The first blossoms of spring are always exciting to watch. Buds of green and blowing flower petals seem to spark a spring fever that’s hard to ignore. For those that are itching for outdoor activities to enjoy the warm weather and awakening trees, Howard County invites onlookers to view its 1,800 Kwanzan cherry blossom trees across the area.
Since 2004, Blossoms of Hope has planted cherry trees in Howard County to beautify public parks, properties and communities while also raising money and awareness for those affected by cancer. This year, Blossoms of Hope has organized a scavenger hunt that takes blossom enthusiasts across 15 cherry tree groves in search of clues and treasures.
Naturally socially distanced and safe, the scavenger hunt is perfect for families, small groups or individuals. The event occurs daily, starting April 5 and ending May 5. Blossoms of Hope provides cherry tourists the map, clues and even a few scavenging tools. Pack a lunch and some sunscreen and head to the following locations.
Old Ellicott City
As if there weren’t enough reasons to visit downtown Historic Ellicott City, the town is also one of the stops along the Blossoms of Hope Scavenger Hunt. Find the blooms at Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, the Howard County Welcome Center and other locations. If you’re looking to get active during your visit, you can also join the Hills of Milltown 5K in May to help support beautification projects in Old Ellicott City and Blossoms of Hope’s mission.
Located near the Columbia Mall, Lake Kittamaqundi is a 27-acre reservoir with a 1.4-mile trail around its perimeter that feature beautiful blooms in the springtime. Beside the lake is also an assortment of restaurants that offer outdoor seating for cherry blossom hunters feeling a little peckish.
Golf enthusiasts will be pleased to know that one of Howard County’s favorite golf courses is included on the Scavenger Hunt. Visitors can find over 50 cherry blossom trees here and can participate in the annual Pink Greens Golf Tournament on May 13 — the theme for this year being “Maryland Pride.” Registration includes a boxed lunch, access to special holes and more one-of-a-kind opportunities and chances to experience the Blossoms of Hope cherry trees.
Clarks Elioak Farm
Perhaps the favorite stop along the scavenger hunt for a young family is Clarks Elioak Farm. While completing the clues, blossom hunters can also visit the baby animals at the petting zoo and enjoy the revitalized Enchanted Forest exhibits, which feature scenes from storybooks and fairytale favorites. Clark’s Elioak Farm is also celebrating Howard County’s Cherrybration Days on April 8 and 9 with special weekend activities.
Historic Savage Mill
Blossom hunters can find cherry trees at two locations in the scenic town of Savage, Maryland. Visit the national landmark Bollman Truss Suspension Bridge for a lesson in history as well as stunning views of pink blossoms. Head to Terrapin Adventures afterward for a birds-eye view of the cherry trees while traveling across a zipline.