Announcing the Photo Scavenger Hunt

The daffodils are blooming, spring is right around the corner, and we’re launching a new game to encourage everyone to learn about the hidden wonders of the Mount Vernon Trail.  We hope you’ll give this photo scavenger hunt a whirl!

This is one of the amazing Mount Vernon Trail sites you will find if you follow the riddles.


  • We’ve posted a list of riddles about hidden secrets on or near the Mount Vernon Trail.  They’re listed from north to south.
  • Figure out the riddle, then take a photo of the site, along with the active transportation mode (feet, bike, skateboard, rollerblades, scooter, etc.) that got you there.
  • You can also count up to two photos from the “wild cards” category.  
  • Submit five photos, and you’ll win an exclusive patch!  You’ll also be entered into a raffle for the top prizes. We can’t reveal what the top prizes are just yet, but there’ll be some cool swag involved.
  • The contest runs from Monday, April 1 to Tuesday, April 30.  
  • You can take a maximum of three photos per week.  (Yes, this means that you’ll have to make at least two trips over two weeks if you want to be eligible for the patch and top prizes.  Part of the fun of this event is learning about different aspects of the trail and experiencing the trail at different times.) The scavenger hunt kicks off on a Monday, so a week is Monday-Sunday.
  • Submit all your photos via email at the end.  If you feel so inclined, post your photos to social media and tag us.  See details below.


  • Send your submissions to by May 10. Please put “scavenger hunt” in the email subject.
  • Submissions may be in the form of links to or screenshots of your blog writeups, Instagram posts, Facebook posts, Tweets, online photo galleries with accompanying narrative, Word documents with attached or embedded photos, or email writeups with photos attached.
  • If you complete the scavenger hunt as a group, you may provide one submission for all of you, so long as you took all of the photos together.
  • If you want to pick up your patch in person, come visit our tent on Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 17.  We’ll be at the Gravelly Point afternoon pitstop from 4-6 p.m. Otherwise, include your mailing address in your email submission.  


  • Blog it: Let us know if you blog your scavenger hunt.  We might do periodic roundups on the FOMVT website.
  • Twitter: Tag @MtVernonFriends and use hashtag #MVTphotohunt.
  • Instagram: Tag @mountvernontrail and use hashtag #MVTphotohunt.
  • Facebook: Tag @Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail.  
  • Flickr: Share your photos in the MVTphotohunt Group on flickr.
  • Google Photos:  Share your photos in this Google Photos album:


  1. He inspired the creation of the toy teddy bear.
    Now he greets visitors with a hand in the air.
  2. Look at these bikes all shining red,
    Docked in a row by the Island of Ted.
  3. A senator, a president, a Texan.
    He’d come here when things would vex him.
  4. Sometimes it was an island, sometimes it was not.
    This plaque tells the tale of when Virginia and DC fought.  
  5. Next to a marina where boaters convene,
    These convenient bathrooms are nice and clean.
  6. Though this station was installed just last year,
    Usage is already through the stratosphere.
  7. Raise your bike, fix a flat.
    Handy tools, just like that!
  8. Towards Crystal City you must circle around.
    A boundary is marked if you look on the ground.
  9. “No one bikes to the airport,” they say.
    But yes, here’s the bike parking at DCA.
  10. Before jetting off on your next vacation,
    Check out what remains of this once-grand plantation.
  11. Need a burger, a beer, or a cold milkshake?
    Stop here for river views and to take a break.  
  12. Water once flowed through Alexandria’s heart.
    Find ye the place where the canal did start.
  13. 3,000 miles of trail sure would be fine.
    Take a trip to Old Town and show us a sign.
  14. Hollensbury built this house for spite.
    Now it’s a historic Old Town delight.  
  15. Ride on through and let out a woo,
    Just like the choo choo used to do.
  16. This once was a place where ships did embark.
    The shipyard is gone, but these launch rails remain in the park.
  17. Final resting place for some escaped slaves,
    Once lost to history were their old graves.
  18. Benjamin Banneker sure did it right,
    Setting this stone at the southern point of light.
  19. A giant awakens, a giant wheel spins.
    The view towards the trail elicits big grins.
  20. In this park, in April 1972,
    The trail officially opened, thanks to a volunteer crew.
  21. Eight Virginians held the highest office in the nation.
    The DAR built this marker in celebration.
  22. Amid wooden bridges, graceful birds take flight.
    This marsh is lovely, by day and by night.
  23. Father of the country forever he’ll be.
    Honor his legacy at this bicentennial tree.
  24. Whether you’re using the trail for fitness or fun,
    You can stop here to get some reps done.
  25. Once a fort to fill invaders with dread.
    Now there are horses. Hello, Mr. Ed!
  26. A wartime secret that not many knew.
    Now there’s a memorial for Box 1142.
  27. Take a look across the river.
    See this fort that made Redcoats shiver.


  • An airplane flying near Gravelly Point
  • A sailboat underway on the Potomac River
  • A sunrise over the Potomac River
  • A wild animal on or near the trail
  • A view of a weeping willow and a bridge
  • A view through the bridge looking at the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument

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