Native yellow sunflowers in a field
Graphical banner reads: Scavenger Hunt 2023

Scavenger Hunt at Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park

Please note: The official 2023 season is finished. There are no more weekly drawings. However, you are still welcome to enjoy the hunts.

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

  • Trees
  • Wildflowers
  • Arthropods
  • Birds
  • Mushrooms & Lichens
  • Signs of wildlife
  • Amphibians & Reptiles

Happy scavenging!



Note: The icon below shows # of entries at this park for this year.
Banner reads: trees

Leaf: 3-5 saw-tooth lobes with pointed tips.
Bark: Smooth, light gray when young. Dark gray and rough with shaggy ridges when old.

photo: MnDNR

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Tree - Red Maple

Leaf: 5-9 finger-like lobes that can be notched deeply or shallow.
Bark: Pale gray with scaly ridges and shallow fissures.
Acorn: light brown and enclosed in a bowl-shaped cap.

photo: MnDNR

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photos of oak leaf, nuts and bark

Leaf: Heart-shaped with jagged teeth. Bees love to make honey from basswood flowers.
Bark: Smooth grayish red when young. Grayish brown with shallow, narrow ridges.
Fruit: Small nutlet under leafy bract.

photos: MnDNR; University of NE-Lincoln

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Basswood leaf, tree trunk and fruit
Banner reads: Wildflowers

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

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Flower - BlueFlagIris

Blooms: August - October
Found: In fields and wood edges.
Petals: Dainty purple swirl around yellow disk.
Fun Fact: Important late-blooming food source for bees and butterflies.

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Flower - Aster

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

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red delicate flower
Banner reads: Arthropods

Often invisible until the sun hits it just right. Spiders create these fantastic contraptions to catch prey. The silk is made in glands on the spider's abdomen. Many spiders will eat their own web each day and rebuild a new one the next day.

photo: Aaron Kostko/P&TC Photo Contest

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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 plants, which helps to enrich the soil.

photo: Twosistersinthewild / Wikimedia CC

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PILL BUG (Roly Poly)


Appearance: 140 species in MN come in a rainbow of colors.
Dragonfly: Bigger and keep wings spread out when resting.
Damselfly: Smaller and close their wings when resting.
Fun Fact: They can fly upside down, backward, and turn 360° on a dime.

photos: John Wright / Flickr CC; Jim Johnson / iNaturalist CC; Wayne Fidler / iNaturalist CC

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Three photos showing different species of dragonfly
Banner reads: Birds

Appearance: Black and white with red eye.
Found: Swimming in lakes close to shore.
Listen for: Wailing tremolo call and short hoots.

photo: Will Stenberg/P&TC Photo Contest

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Adult loon swimming with baby loon

Male: Bold red with crest on head.
Female/Immature Male: Brownish-red.
Found: In open woodlands and common visitor to bird-feeders.
Listen for: Loud, sweet whistle songs.

photo: Jack Bulmer /Pixabay

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Appearance: All white with black bill. Males and females look alike.
Found: In lakes and rivers.
Nearly wiped out due to overhunting a century ago, but MnDNR reintroduced swans in the 1980s and now they are thriving here.

photo: Jason / P&TC photo contest

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White swan floating in a lake
Banner reads: Mushrooms and Lichen

Appearance: Tiny fungi (less than 1/2 inch) that really do look like tiny bird's nests with eggs.
Found: In damp areas (after a rain) on sticks, wood chips, or humus. They do not grow on logs or bare ground.
CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photo: Jo Zimny / Flickr CC

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Birds Nest Fungi

Appearance: Sorta like a turkey's tail growing out of a tree. This mushroom has wavy, leathery brown, white, gray, or reddish stripes.

Found: May-Sept. growing on logs or dead trees, especially on oaks.

CAUTION: Never eat any mushroom unless knowledgeable.

photo: Matt Welter / Wikimedia CC & Ryan Hodnett / Wikimedia CC

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Brown, wavy mushroom
Banner reads: Amphibians and reptiles

There are about 130 species of fishes found naturally in Minnesota. The most common ones to swim near shore and under docks are sunfish (photo). Seeing any fish will earn you points for this item.

photo: Joe Mabel, CC via Wikimedia

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Sunfish swimming in rocky bottom lake

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 / CC

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Painted turtle on a log
Banner reads: Human Made
photo: Courtesy of Friends of Bertram

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Bicycle fix-it station
photo: Courtesy of Friends of Bertram

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Fishing pier
photo: Courtesy of Friends of Bertram

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Interpretive sign in a park

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Fill in the following information to be entered in our weekly drawing for a $25 gift card to Minnesota State Parks, which will be mailed to the winner. Weekly winners are randomly selected from entries to ALL participating parks and trails—only one entry per park each summer. However, you are welcome to participate and enter the drawing at multiple parks' this summer.

Please note: For anyone age 12 and under, please enter adult companion's info.

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