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Discussion: Must-do Locations to Orienteer in US

in: Orienteering; General

Sep 28, 2019 7:33 PM # 
I leave the serious discussions to others so here is another fluff question. Just curious as to what are peoples Must-do locations to orienteer in the US. I'm not looking for favorite map - another discussion entirely - but more of a (fill-in-the-blank) "I've orienteered at ___________", and most people would recognize the location. Locations should already have an orienteering map.

My list starts with:

1. West Point - On campus (Trophy Point)
2. Central Park, NY
3. Earthquake Park, AK
4. Any National Park Service site - My list has 14 sites plus the possible addition of Cape Lookout National Seashore)
5. Not in US but close - Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy when the tide is out.
Sep 28, 2019 7:38 PM # 
Goat Island, Niagara Falls
Sep 28, 2019 7:40 PM # 
Hammer - perfect, what club holds events there?
Sep 28, 2019 8:39 PM # 
Anza Borrego.
Sep 28, 2019 8:39 PM # 
Not so fast Sherlock. I can easily imagine that anyone from Cedar Lake, Indiana might want to branch out.

But how about just coming up to some of the CAOC meets this fall? From an environmental standpoint, these closest maps should be on your 'Must Do' list.
Greta would approve.

The Greenbush meet last weekend featured the legendary 'Cat' O maps. And the upcoming meets in Busse Woods, Palos, and Country Lane feature some glacial terrain, flat running, and lots of briar-rich green to provoke the age-old O challenge: 'over or around?'

Then you can join the rest of CAOC for lunch, a beer, and be home to sleep in your own bed that night!
Sep 28, 2019 8:55 PM # 
Mt Palomar, CA (SDO)
Holder Mine, FL (SOAR)
Patuckaway, NH (NEOC?)
Prince William, VA (QOC)
Epcot, FL (SOAR)
Hawn State Park, MO (SLOC)
Central Park, NY (?)
Duke Forest, NC (BOC)
Hickory Run SP, PA (DVOA)
Wellesley Island SP, NY (SOAR +)
Sep 28, 2019 9:31 PM # 
Medicine Bow, WY
Lake George area, CO
Manitoba sand terrain
Harriman State Park, NY
French Creek, PA
Camp Ripley, MN
all of the above have multiple maps available

Vasquez Rocks, CA
Mission Hill, MI (I haven't been to that one)
Sep 28, 2019 9:45 PM # 
chitownclark: I haven't missed many CAOC meets this year. I won't be at Busse but will be at all of the others including the two I'm hosting (Spint and Night-O on same day) which will be on two new maps which I finished this year. I'm just looking for some special areas to watch for other meets which might be fun. Now that I'm retired I can travel a lot more so orienteering in some special areas is fun for me.

One more I forgot but I'm not sure if RMOC is still using the area: Garden of the Gods in Colorado.

gordhun: I have an O-map from Central Park that was made in 1984. I believe HVO hosted an A meet (now National Meet) there in that year. Not sure if they are still using that map but I watch their web page just in case. I notice you included a University map on your list. Another interesting discussion: favorite University map. Trophy Point at West Point is obviously mine.
Sep 28, 2019 10:13 PM # 
Pawuckaway in NH is an UNO map. They do a yearly family camping weekend there the weekend after Labor Day (and occasional other local events). DVOA holds a training event the same weekend at Hickory Run in PA.

BFLO held an event at Goat Island (Niagara Falls) as part of a summer festival a number of years ago.

I second the Cat maps in Greenbush, WI; Anza-Borrego, CA; and also recommend:

Upper Dutchman Flats, Bend, OR (CROC)
Moreau Lake State Park -- the upper plateau portion (used in 2010, 2012, and 2013), an hour north of Albany, NY (EMPO)
Moses Lake Sand Dunes near Spokane, WA (EWOC)
Sep 28, 2019 10:28 PM # 
gordhun...has SOAR held an event at EPCOT? I see it on your list.
Sep 28, 2019 11:51 PM # 
I feel like most of the suggestions would not meet the "most people would recognize the location" guideline, except for Niagara Falls and Central Park.
Sep 29, 2019 12:41 AM # 
Sherlock: SOAR has not held an event at Epcot but the map is available.
Also the university map I mentioned is ISOM, not sprint. Florida university campuses tend to be huge.
Sorry Christina but I, for one, recognize all but two of the locations, those being in Wyoming and Alaska. May I say that if anyone does not recognize a location they should look it up, perhaps on Google Earth.
Sep 29, 2019 1:25 AM # 
After the 2022 sprint WOC, people could say they orienteered in Edinburgh Castle. After next year's NAOC, The Presidio in California.

(Sorry, my other suggestions don't fit the original premise that Cristina re-emphasized. Great places to orienteer, though.)
Sep 29, 2019 1:49 AM # 
I feel like most of the suggestions would not meet the "most people would recognize the location" guideline

I (maybe mis)read that as "most US orienteers". For the general public, you're right, but I don't know that places the general public knows about would particularly have good orienteering terrain.

