Fort Abraham Lincoln Leprechaun Leap leads to much more than pot of gold

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MANDAN, N.D. - Visitors to Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park searched for gold Sunday during the park's fifth Leprechaun Leap.

The three mile scavenger hike took families through every corner of the park in the pursuit of finding treasure.

Hikers discovered much more than a pot of gold during this scavenger hunt.

Fresh air, open fields and history also awaited them.

"It's a way to get out and explore the park," said Matt Schanandore, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park events coordinator.

Park representatives say the real gold of this event is being outside after a long, harsh winter.

"Everyone has been cooped up all winter, and March is that time when that nice weather starts to peek out, and it's that time to get outside, and get some fresh air, and just enjoy the North Dakota outdoors," said Schanandore.

The Leprechaun leap sent participants on a chase for letters around the park, finally ending up at the pot of gold, with other treasures in store.

The prizes for winning the hunt include a one night stay in a park cabin, tepee, or campground.

The scavenger hike is a part of the park's 12-month hiking challenge, which is intended to encourage people to explore North Dakota's state parks.

"Fort Abraham Lincoln is right in Bismarck-Mandan's backyard. So it's great to get out here multiple times a year to experience the hikes." said Schanandore.​

More than 400 people attended the event.