Grab your favorite group of people and get ready to explore the Great Smoky Mountains like a true adventurer. This weekend (March 24-25, 2017) marks the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont's annual Smoky Mountains Scavenger Hunt, an exciting event for nature lovers and pathfinders alike.
Fun For All Ages
Since 2010, outdoor enthusiasts and explorers of all ages have teamed up every year to try and snag the winning title and their name on the Hunt Hall o’ Fame plaque. Teams include a range of different kinds of people, from groups of friends and coworkers, to families of children and adults. Some groups dress alike or wear matching team t-shirts to show everyone they mean business!
It's a little different than your typical scavenger hunt in that you're not actually taking things from the park; it's more about collecting information and photos, not physical items. Scavenger hunt rules encourage teams to be very careful about their impact on park resources. Different tasks are worth a different amount of points. For example, you might get the chance to snag a selfie with a park ranger, or take a pencil and paper to get a tombstone rubbing. Perhaps you can identify a certain carving in a certain pew at a certain church in Cades Cove. The questions engage people on the trail and encourage participants to explore the park, including new and unknown places.
A Race To The Finish
There are about 75 questions to complete in a 25 hour time period. Starting Friday afternoon by 3:30 PM, each registered team will receive the list of questions via email. Teams require a digital camera with a flash memory card that they can hand over to the judges at the end of the hunt when they meet back at Tremont no later than 4:30 PM on Saturday.
A Gathering of Nature Lovers
While the scoring is under deliberation, all the teams can enjoy a hot meal and a nice evening gathering under the pavillion. Some small randomly drawn door prizes are distributed among teams that competed, as well as some special prizes to recognize certain achievements. All teams must have completed the hunt and be onsite at the event during the giveaway to receive the prizes, so don't be late!
Jennifer Jones, President & CEO of the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, says this is really meant to be a fun, low-stress event, and a unique opportunity to get to explore parts of the park that people may not have seen before. This year it takes place during the first weekend of spring, so what better way to celebrate the wonderful season?