Scavenger hunt extends Lake Superior Day celebration

Community members can visit 11 locations throughout Superior to find letters and decipher clues.
A letter for the Lake Superior Day Scavenger Hunt is seen next to the Palace Theater Mural behind the Douglas County Historical Society on Monday morning, July 13. (Jed Carlson /

The public and join the hunt for clues at famous landmarks and beautiful spaces during a week-long Lake Superior Day celebration.

A scavenger hunt aimed at exploration kicked off Monday, July 13 and ends Sunday, July 19. It will lead participants to 11 separate sites in Superior and offers a chance to snag prizes from local businesses like Trailfitters, Epicurean, North Shore SUP and Earth Rider.

“The basic idea is that we wanted to get people out and exploring the lake and some of the great Lake Superior-related locations around Superior,” said Ryan Feldbrugge, education specialist with the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Participants must locate each correct site, where a marker with a letter on it can be found. When scavenger hunters write down the letters from each of the mission locations, it will spell out a Lake Superior-related phrase. People should leave the markers where they found them for the next person to find.

People who write down the correct phrase will get three tickets for the prize raffle. To get additional raffle tickets, participants have to answer a bonus question correctly about each site.


From 2-4 p.m. Sunday, July 19, participants can submit their completed scavenger hunt to the Lake Superior Estuarium on Barkers Island. Children 16 years of age and under who submit a completed scavenger hunt can also try stand-up paddle boarding for free courtesy of North Shore SUP. At 4:30 p.m., a music performance by “One Less Guest” will be streamed live on the Lake Superior Reserve’s Facebook page.
A letter for the Lake Superior Day Scavenger Hunt is seen next to the Palace Theater Mural behind the Douglas County Historical Society on Monday morning, July 13. (Jed Carlson /

The event is family-friendly and educational.

“There are a lot of really great places in Superior that I think everyone should know about so we, the planning team, had a lot to choose from,” Feldbrugge said. “We selected locations for their historical or geographic significance or just because it had a unique connection to the lake.”

Sites in need of clean-up were also targeted. Anyone who documents themselves cleaning up a bag of garbage from one of the mission locations can earn a bonus raffle ticket.

In previous years, Lake Superior Day has brought hundreds of people together to celebrate the largest of the Great Lakes. Stretching the event into a weeklong quest allowed organizers to highlight the lake while maintaining social distance.

“Personally, I love the lake, and I think it’s always worth celebrating, but this year is obviously different,” Feldbrugge said. “Even though we can’t all get together to celebrate it, I think it is still important to do something together as a community to acknowledge and appreciate the largest surface of freshwater in the world and this wonderful place we live.”


Participants can download the scavenger hunt with instructions from the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve’s Facebook page. Posters detailing the hunt can also be found at the Lake Superior Estuarium, Super One Foods on Oakes Street or the University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjacket Union. Visit the Facebook page all week long for daily challenges and to share photos of the hunt.

Lake Superior Day

Lake Superior Day was started in the early 1990s to highlight the importance of the lake to the environment and economy, according to the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve. It takes place the third Sunday in July. Lake Superior is the cleanest, coldest and clearest of the Great Lakes, the reserve said. The largest lake by surface area in the world, it fuels local shipping, commercial fishing and recreational industries while providing clean drinking water. Every day, each of the 600,000 human residents of the Lake Superior basin use water from the lake for drinking, home use, industrial use or recreation. The lake is essential for countless fish, birds, animals and plants.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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