(I've been to Central Park, but I've never orienteered there, and other than for the novelty value, it doesn't hold much interest for me. Likewise for Niagara Falls, really.)
Sep 29, 2019 2:36 AM # 
It’s an interesting question, not 100% sure that was the intent but seemed like it to me. Places that non-orienteers would say, “oh, cool!” about. A lot more outside of the US than in the US, in my mind, so I’m interested in the ideas people have.
Sep 29, 2019 5:35 AM # 
isn’t there an orienteering map near Gettysburg? i remember it was used in 1992 in a week long fall O fest.
Sep 29, 2019 10:26 AM # 
1. any of the 4 or 5 French Creek st Park DVOA maps 2 Rutgers Preserve map Piscataway NJ, 3 West Point Turkey Mtn. NY 4. Blue Mtn reservation, Westchester NY HVO 5. Any of the Fine Laramie, WY Blue Star complex maps Superfly marsh map ,et al, 6. Governor Dick St Park, PA 7. Green Lane park, Dvoa and Hon Mention: Fort Lee Park map, NJ, where after orienteering one can hike onto and across the adjacent, George Washington Bridge and sort of ... City street O hike to the Little Red Light House ( a very RED ! control on the hudson river), NYC (2 mile hike 1 way)
Sep 29, 2019 1:21 PM # 
I believe I still have a copy of a map of Honolulu/Waikiki produced by the Peo Bengtsson world O tour folks back in the day.
Sep 29, 2019 2:27 PM # 
Christina is correct. The intent was to get the "that's cool" reaction from non-orienteers. When you tell a non-orienteer you've orienteered on campus at West Point, you get the reaction "they let you do that?" or when you say you've orienteered on the ocean floor when the tide goes out at the Bay of Fundy, you get the response of "wow." Telling non-orienteers you have orienteered off the trails at Petrified Forest National Park with controls on huge petrified trees gets a much different reaction than telling them you've orienteered at Greenbush - and Greenbush is some wonderful orienteering - but it means nothing to a non-orienteer. So far from the suggestions I would add these my list - Goat Island Niagara, Epcot, Waikiki, Mt Palomar, Gettysburg. All of these would get the "cool" reaction and pique further interest. The Presidio as well, but that was already included on NPS sites. Anza Borrego - not sure if it's well enough known (at least in the Midwest) but I'll add that as well.
Sep 29, 2019 5:51 PM # 
Backstreet Boy:
+1 Vasquez Rocks

U.C. Berkeley

Morgan Territory, Livermore, S.F. Bay Area

Deer Creek Hills, Sacramento Area

Arnold Ice Caves, Bend, OR Area
Sep 29, 2019 6:11 PM # 
It seems to me that the list mentioned to a non-orienteer will probably need to be...
(warning: recently overused word approaching!)
...curated, based on the individual.

EG, while Petrified Forest NP will probably ring some bells anywhere in the USA, Arnold Ice Caves would probably not (though the name does sound cool).
Vazquez Rocks is amazing, and would probably ring bells for a lot of SoCal-ers, but not be familiar too far beyond -- though a Star Trek pic on one's phone could override that. ;-)
Sep 29, 2019 7:03 PM # 
Vasquezz Rocks (where they did the location shots for the Flintstone Movie) definitely should have been on my list.
Sep 29, 2019 8:53 PM # 
I have copies of the Honolulu map (Kapiolani Park). It's junk. A poor street-O map of a steep area, but with no contour lines, that was used once, as a token fill-in for a big transoceanic gap in a round-the-world tour. Saying that there's orienteering, or even an orienteering map, in Hawaii, is misleading.
Sep 29, 2019 8:55 PM # 
As of a few days ago, there's orienteering at MIT. People have heard of that.
Sep 29, 2019 9:13 PM # 
Devil's Thumb

Garden of the Gods
Sep 30, 2019 1:22 AM # 
jjcote, Cypress River Sand Hills : Manitoba Orienteering Association
As featured in this book,
Sep 30, 2019 1:36 AM # 
Golden Gate Park has the name recognition, though it is separate from the bridge.
Sep 30, 2019 1:56 AM # 
Pink Socks:
Here in the PNW, I've replied "Oh, I've orienteered there!" in response to Mt. Bachelor, since we've parked at the ski hill parking lot for orienteering events.

It seems like ski areas are prime for this, because I've also replied to this question about Whistler Village, Whistler Mountain, and Lake Tahoe (generally), and Northstar (specifically).

Every December, there's an urban orienteering event that starts and finishes at Pike Place Market, literally three fish throws from the famous fish throwers. This event also has several checkpoints in the shadow of the Space Needle (if there was enough sunshine here to cast shadows).
Sep 30, 2019 1:59 AM # 
I must correct jjc's mischaracterization of Kapiolani Park. I guess I'm one of the few who have taken an orienteering map around the park, albeit not in competition. The park map has no contour lines because the area is dead flat. That is except for an artificially raised area where the bandshell grandstand is.
But if you want a memorable orienteering experience on Oahu the place to go would be the bowl of Diamond Head where a confluence of three factors would make an orienteering map of the area dead easy to make.
Sep 30, 2019 2:31 AM # 
The park itself is dead flat, but the park is a small portion of the map, and the rest of the mapped area is not flat. (I know the map is in that drawer, but there are a lot of maps in that drawer...)
Sep 30, 2019 2:49 AM # 
PinkSocks: Pike Place Market makes my list...sounds like a fun urban event. We have an urban event (score-O) in downtown Chicago every August which is also a fun event.
Sep 30, 2019 6:42 PM # 
NEOC once held an A meet on Cape Cod. Not sure if that venue has been revisited or not.
Sep 30, 2019 8:46 PM # 
Nickerson State Park hasn't gotten much use, because nobody lives very close to it. (And there's a lot of greenbriar.)
Sep 30, 2019 10:04 PM # 
MIT? Does that legendary area from Catching Features really exist :)
Whistler Village is pretty good area... and closer to the US than Bay of Fundy. Valley Forge anyone?
Sep 30, 2019 11:11 PM # 
Thanks for the Valley Forge reference, but unfortunately I'm rather sure that orienteering there would currently be a violation, at least as an official group activity.

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