AUSTIN— This summer, Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine kicks off its fourth annual Great Outdoor Scavenger Hunt (GOSH). Participants can choose from 35 locations in seven regions for chances to win prizes from Buc-ee’s, Whole Earth Provisions Co., the Texas Historical Commission and more.
Participants must travel to various locations regionally or statewide, take selfies and post them with the hashtag #GOSH2023. This year’s contest offers a new category as well – Grand Adventures in State Parks (GASP), added to commemorate 100 years of Texas State Parks.
“We’re blown away by the popularity of GOSH,” said Publication Manager Nathan Adams. “This year’s competition is the biggest yet, and offers a fun way to discover history, wildlife, parks, waterways and quirky attractions.”
GOSH 2023 ends at midnight on Labor Day, Sept. 4.
The challenge features seven regions, including Dallas/Fort Worth, Central Texas, Houston, the Panhandle, South Texas, East Texas and West Texas. Register on the GOSH 2023 website, find each spot, take a smiling selfie and tag it with #GOSH2023 on Twitter, Instagram or the GOSH homepage. Continue reading below for a complete list of GOSH locations for 2023.
Snap a selfie in front of the statue of Molly Goodnight, located at the Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight State Historic Site, which depicts her with the first two bison calves rescued.
Grab your swimming gear and head over to Buffalo Springs Lake. Snap a selfie in, over or on the water of the 200-acre spring-fed lake.
Big and small fossils can be seen up close in the Panhandle-Plains Historic Museum and snap a selfie next to your favorite dinosaur fossil.
For a quirky adventure, check out Cadillac Ranch and snap a selfie in front of any (or all) Cadillacs.
GASP challenge: take a selfie hiking on your favorite state park trail, be sure to tag the state park and the trail in the comments for credit.
Take a selfie in front of the statue of Dwight Eisenhower, the first President born in Texas.
Cool off at Ray Roberts Lake State Park, which features sandy beaches and hidden coves. Snap your selfie knee-deep in the refreshing water.
At Eagle Mountain Park, check out more than 5 miles of hiking trails; then take a rest from your hike and snap a selfie on one of the park’s eight benches.
Baseball fans will be intrigued by the little gem of Texas History at Majors Stadium, where Joe DiMaggio and the New York Yankees played an exhibition game in 1949. Snap a selfie in front of the Majors Stadium arch, one of the last remaining structures of the old ballpark.
GASP challenge: take a picture of yourself fishing at one of the local state parks. Bonus if you are holding a fish you caught. Make sure to tag the park you are fishing at.
Learn a little history at Monument Hill State Historic Site, which features 48-foot-tall tower at the top of top of the hill. The tower is the final resting place of 52 Texas men who died during the Dawson and Mier raiding expeditions of 1842. Snap a selfie in front of the tomb’s angel sculpture.
Head over to the 640-foot Faust Street Bridge and snap a selfie over the Guadalupe River. The bridge is one of only six remaining multiple-span Whipple truss bridges in the country.
Check out the steep canyon walls, abundant wildflowers and scenic views at Lost Maples or Hill Country State Natural Areas; snap a selfie while hiking a trail.
Cool down in the summer heat at Natural Bridge Caverns, where you will see stalactites, flowstones and cave ribbons. At Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, explore a Texas-style African Safari where more than 40 species from all over the world roam. Snap a selfie in front of the entrance to either park, bonus points if your selfie is underground or includes an animal.
GASP challenge: check out McKinney Falls or Inks Lake State Parks and take a selfie while splashing, tubing, or soaking up the cool temperatures in the waters of these parks.
Gaze up at the 570-foot monument honoring Texas’ independence at the San Jacinto Battleground and State Historic Site or climb to the tower’s observation floor for a bird’s-eye view. Snap a selfie with the monument in the background.
Cast a line from four different piers and check out a 500-acre peninsula surrounded by three bays at the Baytown Nature Center. Snap a selfie in front of one of the many animal sculptures, the pirate ship at the Billy Barnett Children’s Nature Discovery Area or under the gazebo at the Golden Bloom Pond.
