A Short Hike is a charming indie game that has been praised as a masterpiece across the board, with its endearing writing and unique visual style turning it into a huge success. The game centers around Claire, a bird trying to ascend Hawk Peak.
In order to do so, she needs golden feathers to increase her stamina. You don’t need every golden feather to reach the summit, but you’ll find yourself having to collect a good number to reach the top, and there’s an achievement for getting every single one. If you’re struggling to find any or want a quick way to 100% the game, you’re in luck, as this guide has the location of every gold feather in A Short Hike.
Updated September 27, 2023, by Sean Murray: Still looking for all golden feathers in A Short Hike? We got you covered. This guide has been refreshed with improved formatting and breakout tips to make finding all the golden feathers (and a few silver feathers) that much easier.
The Shell Quest
One of the first NPCs you encounter is an odd girl walking back and forth on the beach who tasks you with gathering 15 shells. These shells can be found on beaches on any of the game’s islands, as well as a few inland locations, so gathering 15 shouldn’t prove too difficult.
Return to her with all the requested shells and she’ll make them into a shell necklace, which you can take to your aunt for a reward of a golden feather.
The Sandcastle Frog
As you continue along the path, you’ll see a frog on the beach who is reluctant to part with his full-size shovel. He is amazed to learn that toy shovels exist and are far more suited to sandcastle building, so once you find one in the woods further along the path and bring it to him, he agrees to swap.
If you return to him a few times, you’ll notice his sandcastle empire growing, and if you check back in with him enough, he’ll have a golden feather for you.
Feathers Around The Visitor Centre
One of the first landmarks you’ll come to on Hawk’s Peak Trail is the Visitor Centre, where you can obtain a few golden feathers:
Likely the first ones you’ll come across, two golden feathers can be purchased from Ranger Jon, the goat at the Visitor Center. They cost 40 coins each, but if you try to buy any more than two he’ll inform you that someone else already came by and bought out the rest of his stock.
The Visitor Center sits on Hawk Peak Trail, near the beginning, so it’s hard not to come across it early on in the game. Simply follow the path from Sid’s Beach (where you learn to climb) and as it curves upwards you’ll see the Visitor Centre, a small building with a campfire outside.
Feather On The Mound
If you continue to follow the path from the Visitor Center, you’ll almost immediately see a small rock mound; it has a lower part with two trees and a higher part. On this higher part is the next golden feather.
Feather From The Artist
You ultimately get this feather near the Visitor Center, though getting to that point will require traveling all over the island. If you go to Shirley’s Point, you’ll find an artist struggling for ideas to paint. Talk to him and he’ll give you an idea of where he’s headed next: the lighthouse. Travel there and find him nearby to repeat the process.
After the lighthouse, his next location is as far up one of the island’s rivers as you can go, above the waterfall on Good Creek Path. Talk to him there, and then you’ll find him next at the graveyard. After that, he heads to Outlook Point, before finally going to the Visitor Center, where you can get your feather.
Feathers Around The Lighthouse
While you’re at the lighthouse visiting the artist, there are a few feathers in the area you can grab:
On Top Of The Lighthouse
If you can get up to the platform at the top of the lighthouse, there’s a chest you can open with a golden feather in it. Reaching the top will require a number of golden feathers, but the ones already covered in this guide should be sufficient.
At The Tip Of The Lighthouse’s Shadow
Some of the recurring side quests in A Short Hike are the treasure maps — four maps you find around the islands that each have a riddle leading you to buried treasure. One such map is “In Her Shadow,” which you find on the deck of the fisherman’s boat.
Follow the riddle to the tip of the lighthouse’s shadow, where you can dig up a treasure chest with a golden feather inside it.
You’ll need the shovel for this, but you should already have obtained that from the sandcastle frog, so you can get straight into treasure hunting.
On The Rock By The Waterfall
Just southwest of the lighthouse, through the woods, and over the river, another golden feather sits on a rock. If you’re struggling to find this one, just follow the cliff edge around from the front of the lighthouse.
On Top Of The Stone Tower
Returning to Hawk’s Peak Trail, if you follow the path from the last feather you got along the way, you’ll eventually come to a stone tower. Scale the tower and open the chest on top to find another feather.
