Nature Hike Scavenger Hunt

If you’re going to be hiking somewhere with other people, why not increase the fun with this activity.

This nature hike scavenger hunt idea is perfect for kids, but could also be done with an older youth group or even as a team-building exercise with adults.

Here’s how to do it:

Nature Hike Scavenger Hunt


Preparation required

Purchase multiple rolls of ribbon – one roll for each team that you’ll have, with each team being allocated a different color. Cut each roll of ribbon into strips approximately 6-9 inches long.

Choose a word or short phrase and write each letter on a different strip of ribbon – do this for each color of ribbon. Depending on the length of the word or phrase, you may need to cut shorter pieces of ribbon or buy more than one roll of each color.

The word or phrase could be things like:

  • The name of your youth group (if applicable)
  • The phrase “nature hike scavenger hunt”
  • “Teamwork” or “team-building”

Alternatively, you could simply number each piece of ribbon and require that teams find all the numbers on their colored ribbon.

Find a park with a nature trail or somewhere that you can go on a nature hike that has a lot of trees and / or bushes. Tie the pieces of ribbon to different trees and bushes along the trail or hiking route. Tie these in both high and low areas, as well as in both easy and hard to find places.


Take your group to the park or hiking route and split them into teams (or just have them all working together if it’s a small group). Give them instructions on how the scavenger hunt will work:

  • What color ribbon they need to find
  • That they need to untie the ribbon and take it with them
  • That each piece of ribbon has a number or letter
  • How many pieces of ribbon they need to find
  • That they need to rearrange the letters on the pieces of ribbon to spell a certain word or phrase

Provide a sheet for each team to take with them on the hike. If using numbered pieces of ribbon, the sheet should have numbered squares for them to check off as they go along.

If using a word or phrase, provide a sheet with enough empty boxes for them to write a letter in each box – this will help teams know how many pieces of ribbon they need to find.

If they need to spell something with more than one word, also provide an indication as to how many words there are and how many letters are in each word. This can be done in a similar way to how Hangman is played.

For example, below we’ve given an indication of how it would be laid out if you used the phrase “Nature Hike Scavenger Hunt” (n.b. we’ve used underscores here rather than boxes)

Write the letters you find in the spaces below

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Rearrange the letters to spell out a phrase

__ __ __ __ __ __

__ __ __ __

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

__ __ __ __

If you found this idea helpful, you may also enjoy our scavenger hunt book. This has 52 scavenger hunt ideas, including a completely different nature scavenger hunt that comes with a list that you can photocopy or print off (depending on which format of the book you purchase).

Youth Group Activities

If you’re planning this hike for a group of young people, check out the Youth Workin’ It blog for all kinds of different activities and games for youth groups.