Zoom on over to the Environmental Learning Center at the Armand Bayou Nature Center to see reptiles, fish and amphibians. You might even catch a glimpse of a bison from the viewing platform. Snap a selfie with the butterfly wings mural in the McGovern Children’s Discovery Area.
For a quirky find, visit Willie Man-Chew, a 26-foot-tall mosquito at the Great Texas Mosquito Festival, which takes place from July 27-29. This is the only time sensitive GOSH location; if you can’t make the festival, snap a selfie in front of the “Great Texas Mosquito Festival” rock at Clute Municipal Park.
GASP challenge: visit any Houston-area state park and snap a selfie. Make sure to post a comment with the name of the park and what animal(s) you’ve seen.
Snap a selfie in front of the reconstructed grass house at Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, 26 miles west of Nacogdoches. The house is a recreation of those built by the Hasinai, a group of the greater Caddo tribe over 1,200 years ago.
Beaches, boats and birds draw visitors to Sea Rim State Park or the Port Arthur Boardwalk. Snap a selfie from any point along either boardwalk.
Wander over to Cattail Marsh Scenic Wetlands and Boardwalk to enjoy 900 acres of wetlands accessible by a boardwalk and two covered platforms. Snap a selfie under one of the covered areas along the boardwalk.
Check out the world’s largest (working) fire hydrant. Located in Beaumont, the fire hydrant can blast 1,500 gallons of water a minute and was painted with spots to celebrate the re-release of 101 Dalmatians. Snap a selfie in front of the hydrant.
GASP challenge: snap a selfie from a kayak, canoe, paddleboat or SUP at Dangerfield or Martin Dies Jr. State Parks. Be sure to tag the park or paddling trail you are on.
Visit the Fulton Mansion State Historic Site to learn more about the 1870’s coastal mansion that overlooks Aransas Bay. Snap a selfie with the mansion in the background.
Enjoy some fun in the sun at Mustang Island State Park. Swim, splash or sunbathe along five miles of Gulf of Mexico shoreline and snap a selfie from the park’s iconic wooden beach picnic shelters with the Gulf in the background.
Deep in south Texas is the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, one of the last known habitats of the endangered ocelot and a premier bird watching destination. Snap a selfie while enjoying the sunrise or sunset on ADA-accessible Osprey Overlook or from the butterfly garden gazebo next to the visitor’s center.
The Port Isabel Lighthouse is the only lighthouse along the Texas coast that is open to the public. Snap a selfie in front of the lighthouse or climb the 75 winding stairs to take one from the deck on top.
GASP challenge: take a selfie from inside a state park bird blind or atop an observation tower at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley or Choke Canyon State Parks. Make sure to tag the park in your post and let us know what bird species you observed.
The Magoffin Home State Historic Site was the home of a multicultural family that lived there for more than 100 years. Members of the family participated in the U.S. expansion and settlement, military service, trade and U.S.-Mexico relations. Snap a selfie in front of the home’s exterior adobe walls.
At Balmorhea State Park, one of Texas’ true treasures is the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. Snap a selfie poolside or have a friend take a picture of you in the water.
At Big Bend National Park, the cliffs in the Santa Elena Canyon will leave you in awe. Snap an upwards-facing selfie with the canyon walls in the background.
Atop the enormous three-story courthouse located in Marfa sits the Goddess of Justice. Legend has it that her sword and scales were shot off almost 100 years ago by an unhappy citizen. Snap a selfie in front of or inside the courthouse. Call ahead to make sure they are open.
GASP challenge: snap a selfie in front of any pictograph or petroglyph in Big Spring or Hueco Tanks State Parks.
For more information on rules and challenge locations regionally or statewide, visit the GOSH 2023 website.
Those who complete all activities in a particular region will receive a Buc-ee’s logo hat and be entered into a drawing to win a regional prize pack, courtesy of our GOSH sponsors. Complete every statewide challenge in this year’s GOSH and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win one of four grand prizes courtesy of Whole Earth Provisions Co. and the Texas Historical Commission.