We absolutely love that the historic Big Spring Park is right in the heart of downtown Huntsville. After all, it’s what inspired the birth of the city when John Hunt decided to settle at the top of the spring’s rock bluff over 200 years ago! Since then, it would have been tempting for the City to forgo the green space for more parking lots and concrete, but lucky for us Big Spring Park continues to be an epicenter where families can stroll, feed the ducks, and get a breath of fresh air. There’s not a playground in this park, but we’ve created a fun activity you can do with your kids – the Big Spring Park Scavenger Hunt!
What’s the Big Spring Scavenger Hunt?
First off, it couldn’t be easier and it’s FREE!
We enlisted the help of local artist, Melly Luna Designs, to create a whimsical map of Big Spring Park. Then we give you 12 clues to help you find different locations all around the park! These clues were written with kids in mind – younger ones might need some help from you, but they aren’t so tough that most kids ages 6-12 couldn’t figure them out on their own.*
Get the Map & Get Hunting!
There are two ways you can get the map:
- Option #1: Print It from Home – Just print the Map here and the Clues here before you head to Big Spring Park.
- Option #2: Pick Up a Map – Starting the week of March 15th, you can also pick up a copy of the Big Spring Scavenger Hunt map at the Huntsville Visitor Center on Church Street, at the Huntsville Museum of Art Academy, or at Earlyworks Museum.
- Options #3: Play from Your Phone – If you want to conserve paper, you can always use your phone or mobile device to follow the clues and use the map. It works great from our Explore Huntsville app too!
* IMPORTANT NOTE: This scavenger hunt covers the whole of Big Spring Park, both the East and West sides – crossing Church Street is part of it. Please do not turn your kids loose in the park to do this without you.
Tag Your Photos with #BigSpringHunt
As you work your way through the clues, remember to take pics to commemorate the fun – tag them with #BigSpringHunt on social media and we’ll share them with our readers. Who knows? You just might win some cool local stuff too!
Fun Facts About Big Spring Park
While you hunt with your kids, sprinkle in some of these interesting facts about the park!
- The Big Spring is the largest limestone spring in North Alabama, with its usual flow between 7 and 20 million gallons per day, depending on the time of the year.
- Big Spring Park is named for a spring named “the big spring” by the indigenous Cherokee and Chickasaw.
- In the 1820’s there was an 11-mile canal built from the Big Spring to the Tennessee River at Ditto Landing. This waterway helped traders move cotton and other goods to other places faster & cheaper than a wagon.
- The park served as a major filming location in the movie Constellation, a 2005 feature film.
- In the summer of 2016, the smartphone app Pokemon Go! was super popular, and hundreds of people would visit the park on the weekend to play. You can still find lots of Pokestops here, as well as Wizards Unite Fortresses.
- Discover more Big Spring Park history here!
Big Spring Park Amenities: 18 acres of green space to enjoy and a walking path that’s stroller-friendly. There are a few benches to rest on throughout the park, as well as a large gazebo to provide shade. Duck & fish feed machines can be found at various points by the water. Meter parking can be found around the park perimeter and the VBC parking garage is also adjacent. There are no bathrooms, so plan accordingly!
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Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.