Welcome to the Piscataway Park Fairy Trail! On this page, you will find resources and activities to help you explore the Fairy Trail like an expert Fairyologist. Fairyologists take their cues from the fairies and use their senses to observe and learn about the natural world. What will you discover when you enter the fairy realm?
What to expect on the Fairy Trail
You are about to enter a magical world full of amazing things. It's important that Fairyologists—and anyone exploring the fairy realm—treat the things they see, smell, touch, and hear with respect.
Take care with the fairy houses. The forest fairies put a lot of work into building their homes, so we must help protect them.
Respect the environment. Fairies are not the only residents of the fairy trail—they share their world with hundreds of plants, animals, insects, and fungi. All of these critters are important members of the forest community.
Leave no trace. Make sure that everything you came with is going home with you. Leaving trash in the fairy realm hurts fairies, animals, and people alike.
The Fairy Trail is located in Piscataway Park which lies on the traditional capital of the Piscataway people. This abundant place is called Moyaon, meaning "everything is here." It is the sacred center of the Piscataway homeland which includes much of what is today called Maryland and Northern Virginia. Piscataway people are connected to this land through their creation stories and their ancestors who have been here for millennia. As you hike through this sacred place, we ask that you please treat it with respect.
To the Piscataway, the two-legged (people) are part of the Land and relatives of all other life: like the 4-legged, those that crawl, that swim, that fly, the plants, and the waters. People are not separate from their ecosystems, they are part of it. People are not better than other organisms, they are their kin (relatives, family, cousins).
The magical world of Trees
As you enter the fairy grove, look around you. Listen to the breeze swirl through the leaves and smell the fresh, green air. There's something magical about this place, and if you ask the fairies that live here, they'll tell you the magic comes from the trees.
We see trees almost every day, but we don't always think about what makes them so special. Each tree contains a secret world, and the fairies are here to help us unlock the mysteries of the trees native to Piscataway Park.
You see, the fairies help care for all of the trees in the park, and each fairy has a favorite tree. They've even built houses inspired by the trees they love so much. At each house you encounter today, you'll learn more about a special kind of tree, and the fairies will give you tips about how to find and identify that tree on your own.
Navigating the Trail
There are seven fairy houses located along the fairy trail. At each house, you'll find a QR code. Scan the code to learn more about the house and the fairies that live there (also linked below).
After exploring the houses, you can embark on the Fairies Favorite Trees Scavenger hunt. There are seven trees (one for each house) marked on the map, and you can use the tips and tricks you learn from the fairies to find and identify each tree. There's a special cache hidden at the base of each tree for scavenger hunters who succeed in their quest.
Learn more about the seven houses along the fairy trail using the links below, or scan the QR code located at each house. Once you learn about the houses and the trees, test your knowledge on the Fairies' Favorite Trees Scavenger Hunt, and see if you can identify all of the trees you learned along the trail.