Agents of Discovery

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Play Agents of Discovery at Blackwater, the augmented reality mobile game that uses hints and clues from your surroundings to solve mysteries of nature!


You can play two Agents of Discovery missions at Blackwater NWR! The Woods Trail Mission takes place at the refuge's Woods Trail, which is located on Wildlife Drive about 1 mile past the entrance. You will need to hike the outer loop of the Woods Trail to complete this mission. The Wildlife Drive Mission begins a short distance past the Woods Trail and takes place along the remainder of the Wildlife Drive. This mission can be completed via foot, bicycle, or automobile.

To play Agents of Discovery, follow these instructions:

  1. Download the Agents of Discovery app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Make sure your mobile device's GPS is enabled.
  3. Open the app. Login to your account, or create a new account if you are a new agent. You do not need an account to play, but you will need to create an account if you want to save a history of the missions you have completed.
  4. Tap "Missions" at the home screen.
  5. The app automatically finds the missions that are closest to your location. If you are at the refuge, the Blackwater missions will automatically appear at the top. If you don't see them, use the magnifying glass at the top of the page to search "Blackwater".
  6. Open the mission you wish to accept.
  7. Mission "challenges" are GPS-triggered. As you move along the mission route, your mobile device will alert you when you get near the location of the next challenge.
  8. When a new challenge appears on your screen, tap to open it. You will learn fun facts about nature and wildlife, and then get a puzzle to solve.
  9. Solve all the challenges to complete the mission!

COVID-19 precautions: Have a fun and safe visit to Blackwater, but make sure you follow all social distancing guidelines when completing your missions!

Missions from Home

You can also enjoy Agents of Discovery with your family from home! The Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium has teamed up with Agents of Discovery to launch "Mission Conservation", a series of missions that you can play from home using image recognition (IR) technology with the Agents of Discovery app. Through the end of June, every Monday is "Mission Monday", with a new mission and different theme every week! For more information, visit their web site here.

Agents of Discovery missions can be found at refuges, parks, nature centers, and museums all over the United States and Canada! Look for them when you travel, or visit the Agents of Discovery website for a list.