Welcome to Lillie Park! This beautiful nature haven features TWO separate parks. This badge only requires you to visit Lillie Park SOUTH! (For a stunning view of Haven Lake, feel free to head down the road to visit Lillie Park North before you head home, but you won't need to visit to get this badge.) Before you start your journey, it's a good idea to review the park's map! This park features mostly dirt and gravel forest paths. You'll need to travel about a mile and half to find all the codes for this badge. This is a long walk - so be ready to put in some time!
This badge is mostly wheelchair and stroller accessible. There are large rocks on some paths and one incline. You will also pass over a boardwalk that may have water on portions of it.
First, begin in the parking lot of Lillie Park South, near the athletic fields and playground area. Facing the playground, head to the right and follow the paved path into the trees. You'll see a red pavilion labeled "Lillie South #2" and a large panel, "Activity Locations in Lillie Park." There are over 3 miles of trails here! Take a look at the map on this sign to get your bearings, then walk to the opposite side of the pavilion and look for two more information panels. Find the panel that tells you all about the "Natural Features in Lillie Park" and all the different natural habitats these trails will take you through on your walk. Look for the only words on that panel that are in parenthesis. Those four words are the code!
Now continue down the path past the pavilion. You'll come to a fork in the path right away, and you'll take the unpaved trail on the right. Walk until you come to an Interpretive Sign on the left, "The Changing Forest." This sign talks about the ever-changing greenery of Lillie Park and shows images of leaves from several kinds of trees. Look for the third leaf picture from the left. The two words beneath are a code!
Just to the right of the large Interpretive Sign, at the foot of a tree, look for a much smaller sign that talks about "Shagbark Hickory" trees! Lots of forest-dwelling creatures like to eat the nuts of these trees, and this sign lists several of them. The first animal listed (two words starting with an E) is another hidden code!
Continue past the two Interpretive Signs and down the trail. Eventually, you'll come to a fork in the gravel path - keep to the right. You will know you are on right path when you pass a wooden post with a number "2" on it. After a while, your path will take a sharp left curve out into a more open area (don't take the dirt trail on the right leading into the trees--stay on the gravel path). You'll continue straight on the gravel path (ignore another little dusty trail leading off to the right) until you arrive at a long wooden bridge - you will come out of the woods and walk in the sun for a bit. Once you see the pond you are close. This boardwalk/bridge is wide, but has no railing. Enjoy the view as you cross the bridge and keep padding along until you arrive at a fork in the trail with a triangular patch of grass in the middle. To the left you'll see a sign labeled "Geology, Glaciers, and Groundwater," all about the exciting world of melting glaciers! The first two words in quotation marks on this sign are your code.
Go RIGHT at this fork (your right before you stopped at the Geology sign), staying on the gravel path (you will pass a GIANT rock - ignore the grassy path you pass on your right) until you come to a fork on the path. Take the trail on the right (the one with the Lille Park Map sign) and you'll begin walking around Songbird Field. Keep Walking until you come to a clearing and a circle in the path. On you right you'll see another Interpretive Sign for "Duck Potato Pond." There are three images on the sign, and ONE of them is not of a bird. The first word under that image (the word in front of "or") is your code!
From here, keep left on the gravel path and continue walking. Eventually you'll come to another Interpretive Sign, "Old Fields: Habitats on the Mend." You've made it most of the way around Songbird Field! The last three words in the paragraphs on this sign are your code!
Keep walking until you come to another fork in the path and keep to the right. Keep traveling until you get back to the fork in the road with the "Geology, Glaciers, and Groundwater" sign. Now that you're back, there is another hidden code on this sign! Four sites are mentioned on this sign: two Ponds and one Lake, and one other place that sound emptier! The two-word title of that 4th place is your code.
Stay right at that fork, past the Geology sign. Keep walking straight until you arrive at start of a paved round path. Turn RIGHT and walk down the paved path until you arrive at another Lillie Park Map sign. There are some trees past the sign that have small plaques in front of them. Locate the tree on the far left and look for its sign (the first word in the tree name is a color). The last sentence on the sign talks about pioneers making something extracted from the bark. The last two words on the sign are your last game code. This is your FINAL code! Keep heading straight until you arrive at a split in the path and go LEFT through the trees until you arrive back at the parking lot! You're done! Now enjoy your day at the park!
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I'm pleased to see a park in my neighborhood featured. We recently had Cobblestone, too. I hadn't met the goats there before I did that one. Thank you.
Thank you for adding distance and accessibility info. It’s very helpful.
This was the WORST badge! It takes you on a 3 mile hike in the woods. A little warning that this is physically demanding would be nice. Also one set of directions for the 3 clue are extremely confusing and take you very far out of the way. I suggest turning left when you hit the fork in the road after the first 2 clues.
