Native yellow sunflowers in a field
24

Scavenger Hunt at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine

Welcome! You are tasked with finding up to 22 "items" from these categories:

  • Mushrooms/Lichens
  • Birds
  • Amphibians/Reptiles
  • Wildflowers
  • Mammals
  • Trees
  • Arthropods

Whether you find just 1 or all 22, you can enter the weekly drawing for a $20 gift card to Minnesota State Parks by filling out the form at the end of the hunt. Winners are selected each week among all participating parks.

Special thanks to our hunt sponsor

Friends of the Lake Vermilion Trail is sponsoring an additional drawing for a $25 gift card to a local outdoors store amongst all entries at this park on Sept. 13.

Happy scavenging!

Note: Icon below shows # of entries at this park for the year.
Question Image

1 / 22

CROWN-TIPPED CORAL MUSHROOM

Appearance: Many-branched, coral-like mushroom; yellowish tan with crownlike tips.
Found: On old logs on the forest floor in June–September.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photo: Kate Stephany / P&TC photo contest
Question Image

2 / 22

COMMON GREENSHIELD LICHEN

Appearance:  Looks like a leaf of lettuce glued to a tree. It's pale yellow-green with wrinkly, wavy lobes.
Found: On the trunk of broad leafed trees such as maples, oaks, etc. and shrubs.
Fun Fact: Some people use it to dye wool.

photo: Björn S.../WikimediaCC
Question Image

3 / 22

LIPSTICK POWDERHORN LICHEN

Appearance: Red tips on a green stalk that are about 1 inch tall.
Found: On dead wood and often at the bases of trees.

photo: bjoerns/WikimediaCC
Question Image

Next: Birds >

Question Image

4 / 22

BALD EAGLE

Appearance: White head that turns white by age 4-5.
Found: Soaring high overhead or perched near top of white pine trees near water.
Fact: A conservation success story--nearing extinction by the 1970s, it rebounded after a ban on DDT pesticides.

Question Image

5 / 22

GREAT BLUE HERON

Appearance: Large bird with long legs, neck, and bill.
Found: Wading along shorelines or flying low over water.

photo: Alpinekid / Wikimedia CC
Question Image

6 / 22

HOODED MERGANSER

Appearance: Striking water bird. Females have a reddish crest that looks like hair on neck. Males have black and white crest that is sometimes raised, sometimes down.
Found: Swimming in the water.

photo: Judy Gallagher/FlickrCC
Question Image

< Mushrooms       Reptiles >

Question Image

7 / 22

AMERICAN TOAD

Color: Brown, olive green, or reddish.

Found: Near water or moist areas.

Toads are amphibians that start life as tadpoles then emerge onto dry land as tiny toadlets about the length of a fingernail.

photo: National Park Service
Question Image

8 / 22

PAINTED TURTLE

Color: Red-orange bottom shell (appears painted on) and black-olive upper shell. Yellow stripes on neck.
Found: On logs in lakes.

These rather adorable reptiles are docile and have no teeth.

photo: Steven Katovich / Bugwood.org CC
Question Image

9 / 22

WOOD FROG

Color: A masked frog with grayish body.
Found: In forested areas under logs and rocks or in leaf piles. Breed in wetlands and lakes.
Listen for: Ducklike cackling: ca-ha-ha-ac, ca-ha-ha-ac, ca-ha-ha-ac,

photo: Ryan Hodnett / Wikimedia CC
Question Image

< Birds       Flowers >

Question Image

10 / 22

SELF-HEAL

Blooms: June - October
Found: Tiny flower mixed in with lawn grass.
Petals: Tiny, purple.
Fun Fact: It's beneficial for bees and butterflies.

photos: Pixabay
Question Image

11 / 22

COLUMBINE

Blooms: May - July
Found: On cliffs and forest edges.
Petals: Red/pink with club-like petals.
Fun Fact: Hummingbirds drink nectar from this flower.

photo: Jelieta Walinski/P&TC photo contest
Question Image

12 / 22

BLUE FLAG IRIS

Blooms: May - August
Found: In part shade to sun in wet meadows.
Petals: Typical iris shape, 3 to 4 inches across, blue to blue-violet, sometimes red-purple and rarely pale blue.

photo: Jennifer Quam / P&TC photo contest
Question Image

< Amphibians & Reptiles      Mammals >

Question Image

13 / 22

SNOWSHOE HARE

Very similar to the common cottontail. Has larger feet and black edge around its ears. In winter they turn white.

photo: Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/FlickrCC
Question Image

14 / 22

RED SQUIRREL

A cute little critter with a loud bark/chatter. The white ring around its eye only adds to the cuteness.

photo: Pixabay
Question Image

15 / 22

WHITETAIL DEER

One of the largest mammals in MN yet camouflaged and stealthy. Sleeps in different spot each night. Only males grow antlers.

photos: Justin Pruden / P&TC photo contest
Question Image

< Flowers       Trees >

Question Image

16 / 22

WHITE PINE

Needles: Clusters of five wispy needles (memory device: 5 needles for the 5 letters in WHITE).
Bark: Smooth and green-gray when young; furrowed and gray-brown when older.
Fun Fact: A favorite for bald eagles to nest.

photo: MnDNR
Question Image

17 / 22

BALSAM FIR

Needles: Lay flat on twig and each needle is flat, soft and blunt-tipped.
Bark: Smoothish gray with horizontal ridges.
Smell: When needles are broken they give off a smell that reminds many people of Christmas.

photos: MnDNR
Question Image

18 / 22

WHITE CEDAR

Needles: Flat and scale-like and have aromatic scent.
Bark: Gray to reddish brown, separating in long, vertical shreddy strips.
Found: In moist, rocky places.

photo: MnDNR
Question Image

< Mammals      Arthropods >

Question Image

19 / 22

CATERPILLARS

There are many types of caterpillars roaming around in Minnesota parks. They may be fuzzy, stripy, or plain, and each will transform into a moth or butterfly. The ones here are the Tussock Moth (top left), the Woolybear (bottom left), and the Monarch, which can be found on milkweed plants.

photo: Lisa Filter/P&TC; 1sock / FlickrCC; Maria L. Evans / Wikimedia CC
Question Image

20 / 22

PILL BUG (Roly Poly)

Found: Lift up a large rock or log on the forest floor and you may see this bug scuttle away.
Fun Fact: They can roll up into a ball shape.
Key Role: They eat decaying plant material so it can be mixed into the soil and grew new life.

photo: Twosistersinthewild / Wikimedia CC
Question Image

21 / 22

MONARCH BUTTERFLY

Color: Bright orange with black veins.
Found: Flying around wildflowers.
Fun Fact:
They fly down to Mexico before winter begins.

photo: Peter Miller / Flickr CC
Question Image

< Trees      Write-In >

22 / 22

WHAT OTHER INTERESTING THINGS DID YOU FIND?

Fill in the following information to be entered in our weekly drawing for a $20 gift card to Minnesota State Parks, which will be mailed to the winner.

You may also opt to receive this 4"x 4" window cling with dots showing each Minnesota State Park.

state of mn with dots for each state park

Please note: An adult must fill in the information for anyone age 12 and under.

Please mail me this window cling and more info about Parks & Trails Council of MN

Your score is