The Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with a Staunton-based smartphone app to allow residents and visitors to engage more with local businesses.

The app, called Traipse, is used for “puzzle hunt” tours of historic downtowns and local small businesses. The app will feature scavenger hunts, which operate like “virtual geocaching,” according to a news release from the chamber.

Visitors will engage with different businesses by answering questions that can only be answered correctly by “physically being present at each site.”

At each stop on a Traipse tour, users get information about that site and are challenged with a location-dependent riddle or puzzle. Traipse “gamifies” the experience of visiting a tourist attraction or leisure destination, or attending an event, while also involving local businesses and organizations.

“Small businesses form the character of the places we love, and shopping locally is more important than ever. Traipse is delighted to partner with the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce to help folks discover some new favorite shops and have fun while doing it,” Darren Smith, CEO and Founder of Traipse, said in a news release.

The first scavenger hunt is “live” already and is being called a “Shopping Passport.” Another hunt is scheduled to begin July 19 and last through Aug. 14 with a “yard crawl” theme in conjunction with the 16th Annual Route 11 Yard Crawl. “Explorers” will have the chance to win a Route 11 Yard Crawl t-shirt by visiting 10 of the businesses on the app.

“We wanted to create something extra special for Shenandoah County businesses this year that’ll encourage people to get out and explore,” said Sharon Baroncelli, President and CEO of the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce. “Partnering with the Traipse app will allow us to create unique shopping experiences and encourage people to discover retailers they haven’t yet visited.”

Other scavenger hunt tours will take place for Small Business Saturday and during holiday shopping. During the shopping tour and scavenger hunts, explorers can unlock special discounts for the businesses they visit by completing challenges within the Traipse app.

Traipse is freely available for iOS (Apple) and Android devices and can be downloaded at:

The following businesses are taking part in the Traipse app inaugural release with more businesses to be added: Artisan Avenue, Woodstock; Clementine Vintage, Strasburg; Divine Consign, Woodstock; Forgotten Curiosities Antiques, Edinburg; Furry Friends Antiques, Gifts & More, Woodstock; Jon Henry General Store, New Market; Lydia’s Clothes Closet, Strasburg; Nate & Main, Woodstock; Natural Art Garden Center, Toms Brook; Prime Time Meats, Strasburg; Shenandoah Stuff, Woodstock; Skyline Paintball, Strasburg; Suzanne’s Studio, Woodstock; The ButterCup, New Market; The Home Store, New Market; The Virginia Farmhouse, Woodstock; Three Thirty 3 Designs, Woodstock; Travelers Treasures, Woodstock; Valley Treasures, Woodstock.