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Rules and Information
- To maintain the integrity of the game, please avoid publicly sharing solved clues and locations of the markers. Forming teams is more than welcome, though.
- Do not do anything illegal, stupid, or dangerous in your quest to solve clues and challenges. If you find yourself doing something that would make your mother nervous, you are looking in the wrong place.
- Please do not sabotage the markers for the teams behind you. Let’s keep it classy.
- Teams that record their progress more than once at the same checkpoint will have their duplicate entries removed.
- All results are based on the checkpoint timestamps.
- Take a quick selfie with your team at each marker location to verify that no shenanigans occurred.
- Winning teams agree to be interviewed by local news media.
Register your team. | Order your treasure map.
Frequently Asked Questions
How it works
A new set of clues of weekly clues and challenges are released every Saturday at 8 am, beginning April 15, 2023. The answer to each riddle unlocks a webpage with the next clue. Most weeks have three challenges containing (in no partial order) a treasure map/puzzle, local history, and exploration component. Completing the local history challenge often involves visiting the hinted-upon location.
The exploration challenge will have adventurers visiting various Lancaster County locations as they gather segments of the treasure’s GPS coordinates.
The first three teams, based on the final checkpoint timestamp, to successfully complete the five-week quest unlock the resting place for the Jewel of the Susquehanna that redeems for one of three money-filled treasure chests. First place receives an 18-pound coin-laden puzzle box (worth $350) filled with $1,125 in one dollar coins. Second and third-place finishers receive $500 and $250, respectively.
What to expect
The Quest for the Jewel of the Susquehanna will have a format similar to last year. Participants will be solving weekly riddles to sleuth locations to visit around Lancaster County. Completing this adventure will require that participants have some local history knowledge, the ability to solve puzzles, and traverse non-level terrain. Being a bit of a nerd won’t hurt, either.
Keep in mind that I’ve tucked hints and clues everywhere, so don’t take anything for granted. I suggest not deleting emails or throwing anything treasure hunt-related out until the adventure’s conclusion.
Unfortunately, if you have mobility limitations, the hiking portions of this adventure will not be for you. Of course, you could always be the “guy in the chair,” offering research and intellectual support for the rest of your team.
Is it hard?
Short Answer. Yes, but it should be on par with last year’s Easter Egg treasure hunt.
Long Answer. With real money up for grabs, the riddles, poems, puzzles, and challenges are designed to be more difficult than my usual side quests and adventures, with red herrings sprinkled in along the way. As much as possible, riddles were designed to force participants to visit hinted-upon locations instead of simply Googling an answer. That doesn’t mean some online research before heading out won’t hurt.
Do I have to do the weekly challenges in order?
Short Answer. No.
Long Answer. While you must complete all the weekly challenges to ultimately find the Jewel of the Susquehanna, the weekly clues are siloed. For example, you do not have to have completed week one to attempt week two.
While you can complete the weekly challenges at your leisure, you want everything done before the final set of clues is released on Saturday, May 13, at 8 am. Also, the faster you finish them, the more points you earn on the leaderboard.
Do I need to register?
Yes, it is the only way to be eligible to win the fourth-place honorable mention prize and how I will contact winning teams. It also helps to ensure there aren’t any shenanigans at the contest’s end. Your personal information will only be used for purposes of the game and will not be sold or shared with a third party. Click here to register your team.
What is the leaderboard?
As you complete the various challenges, you record your team’s progress by entering the four-digit pin you were issued when you registered. Points range from 5,000 to 1,000 per challenge. Most weeks have three challenges. It is very important that you enter your team’s four-digit pin correctly. Doing so incorrectly will likely give points to another team by accident. If you have not yet registered your team, click here.
The team with the highest score and was not one of the first teams to find the Jewel of the Susquehanna wins the honorable mention fourth-place prize of $125. You can view the leaderboard here. The cut-off for the leaderboard prize is 11:59 pm on the day the Jewel of the Susquehanna is found.
In the event of a tie on the leaderboard, the team with the most challenges completed, including the bonus side quests, wins the fourth place prize. If there still is a tie, the team that found the jewel first, based on the timestamp, wins.
Do I have to purchase a map to play?
Short Answer. No.