I WOULD NOT TRY THIS WITH WHEELCHAIR OR STROLLER/YOUNG KIDS UNTIL CLUE #4 IS REWRITTEN. Also, definitely need bug spray more than sunscreen. I would have to agree with jkramb above. I really wish I had read that comment before I started this afternoon with my 2-year-old in a stroller. The section of Clue No. 4 instructions that starts with “You should pass a bench and Lillie Park map on your left........wooden post with a number 2 on it” needs to be rewritten with more accurate landmarks and reference to the trail map and NSEW directions. That first fork in the gravel path comes very soon after the Shagbark sign, and there was no bench or or map prior to it (there is a bench on your right if you were to take the left fork, but that’s not how it’s worded). If the intention is to lead us all the way around the South side of Turtle Rock Pond and then around the Northwest edge of Giants’ Grove with no code, please state that. We headed in that direction but since there was no bench, no map, and no post with a #2 right away, we turned around because we were being chewed up by mosquitoes. Now that I’m home and have take 20 min to thoroughly read the directions and compare with the trail map, I think we were possibly on the right track but would have needed much better breadcrumbs to know that. OR, as jkramb stated above, take the first left after the Shagbark sign and you’ll still get all the codes (I think - we will have to go back and try again). I think this could be a lovely walk with a little tweaking!
Thank you for all that info! I was about to try to piece together the route on the map linked based on the clues without going to the park first, so that I can be sure we wouldn't get lost or waste time in this horrible heat! Your post is helpful!!
I really enjoyed this badge and the hiking trail was lovely! I thought I was off-track a few times, but then along came a sign, and I was on-track after all. I loved all the birds chirping. It was fun!
Definitely recommend bug spray and a large-wheeled stroller for this hike. Many of the gravel paths have new gravel so it’s hard to push a stroller through. Can we get 1 point per mosquito bite? I would get 15 extra points and my son 5 points. 😄
I would like all of the clues exposed, so I can print it out. This requires a smart phone!
The clues are all up above in the badge description. You can print this page and it gives you all the clues without having to enter any codes. Thanks for asking!
My mom and I attempted this badge today. The first 3 codes we very simple to get, the instructions were very straightforward! Then clue 4 came along. It is not easy to understand. I'm glad I had the foresight to leave my kids aged 2 and 3 at the playground with their Uncle! At the top of this badge in bold type it states that the badge will only be about a 1.5 mile walk, if that is not so it needs to be corrected! I'm 8.5 months pregnant and a mile and a half is about all I can do. We will be going back another day to finish the badge. Bug spray is a must and I will not be taking my kids on this badge, my 2 yr old gets bitten super easy and then needs allergy medication for up to 2 weeks to help with them!
Please rewrite clue 4 and make it less confusing!
Wow! I was going to attempt this one today with another event that I’m going to attend at that park, but after reading the comments I think I’ll pass. I find it disappointing that it says a mike and a half and suggests not to difficult, but the comments say it’s longer and fairly difficult. I’m thankful to the commenters for the warning.
I second the bug spray advice.
This was a lot of fun. Luckily I've done the trail once before so sort of knew my way and to keep going, otherwise I was a little confused in the beginning. I like that it helped me explore other parts of the trail that I didn't know where they went.
This is not a stroller or wheelchair assessable badge and the directions are extremely confusing. Bug spray is a MUST! My dog was exhausted by the end, so that’s a plus!
Despite the comments, I decided to try the badge anyway.
Tip #1. Know where the pond with the boardwalk is. We never did see Post #2, and I think we went way out of our way. We were almost at the highway when we turned. I knew roughly where the pond was, so we crossed the pond on the boardwalk-- starting at the end closer to the highway, and we were able to continue from there. We kept carefully reading and rereading the directions, but they were confusing in places. We did see Posts 3, 4 and 5, if not more. Tip #2: About the mosquitoes, from the comments, you'd think it was the Everglades, but I got far more bites at Kensington Beach last weekend. I'm not sure that I got any bites while doing this badge, and I even have Type O blood. Have a strategy. Go mid-day. Go when it is cooler because sweat attracts bugs. Wear light colors. Wear long pants, socks, and closed-toe shoes. Wear the longest sleeves you can without sweating. My bug spray clogged, so I only had a couple drops on. Don't stand around. Especially don't stand around in the woods. Don't bother reading the whole sign. Find out what you need and record it. Make sure each code is right, then move on. Tip #3. The terrain is not that bad, either. It is mostly flat with wide paths. Numerous construction sites around downtown, with narrow paths delineated with the orange rails and the black rubber mats, are trickier than those paths. Wear good walking shoes. A jogging stroller should work, and maybe a small umbrella stroller, too. Tip #4. Remember when Eli said in the film that this is supposed to be fun? Allow plenty of time, so you aren't stressed out when you might NOT see Post 2.
If this doesn't sound fun to you, don't go. For an easier nature experience, do the science museum. Allow time to finish before the museum closes. I had to return to get the last clue. You can learn something about birds (and lots more) at the museum, and it is AWESOME.
This was a beautiful hike, and we didn’t find the instructions too difficult (maybe they’ve been updated). Definitely recommend bug spray. The water is a little over the wooden bridge in places but it’s passable. Loved it!
I really enjoyed a hike in the woods and would love to see another badge outdoors like this one!
We did the badge just now and had an easy time of it. It helps that I've been in two different walking groups that walked exactly the badge's path, so it felt to me like the "usual" way to go.