Feathers Around Outlook Point
Continuing further along Hawk’s Peak Trail will bring you to Outlook Point, where you can grab a couple more feathers:
In The Chest On The Cliff
One feather is simply inside the chest on the cliff, in front of the lookout building. Hop the fence in the direction of the binoculars, find the chest, open it, and claim your sparkly reward.
Below Outlook Point
One of a few annoying-to-find feathers on cliff edges, this one sits on a ledge below Outlook Point. You can simply glide down and land on it, but it might take a few tries to figure out exactly where it is.
Jump from the front corner of the railings and head pretty much straight down, and you should spot the feather.
Feathers Before The Frozen Section
Continuing Further Along Hawk’s Peak Trail brings you to the topmost section of the mountain, covered in snow. There are five feathers to be had here, despite how small the area seems.
Feather On the Rock
Right before the climb into the frozen section, you’ll notice a feather just sitting on the rock to the left of the path. This will come in handy for the final ascent, so hop up and grab it.
Feathers From The Blue Bird
Leaning on the cliff you need to climb is a blue bird. He’s the one who bought out the Visitor Center earlier, so he has four feathers you can buy. He’ll charge you a costly 100 coins for each one, though, so make sure you have plenty of cash if you want all four.
He’s doing it for a good reason, at least — he needs the money to pay his tuition.
The Beachstickball Feather
If you venture around the coast to the back of the island, just below the graveyard, you’ll find some animals who have invented their own game called beachstickball. It’s basically volleyball, except you hit the ball with a stick and you’re working together to score as many points as possible. Make it to ten points and you’ll earn a feather.
There’s also an achievement for making it as high as 30, though that’ll take some serious beachstickball chops…
Feathers On Cliffs
We’re nearly done, but there are a couple more of the aforementioned feathers on ledges to track down:
Above Meteor Lake
To the north of Meteor Lake, there’s a ledge so slim it’s virtually nonexistent with a feather on it. It’s not too high, so you should be able to spot it easily enough, and you should have more than enough feathers to make the climb at this point.
If you’re struggling, though, there’s a flower below the ledge you can water and then jump on to get a boost.
On The Cliff Above The Binoculars
To the left of the graveyard is a cliff area with some binoculars and a tree marked with a white ribbon tied around it; you can meet Avery here for a race. If you climb directly up the cliff behind this cliff, you’ll eventually reach a small ledge with a chest on it. In this chest is the golden feather.
The Boat Race Feather
The last feather, like beachstickball, involves a challenge, although this side quest is substantially longer than the beachstickball game. Make your way to the Orange Islands, which you can reach by following bridges from the mainland (not far from below where we got the previous feather).
After you cross a couple of bridges, you’ll come across a hut with a deer reading inside it. Talk to the deer and rent the motorboat for 100 coins. Don’t worry, there’s no end to the rental period. Next, talk to the deer’s daughter, who’s lying on the ground nearby, and have her come with you in the boat.
From there, get in the boat and start sailing around. Talk to the daughter again and she’ll propose a race. Agree to the race and follow the course until you hit a ramp, at which point your boat will break. To have it fixed, go back to the fisherman’s boat and speak to him, and he’ll take care of repairs for you.
Now you can activate the race again, and if you finish it under the time limit, you’ll earn the final golden feather.
There is one catch, however — to discourage further boat damage, there’s a ten-second penalty for hitting anything, so be careful to drive cleanly, as the penalties can really stack up in narrow areas.
In addition to the golden feathers, there are two silver feathers. These don’t add to the stamina meter, but instead increase the speed of climbing and gliding. Here’s where to find the two silver feathers in A Short Hike:
Silver Feather On Pat’s Peak
Southeast of the main island is another island with a mountain on it — Pat’s Peak. Scale the mountain to find the first silver feather. If you’re struggling to find Pat’s Peak Island, you reach it by heading straight out to sea from your aunt’s house.
Reaching the summit of Pat’s Peak will require eight golden feathers or so, but you should have plenty. Just bear in mind it’s not something you can do very early in the game.
Feather From Returning The Wristwatch
After buying out all four golden feathers from the bird below the frozen section, he’ll ask for yet more money. Give it to him, and he’ll give you a wristwatch, which you can return to the person who lost it for a silver feather.
The person in question is a camper beyond the Visitor Centre. His caravan is hard to miss.
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