Discover the Valley with TrailQuest this Spring
By Laura Churchill Duke
With the better weather comes the chance to get outside and explore the Annapolis Valley with a new innovative game, TrailQuest. TrailQuest gets participants to follow a set of clues and answer questions to solve a puzzle, much like a self-guided treasure hunt. TrailQuest is a family effort between myself and my 11-year-old son, Daniel Duke. Together we write the stories, while Daniel and his brother Thomas, 10, create the storyboard and logo images.
When we lived in the UK, these types of hunts were very popular, and we played several of these games in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England. We knew immediately it was something we wanted to create at home.
You do not need a map or to be familiar with the town to play TrailQuest. All directions are given in the clues. You will not need to enter any private property or pay any admission fees, so the game can be played any day, any time of the year. All the clues are part of the permanent structures in each town. It’s not just meant for families, but for student groups, couples on date night, friends, or senior groups. It’s for anyone who wants to get out and have fun together.
So far, players have included a group of grandmothers (without grandchildren), high school students, family units, and groups of friends. The games have been used by Girl Guide groups, youth groups, for birthday parties, and by homeschooling organizations. We’re now working with schools in the Annapolis Valley to create TrailQuest games to be included as part of the curriculum.
“My class did a TrailQuest created specifically for our school,” says one teacher. “I would highly recommend it as a family activity. The students loved it and learned a great deal while getting lots of physical activity, and having fun!” Not only are students getting physical activity, they are learning about problem solving, team work, and how to follow directions, along with history and literacy. Schools currently involved include KCA, Berwick Elementary, NKEC Middle School and Port Williams Elementary School.
All trails cover approximately two kilometres of terrain and take between one to two hours to complete, depending on how fast you walk, and how much time you take to enjoy the area. The trails are accessible for those with mobility issues. The game is appropriate for anyone aged six and older, as long as they can walk the distance. Although younger children may not understand all of the clues, they will still have fun searching for the answers.
TrailQuest has launched trails in Kentville, Windsor, Port Williams, Berwick, and Wolfville and the Acadia campus, with plans in the works for a few more towns later this spring. To order a kit online for $10 and to learn more, visit ValleyFamilyFun.ca/TrailQuest or find us on Facebook under TrailQuest Annapolis Valley.