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Young Kentville entrepreneur launches new scavenger hunt to help discover the Valley

Daniel Duke, 11, has launched a new scavenger hunt game called TrailQuest to help players discover towns in the Annapolis Valley in a new way.
Daniel Duke, 11, has launched a new scavenger hunt game called TrailQuest to help players discover towns in the Annapolis Valley in a new way.

KENTVILLE, NS - Daniel Duke is just 11 years old, but he’s already becoming a savvy businessman.

The Kentville entrepreneur, with the help of his mom, Laura Churchill Duke, has just launched TrailQuest, a new and creative way for people to explore the towns in the Annapolis Valley.

The idea came from the family’s recent stay in the United Kingdom. While in Wales during the spring, they completed several treasure hunt games that took them across the UK.

“In the UK we saw a lot of treasure trails, and they were really fun,” said Duke.

When the family came home, Duke wanted to recreate that here.

“The ones we did in the UK took you all over the UK. We wanted to do something just in the towns,” he said.

TrailQuest was his solution. While his mom headed into downtown Kentville to identify specific, permanent markers that could be used as keystones, Duke wrote the story.

“I did all the graphics – the logo and the computer graphics for the comic strip, as well as writing the story,” he said.

“The clues come from stuff that’s always around town – they don’t change. It’s not based on, say, vegetables someone has for sale. It’s permanent markers so people can do it anytime.”

The trail covers approximately two kilometres of terrain and takes between one to two hours to complete, depending on how fast you walk, and how much time you take to enjoy the area. The trails are accessible for those with mobility issues.

The game is appropriate for anyone aged six and older, as long as they can walk the distance. Although children may not understand the clues, they will still have fun searching for the answers.

“It’s not really a huge time commitment,” he said.

While it’s a family-friendly activity, Duke says it’s something that will be fun for everyone.

“It’s going to be fun for kids but it isn’t aimed at just families – this is something everyone six and up will enjoy,” he said. “A group of friends might have fun, or maybe it’s an activity people want to do on a girl’s night. I think people are really going to enjoy it.”

It also makes a great date activity or an event for senior groups, said Churchill Duke.

“It’s for anyone who wants to get out and have fun together,” she said.

A map isn’t needed to play the game, as all the directions are given in the clue book. Participants won’t need to go onto private property or pay any admission fees, she added.

The first TrailQuest adventure is in Kentville, but the other towns will be coming soon – Wolfville is up next, said Duke.

“Hopefully, we’ll have that one ready pretty soon,” he said. “It’s a good way to get to know your community.”
The booklets are available online for purchase at www.ValleyFamilyFun.ca/TrailQuest. Already, after launching the project just last week, Duke has sold a handful of booklets.  

“I’m really excited and I really hope people will like it,” he said.

Books can be purchased for $10 and printed at home, or printed copies can be picked up for $12. Shipping is also available for an additional $3.

Go online: Find out more at www.facebook.com/TrailQuestAnnapolisValley/?fref=ts  or www.ValleyFamilyFun.ca/TrailQuest

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