PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The WinTOUR Scavenger Hunt has returned to Fairmount Park.
People of all ages are welcome to tour, explore and connect with nature, history and art on more than 2,000 acres of trails for free until Sunday, Feb. 26.
The six-week, self-guided tour, organized by the Fairmount Park Conservancy, focuses on different geographic areas of the park each week, like West River on Martin Luther King Junior Drive and Upper East Park above Girard Avenue.
An app guides participants by giving them 10 tasks or missions each week to complete at their own pace. Evidence is photographed and posted and teams that complete all of the week’s missions will be entered in a random drawing to receive a prize.
John Sigmund, the organization’s public program manager, said there are about 500 teams registered for the activity.
It is intended to encourage people to explore the area even during the cold, winter months.
“There is so much nature there,” Sigmund said.
“It’s a contest. It's meant to be more of a reason to explore and tour the park. There are some prizes but, of course, the greatest prize is just to get off your screen and get out into the park.”
Entering its second week, people can go on missions, like finding evidence that beavers were hard at work.
“One great example that is going to be featured are finding the beaver chews,” Sigmund said.
Beaver chews, as Sigmund explained, are when beavers take a tree down, gnaw at it and leave a pointed stump with teeth marks.
People can also look for the “squirrel on the burl” and get extra points.
“And if you don’t know what a burl is, it's that lump on a tree – a woody lump on a tree – we have a little cut out of a squirrel,” Sigmund said. “The locations are hidden. The squirrel has a name, so you have to enter his or her name into the app.”
For more information on the tour, visit their website.