisa Filter, Parks & Trails Council's external relations director. Participants can submit their hunt into a weekly drawing for a $20 gift card to Minnesota State Parks. Points are awarded for each item that is found as well as for completing the hunt with children. These points translate into entries in the weekly drawing.

An additional for a $25 state park gift card will be awarded from all of the Itasca State Park entries. It has been sponsored by the Friends of Itasca and will be randomly drawn on September 13, 2022. The Friends hope you will enjoy this fun and educationaly activity!

Parks & Trails Council piloted the scavenger hunt idea two summers ago, as virtually all park programs were canceled due to Covid-19. The hunts were a self-guided, socially distanced option to fill that gap. But, even as the pandemic restrictions have lifted, these hunts have continued to evolve as a fun outdoors activity that many people enjoy doing. The hunts are designed for all ages, but with a special attention to parents of young children. "Kids love a challenge and the colorful photos that we included make it even more engaging for them," says Filter.

Visit Parks & Trails Council's website at to access the hunt or look for a flyer in the park for more details the next time you visit.

Additional Information

About Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota

Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota is a member-supported nonprofit that acquires, protects and enhances critical land for the public’s use and benefit. This mission is accomplished through land acquisition, advocacy at the state capitol, and by working with local friends groups. Established in 1954, P&TC has helped to acquire over 9,000 thousand acres that have become part of Minnesota’s treasured landscape of parks and trails.

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