Golden Isles - Tree Spirits

St. Simons Tree Spirit Treasure Hunt

The perfect family-friendly activity at any time of year? Treasure hunting! With ten of our famous tree spirits on public land around St. Simons Island, you can make a full day out of searching. Here’s our favorite way to spend a day of treasure hunting on St. Simons Island.

If you snap pictures at each of these locations, feel free to share them with the Golden Isles on Facebook or Instagram. We’d love to see our treasure hunters!

8:00 a.m.

Fuel up for your day of treasure hunting at Palmer's Village Café on Mallery Street. Try their award-winning banana pudding pancakes or their famous pimento cheese grits! 

9:00 a.m.

Head to the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum and explore the history within. Climb to the top to see if you can scope out the locations of the next tree spirit treasures on the list!

9:30 a.m.

From the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum, walk back towards the village to find your first Tree Spirit treasure. The first carving is located at the Golden Isles Welcome Center – you can’t miss it! Head inside to talk to the welcome center staff for a tree spirit map and to learn more about the lore & legends of the St. Simons Island Tree Spirits before heading on your way for a long day of treasure hunting!

10:00 a.m.

When you finish spending time at the St. Simons Welcome Center, it's time to hunt for your next treasure. Head north on Mallery Street. At the intersection with Kings Way/Ocean Blvd. turn left. Just ahead on the left is Queens Court Inn on Kings Way. Just alongside of the pool at Queens Court Inn, you'll encounter the king of court waiting to greet you.

10:30 a.m. 

After you've greeted the King, it’s time to head just north of the Pier Village to find your third tree spirit. Just before you reach Mallery Park, make a stop at the Village Inn & Pub to find a tree spirit ready to welcome you to this unique boutique hotel.

10:40 a.m. 

Now you're off to find the next two treasures on the list! Explore Mallery Park to find two more faces peering out of the trees. (Hint: One will hit a home run, and the other one prefers shooting hoops!)

11:05 a.m.

Congratulations! You’ve found all five of the tree spirits in the Pier Village area. Now it’s time to search farther afield to find the rest. Rent a bike from Island Bicycle, conveniently located in the Pier Village, to enjoy the beautiful weather with the whole family.

From Pier Village, turn right onto Ocean Blvd. to head off in pursuit of your next spirited Island resident. Follow Ocean Blvd. a little more than a mile and then turn right onto Arnold Rd. At the road’s end you'll arrive at The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. Just past The Cottage, you’ll see one of St. Simons Island’s newest Tree Spirits looking down on you from the live oak on your left.

Once you’ve explored the King and Prince’s gift shop and grabbed a treat at The Cottage, it is time to hop back on your bike (or into your golf cart or car) and head off to find your next treasure.

11:40 a.m.

Head back up Arnold Rd. and cross over Ocean Blvd. Follow Arnold to its end, then turn right onto Demere Rd. Follow Demere for 1.5 miles, through one traffic circle to the second traffic circle. At the second traffic circle, take the first right onto Frederica Rd. Just down on the left, you’ll find Redfern Village. Once you enter Redfern, pull up to Golden Isles Olive Oil on your left to stop for a delicious lunch alongside your next Tree Spirit.

12:40 p.m.

After lunch, head a little further into Redfern to find St. Simons’ most hidden Tree Spirit. If you stand next to Gnat’s Landing and look across the street, glance up to find your next Tree Spirit peeking down at you. (Hint: This tree spirit seems to enjoy sushi!) Once you’ve spotted him, head back out to Frederica Rd. and turn left.

Keep your eyes peeled for St. Simons Land Trust just a little way up on the right. Take the second entrance to find your next Tree Spirit out in front of the Land Trust building.

Continue your journey up Frederica Rd. (right out of St. Simons Land Trust’s driveway) and you’ll find your second-to-last tree spirit on the third three on the right in the driveway in front of Magnolia Manor Retirement Home (left off of Frederica).

1 p.m.

Having biked this far, you may be craving a little post-lunch treat. Now is the perfect time to stop for lunch at a favorite local joint. Try Certified Burgers and Beverage, located off of Frederica Rd. They aren’t just known for their fabulous burgers, delicious salads, and yummy sides. Their hand-crafted milkshake are just the sweet treat you need for the final leg of your treasure hunt!

1:30 p.m.

Your route to the next and final Tree Spirit will depend on your vehicle.

Bikes and Golf Carts

To begin your ride to the final Tree Spirit, head back out onto Frederica Rd. and turn right. Follow Frederica back down to the roundabout and take the first exit (right) onto Demere Rd. Take another right at the fourth traffic light onto Sea Island Rd. and you’ll find Gascoigne Bluff off of the first street on your left. (Please be aware this is a heavy traffic area. We recommend driving here instead of riding your bike.)

Cars

To begin your ride to the final Tree Spirit, head back out onto Frederica Rd. and turn left. At the light, take a left onto Sea Island Rd. Follow Sea Island Rd. about three miles and then turn right onto Hamilton Rd. Just before you get to St. Simons Marina, you’ll see the entry to Gascoigne Bluff on your left.

While you’re exploring Gascoigne Bluff, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the final treasure in your hunt! We know it is hard to look away from beauty of the water, but if you look at the trees along the dirt road near the picnic area, you’ll find your final Tree Spirit.

Now you’ve found all of the Tree Spirits and your Treasure Hunt is complete. Congratulations! Before you head off out of the Gascoigne Bluff area, be sure to take some time to play some disc golf, spend a little time at the fishing pier and enjoy the afternoon sunshine, or walk down to the Cassina Garden Club Slave Cabins from the Plantation Era.

We hope you enjoyed your treasure hunt! Keep exploring our beautiful island with a walk on the beach, a stroll through Pier Village, or an excursion on the water. Whatever you do, relish the journey!

Download a printable map of the St. Simons Island Tree Spirit locations.