Prince William County’s Silver Lake Park, west of Haymarket, saw some springtime green and gold March 16, but it was neither budding leaves nor wildflowers that brought the color. Instead, the still-bare woods were dotted with paper leprechauns in the trees as eager children navigated from one to the next in search of treasure.

Prince William County Parks and Recreation hosted the event, with Cabela’s providing dozens of compasses and hiking GPS units to help in the search. “We partnered with Parks and Rec to acquaint kids with compasses and GPS units to help teach kids how to get around in the outdoors,” said Gina Celano, with Cabela’s.

Families used the park map and a compass to head west from the parking lot to find the first shiny leprechaun in a tree, and then the hand-held hiking GPS units had waypoints marking each subsequent leprechaun, with children taking turns along the way to guide the groups. The families were rewarded with shamrocks and a pot-o-gold at the end of the trail. There were also crafts and games for the wee ones.

This was the county’s first leprechaun hunt, said Jane England with parks and recreation, and organizers were pleased that more than 100 families turned out on a brisk, windy Saturday. “I wanted something to get the kids outside, have fun, and use their imagination,” England said.

Scroll through the photos at the top of this page for more pics.

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