August 1, 2023
Faced with Covid restrictions on public gatherings during 2020, MHLC decided to shift the Annual Summer Hike-a-Thon event to a self-guided scavenger hunt. The popularity of the event was beyond our wildest imagination! During that first year, 560 people registered to find hand-painted gnomes at each of MHLC’s preserves. We received many thank you notes that summer from people grateful tohave something fun to do when the pandemic turned life upside down. Although we had fewer participants in 21’ (gnome homes) and 22’ (birds), the Summer Hike-a-thon Scavenger Hunt continued attracting new and past participants. The event became a much-anticipated summer tradition for many.
In 2022, Art on the Rail Trail teamed up with us to bring the scavenger hunt to the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail. Volunteer artists created bird-themed sculptures hidden along the trail from Albany to Voorheesville. This year, 11 artists created Fantastical Creatures for the Rail Trail portion ofthe scavenger hunt.
In 2023, more than 630 people registered for the scavenger hunt to search for woodland animals on the preserve trails and Fantastical Creatures sculptures on the Rail Trail. We were thrilled to see that interest in this popular event has not wavered. Last month, some families and individuals went above and beyond,completing the scavenger hunt at all 22 preserves. Congratulations to the Gutta and Vosburgh families, Marilyn Fancher and Teresa Dalmata.
The event is an excellent opportunity for families to get outside together. Kids and adults alike are delighted to find a hidden surprise on the trail—you’ll see evidence in the hundreds of smiling faces captured in selfies posted to our Facebook album.
This event would not have been possible without the help of MHLC’s volunteers. Thank you to the volunteer artists and preserve stewards for being such an integralpart of this event! We are so grateful to have Stewart’s Shops as the event sponsor providing ice cream cardrewards for those who submit photos! And many thanks to Six Flags Great Escape for providing two tickets to include in our prize raffle.
You can check out all the submitted photos in our Facebook album. CLICK HERE TO VIEW.