NEWAYGO, Mich.-- A new trend is picking up quite a following in Newaygo County. It's called Rockin N.C. and in just a few weeks it already has more than 2,000 members.
It's a national phenomenon that's come to West Michigan. You might see rocks out in public that are covered in paint that say "Rockin NC". If you find one you can leave it or take it home, but if you do you're supposed to leave another one for someone else to find.
It's a bright, sunny day at Marshall Park in Newaygo. It's a perfect afternoon meant for exploring. You might notice the small stream nearby or the locals passing through, but look a little bit closer and something colorful might catch your eye.
"I see them every single day," said Kimberly Howland. "I see them at the bank, at the movie rental place, even just driving down the road."
Kimberly Howland started the Rockin Newaygo County group about a month ago as an activity to do with her kids.
"Because we're a single income family during the summertime we were looking for something free and fun to do, so we decided to try it in hopes that it might catch on by the end of the summer," said Howland. "We now have over 2,000 members."
The rocks have been spotted as far as Florida, even in Japan, but thousands are hiding right in Newaygo County.
"We painted about 100 rocks, myself and my children, and put the tag on the back and hid them within the county and hoped that people would find them, look us up on Facebook, which they did, then they added people and they started painting," said Howland. "It's huge."
Some of the rocks are simple, while others are more elaborate.
"It's like people's unicorn rocks," said Howland. "They want to go out there and find them as soon as possible."
But any rock is a treasure.
"The kids are always excited," said Howland. "Even if it's just a rock that's painted solid red, they're still really excited to find it."
Once people find the rocks, Howland asks that you post a picture of the rock in the Facebook group and say where you found it.
"The artists like to see where their rocks end up and who finds them, especially the little artists," said Howland.
Next time you're outside, take your time and look a little bit closer.
"My original hope was that if somebody happened across one of my rocks and was having a bad day they would find it and it might make them smile and brighten their day a little bit," said Howland.