Long Answer. No, but it is going to be very, very difficult to complete the map-based challenges without one.
Why so much money? Forty bucks feels like a lot of money.
Not only does $40 buy you a beautiful map of Lancaster County suitable for framing, but also five weeks of adventuring entertainment. This treasure hunt is something fun to do with your whole family or a group of friends. It is the perfect reason to get outside to explore as well as learn some local Lancaster County history. Not to mention a portion of the proceeds benefit the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County and LancasterHistory (depending on where you buy your map).
Help, I lost my pin!
Check your email. You should have received an email with your registration information, including your team’s pin. It’s even in the subject of the message.
Can I get a hint?
If a specific weekly clue proves particularly difficult, a hint may be released the next day on Sunday at 8 am.
Where can I find the markers?
If you pass trespassing signs, you are looking in the wrong place. All markers have been placed in locations that are open to the public.
Where will I find the Jewel of the Susquehanna?
Since you asked so nicely, here are the GPS coordinates to the treasure: ●︎︎⚐︎︎●︎︎✏︎︎ ✡︎□︎◆︎ ♎︎♓︎♎︎■︎🕯︎⧫︎ ⧫︎♒︎♓︎■︎🙵 ✋︎ ⬥︎♋︎⬧︎ ❒︎♏︎♋︎●︎●︎⍓︎ ♑︎□︎♓︎■︎♑︎ ⧫︎□︎ ♑︎♓︎❖︎♏︎ ♓︎⧫︎ ⧫︎□︎ ⍓︎□︎◆︎📪︎ ♎︎♓︎♎︎ ⍓︎□︎◆︎✍︎ ✋︎ ●︎♓︎🙵♏︎ ⍓︎□︎◆︎❒︎ ❍︎□︎⌧︎♓︎♏︎ ♐︎□︎❒︎ ♋︎⬧︎🙵♓︎■︎♑︎📬︎ ☟︎□︎⬥︎ ♍︎♋︎❒︎♏︎♐︎◆︎●︎●︎⍓︎ ♒︎♋︎❖︎♏︎ ⍓︎□︎◆︎ ●︎□︎□︎🙵♏︎♎︎ ♋︎⧫︎ ⧫︎♒︎♏︎ ◻︎♓︎♍︎⧫︎◆︎❒︎♏︎⬧︎ □︎■︎ ⧫︎♒︎♏︎ ◻︎♋︎♑︎♏︎ ♋︎■︎■︎□︎◆︎■︎♍︎♓︎■︎♑︎ ⧫︎♒︎♏︎ ⧫︎❒︎♏︎♋︎⬧︎◆︎❒︎♏︎ ♒︎◆︎■︎⧫︎✍︎
The Jewel of the Susquehanna is somewhere inside the borders of Lancaster County, PA. You can leave your shovel at home. The cache is inside a waterproof ammo box that has been obscured from view with some rocks and other debris that can be easily removed by hand.
Can I contact you with questions?
You can try, but it’s unlikely you will get a response. I do not want to give the appearance that I’m unfairly helping one team over another. So do not be disappointed if you do not hear back from me.
What if I am sure I am in the right place, and I think the marker is missing?
This happened to several teams last year. Fortunately, the marker was never moved or stolen. They were looking in the wrong place. It is a big world out there, so there’s always the possibility that more than one location fits the description hidden in the poems and riddles.
Regardless, if you are sure you are in the right spot and think the marker is missing, message me explaining where you are with an image of the spot you are checking. I will yay or nay the location. If it is missing, I will quickly replace the missing marker.
What do the markers look like?
They are 5-inch diameter grey-colored diamond-shaped medallions embossed with information. You will know when you see it. You might spot one when you are getting close to the treasure.
What is the referral program?
Because of the new leaderboard prize, Uncharted Lancaster is allowing each team to earn more points while expanding the community of people who share our passion for solving clues and seeking hidden treasures. Every team that you refer to the 2023 Jewel of the Susquehanna treasure hunt that purchases a map nets your team 1000 bonus points!
In order to claim your bonus points, the referring team must enter your team number and team name in the comment box when purchasing their map on the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County’s website. So call a friend, share with your neighbor, send out an email, or post on your social media to get as many new players as you can!
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