January 09, 2020
By Russell Fenton
On October 21, 2019, students in the Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course went on a valley quest in the state forest. The quest started at the bottom of the hill and went throughout the forest. There were clues along the way to find each step. The clues were descriptive, but it was sometimes hard to find our way. The quest experience was fun because our class went on this adventure together, and made it into a challenge. Whoever found the end first got a prize, which really motivated us. We were like a flock of birds running around trying to take each others food. Along the way there were some challenges like having to find the hidden boxes that held the next clue.
My team got lost at least a couple of times due to the lack of reading the clues and we took longer routes to some of the clue boxes. There are lots of trails in the state forest, and some of them are very long. Once we found the hidden fireplaces it was all about using the map that came with the quest. The fireplaces were built in the 1930’s, by young men hired by the government. The goal was to give them jobs during the Great Depression, and create roads and campgrounds in the state forest.
Valley quests are treasure hunts that tell the history of special places. You can find them on the Vital Communities website. If you want to try the Hidden Fireplace Quest, here is a link Hidden Fireplace Quest. This quest gets taken down in the winter, but some are open year round. All quests have a stamp which you can collect in a notebook. You can also sign a logbook to show that you were there. Quests are a great way to learn about the community and have fun at the same time.