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Discussion: Maine orienteering

in: Orienteering; General

Apr 10, 2017 8:44 PM # 
Hello all,

My name is Cliff White and I'm the race co-director for the Maine Summer Adventure Race.

While I've been adventure racing for awhile, I'm pretty foreign to the orienteering community, and so excuse me if my questions have been answered before elsewhere on AP.

I'd like to start putting on orienteering events in Maine, and I have several landowners who are eager to have their land used for these events. I'm looking for help mapping these areas (the largest of which is the Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson, Maine). Can anyone guide me to where I can find some assistance?

Also, does anyone know of any areas in Maine other than Pineland Farms and the Libby Hill areas that are used for orienteering? Or anyone in the state willing to help in our efforts in building an orienteering/adventure racing community here in Maine?

Thanks in advance.
Apr 10, 2017 8:58 PM # 
My sister and her husband were the founders of Orienteering Maine, which no longer exists, and they could probably share their observations if you want me to put you in touch with them. They live pretty far "down east" and I think part of the problem was lack of right-minded population. They did direct a national-level event at Pineland Farms but that was a stretch. I think an effort focused in the Portland area might have a good chance of success. There are several orienteers living in more southern Maine who probably would love to help.

There was also at least one day of a national meet back at Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary in Lewiston a long time ago.
Apr 10, 2017 9:32 PM # 
Awesome, tp! I'm semi-familiar with the work of Orienteering Maine and would love to get in touch with your sister and her husband. Can you send their contact info to me at

Also, any way to get my hands on the Thorncrag map?
Apr 11, 2017 12:53 PM # 
Will do.

I have a copy of the Thorngrag map in the attic - will dig that out and scan it. It was done by a Bates student who I think lives in Europe now.
Apr 11, 2017 2:57 PM # 
The mapping of Thorncrag wasn't done by Carl, it was contracted out, maybe by Dominie? I'd have to look.
Apr 11, 2017 4:36 PM # 
Ah. I will see when I find it.
Apr 11, 2017 5:01 PM # 
Tim, I'd also like to have a copy of the Thorncrag map. I have a summer place a little west of Lewiston, and hope to spend more time there in the future.
Apr 11, 2017 6:23 PM # 
It's probably 30 years old but it will be coming your way, Tom.

I too want to spend more time in Maine in the future. We'll get to a critical mass of orienteers there yet!
Apr 11, 2017 7:08 PM # 
Lidar is available
Apr 11, 2017 7:35 PM # 
Thanks Haywood. I have the Lidar file for the area, but I don't know what to do with it. Can anyone steer me towards how I can convert it into an actual map that can be used for orienteering?
Apr 11, 2017 8:18 PM # 
With a little googling you can find a copy of Thorncrag online.
Apr 11, 2017 9:22 PM # 
See the current thread on lidar mapping, and also the kartapullautin tool, which produces something that looks like an orienteering map (but lacks boulders, trails, roads, small pits).
Apr 11, 2017 10:51 PM # 

I am the person who oversaw the creation of the Pineland Farrms map and have the Ocad files.

I would be pleased to assist you with new maps. I can obtain and process the LiDAR data for you.

Unfortunately I cannot directly email you so please call me up to 10PM at 914-248-5957 or email me
Apr 11, 2017 11:19 PM # 
I remembered correctly, the Thorncrag map was by Mark (and Dan) Dominie. (There was a rumor at the time that it was erroneously printed at 1:11000. But I just measured it, and it looks like 1:10200. But the north line spacing and the graphic scale are wrong, making it appear to be 1:10400.)
Apr 12, 2017 1:44 AM # 
Heh heh. Common finding round here is old maps that are oriented to grid north. The grid-mag angle at my place is around 23deg. Small enough to be non-obvious, large enough to lead you astray.
Apr 13, 2017 1:00 AM # 
And Carl is apparently not in Europe any more, he seems to be in Hong Kong now. (And he's nearly 50 by now.)
Apr 13, 2017 1:58 AM # 
Funny thread, I was at Hidden Valley on Tuesday walking the indistinct trails for an Omap. Mud season isn't a good time to go there. I haven't spent enough time working with Maine's LIDAR to tell you the quality of the data.

Hidden Valley is really suited for ski-o. A simple map shouldn't take long to produce. Skipping vegetation and runnability might be best since it would be very green. The active forest management will make it interesting.
Apr 13, 2017 6:45 AM # 
Apr 13, 2017 2:39 PM # 
Crazytom: That's a good idea! HVNC also just got a fleet of fat bikes in that are available as loaners, so it could also be great for MTB-O. They have a pretty decent trail map (as I'm sure you noticed), but it's not exactly to scale...

I'm chatting with a couple of friendly volunteers right now who have offered to help with putting together a high-quality map.
Apr 13, 2017 4:44 PM # 
I used to work at Chewonki, and took my students to Pineland a few times to teach them orienteering. The guy who directed the orienteering program there in 2004-2006 was great - very helpful.
Apr 13, 2017 9:21 PM # 
I won't work on that map then, I was only going to give it to you and HV anyway. I heard there was a need for a map.
They will be able to "see" all of the distinct trails that existed when the LIDAR was flown. The single track is all new so see if you can get Gps tracks of them, the lake is flooding some of it right now. I wouldn't do more than trails, open areas, buildings, and water. That will be enough to get done by June. Cliffs would be easy as well.
Apr 14, 2017 2:41 PM # 
There was an AR company called Racing Ahead, Inc (of Appalachian Extreme fame)that sold to an orienteering-based family in that area in the mid-2000's. The new owners put on mostly orienteering events for a few years in that area. Tracey Cote is the name I remember as the last owner but that could be wrong. Maybe they have some maps you could use as well. Joe B could possibly lend some more info on that.
Apr 14, 2017 5:20 PM # 
Thanks JayXC. Funny Tracey's name came up - she won the first AR I entered (the Hi-Tec series back in 2002). I also know her from my college days...I'll have to check in with her. And Joe and Dave (who I believe has a house in Maine now) would definitely be good resources to recruit to the cause.

By the way, you don't happen to have any info on what the courses were like for the Appalachian Extreme races, do you?

Oh, and for anyone wanting the Thorncrag map, I found it on an old AP thread:
Apr 14, 2017 6:04 PM # 
I raced it in '05. I'm pretty sure I have access to the maps for at least 3 of them. Let me check.
Apr 17, 2017 12:15 PM # 
Racing Ahead was taken over by the Olafsens in New Hampshire. If you want to get in touch with Tracey O I can give you the email address. We used to AR together.
Apr 17, 2017 12:49 PM # 
Whups, thx for the correction kadley.

This discussion thread is closed.