Native yellow sunflowers in a field
1
Graphical banner reads: Scavenger Hunt 2023

Scavenger Hunt at Interstate State Park

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

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

Whether you find just one or all of them, you can enter the weekly drawing for a $25 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 and trails.

Happy scavenging!

 

 

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

Needles: 4-6" long and bound into clusters of two with sharp tips.
Bark: Red and cracked into plates.

photo: MnDNR

1 / 20

RED PINE

Tree - Red Pine

Leaves: skinny and pointed with jagged teeth.
Bark: Corky
Fruit: Berry-like fruit that birds love.

photos: MnDNR

2 / 20

HACKBERRY

Tree - Hackberry

Leaves: 7-9 leaflets per stem.
Bark: Dark brown tinged with red; strongly ridged.
Note: An invasive insect known as the emerald ash borer is spreading across the state and killing off many ash trees.

photos: MnDNR

3 / 20

GREEN ASH

Tree - Green Ash
Banner reads: Wildflowers

Blooms June - Sept. Found in sunny fields. Pink, shaggy petals. Butterflies drink its nectar.

photo: Joshua Mayer/FlickrCC

4 / 20

WILD BERGAMOT

Wild Bergamot

Blooms: July - September
Found: Along shores or wet meadows.
Petals: The reddest flower in Minnesota.
Fun Fact: Hummingbirds love this plant.

photo: Katja Schulz from D.C. / Wikimedia CC

5 / 20

CARDINAL

Flower - Cardinal Flower

Blooms: June - October
Found: In sun or part shade along rocky slopes or open woods.
Petals: Pale blue to bright purple, bell shaped.

photo: Chilepine / Wikimedia CC

6 / 20

HAREBELL

Flower - Harebells
Banner reads: Arthropods

MN is home to a few native crayfish, plus an invasive one. They all look like baby lobsters that reach 2-5 inches long.
Found: In streams and rivers with rocky bottoms and logs to hide under.
Fun Fact: While humans have 46 chromosomes, crayfish have 200. This allows them to self-amputate limbs if caught and then re-grow them.

ALAN SCHMIERER, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

7 / 20

CRAYFISH / CRAWDAD

Crayfish on rocks

This water beetle is usually found swimming on the surface of a lake or pond where they swim wildly in circles. This movement makes small waves, which may help them find insects to eat via echolocation.

Udo Schmidt from Deutschland, CC via Wikimedia Commons & Under the same moon via Flickr CC

8 / 20

WHIRLIGIG BEETLE

Beetle floating on water

Found: Near tall grasses in late summer and fall.
Fun Fact: They are jumping phenoms, leaping 20 times their body length, which equates to a human jumping 120 feet.

photo: Will Brown / WikiMedia CC

9 / 20

GRASSHOPPER

Grasshopper in studio setting
Banner reads: Birds

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.

10 / 20

BALD EAGLE

 

bald eagle perched in tree

Appearance: Bold blue and white with crest on its head.
Found: In the forest.
Listen for: Loud shrieks.
Fun Fact: They are considered one of the most intelligent birds and have tight family bonds.

photo: Jongsun Lee / WikiMedia CC

11 / 20

BLUE JAY

blue jay

Appearance: Yellow all over with brownish stripes on chest.
Found: In shrubby areas near water.
Listen: Males make a sweet whistle song from perches.

photo: Jon Wood / P&TC photo contest

12 / 20

YELLOW WARBLER

yellow bird
Banner reads: Mushrooms and Lichen

Blooms: June - September
Found: In shady forests under pine needles.
Petals: Ghostly white.
Fun Fact: Technically, this is a flower, but it doesn't need the sun to grow and relies on underground fungi.

photo: Checkermallow / FlickrCC

13 / 20

GHOST PIPES

Flower - Ghost Pipe

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

14 / 20

COMMON GREENSHIELD LICHEN

Green lichen
Banner reads: Human Made

Everybody poops, and sometimes we're lucky enough to find proof on the trail. Rabbit and deer (photo) poop/scat are like rounded pellets. Carnivores often have fur in their droppings.

photo: Kevin Casper / CC0 public domain

15 / 20

WILDLIFE SCAT

pile of deer droppings in grass

Many animals, such as squirrels, raccoons, owls, bats, weasels, porcupines, songbirds, and others, make their homes inside tree holes. The holes can occur from tree decay or broken branches, or else with the help of woodpeckers. While it's rare to see the occupant, let's assume it's a home for someone.

photo: Lorianne DiSabato / Flickr CC

16 / 20

TREE CAVITY
(possible animal den)

Raccoon in a tree hole

Squirrels love to eat pinecone seeds. You may come across a pinecone cob and scales in a pile called middens that the squirrel left behind. Some middens get a few feet deep under a squirrel's favorite lunch spot.

photo: Lorianne DiSabato / Flickr CC

17 / 20

SQUIRREL MIDDENS

Banner reads: Amphibians and reptiles

Snapping turtles are Minnesota’s largest turtle species and weigh up to 45 pounds. They're graceful swimmers who spend most of their time in the water, swimming along the surface. Once overharvested and on the endangered species list from 1984-2013, they have now rebounded. They are docile and avoid humans but will defend themselves if threatened.

photo: USFWS Midwest Region/public domain

18 / 20

SNAPPING TURTLE

Snapping turtle swimming in a lake

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

19 / 20

FISH

Sunfish swimming in rocky bottom lake

20 / 20

WHAT OTHER INTERESTING THINGS DID YOU FIND?

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.

Your score is