Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Orienteering in the Knoxville, TN Area?

in: Orienteering; General

Feb 12, 2023 3:22 AM # 
Hello everyone! I will be moving to Knoxville, TN at the beginning of March 2023. I searched through AP’s archives and Google and could not find a trace of an active orienteering club or a past one. I am aware of clubs in the general area such as WNCOC, Nashville and clubs in Georgia and Alabama but those are at least within a 2-hour drive. What I am looking for is individuals or leads to individuals that might be interested in orienteering in the Knoxville area. I’m also interested in any maps of venues in the area, within a 1-hour drive if anyone has any knowledge of that. Any information/leads/rumors/urban legends would be appreciated, and I will take it from there. Thank you in advance!
Feb 12, 2023 4:57 AM # 
Keep me on your contact list. Orienteering Cincinnati might be able to help with base mapping or equipment resources to get started. Unfortunately there's never to my knowledge been a club or a map in K-town area, although it seems like an ideal center of outdoorsy type people. A couple decades ago I made a very tiny b&w demonstration map of World's Fair Park for a convention there, but at the time the area was a degrading eyesore with homeless people living in the bushes. Much too small to be used for anything other than a demonstration at a convention (and far less than ideal for that). Not sure if I even have a digital file of the map, not that it would be of any use.
Feb 12, 2023 12:34 PM # 
There was an avid orienteer who moved to Tennessee a while back (maybe 30 years ago) who had great ambitions of starting a club there, probably around Knoxville, but I forget. We never heard from her again. Our friend yurets would likely have some theory involving Appalachian stereotypes, but the truth is probably that some other aspect of life got in the way.
Feb 12, 2023 3:11 PM # 
I started a map of Maryville College, but thats a 4.5 hour drive for me.
Feb 12, 2023 4:12 PM # 
I visited Knoxville last summer on my way to the World Games, and walked around World's Fair Park. I didn't see any homeless people and it in general was pleasant.
The park is not very big, though, and wouldn't be of much use for orienteering beyond, as Mike said, demonstrations or short sprints.
Sorry, I have no useful orienteering information though.
Feb 13, 2023 12:31 AM # 
Pretty sure Chris Gkikas of WNC made a map in Eastern TN but not sure of exact location. Nash-O has a map at Cedars of Lebanon SP east of Nashville. About 2 hours west of Knoxville. There is a guy (Tom F) from CAOC who moved to the Knoxville area and he is helping Nash-O
Feb 13, 2023 3:15 AM # 
The good thing about Knoxville TN --- there is plenty of nice forest around it for orienteering (or any thing you want to do there). It is not like Texas or Arizona where you want to stay indoor for the rest of your life.
One hour drive south -- and you get to beautiful coves of Appalachia with virgin forests inhabited by bears and indigenous people.
The bad thing is Tennessee eats orienteers. Once they enter the state--- they are never seen or heard again.
Feb 13, 2023 12:09 PM # 
Feb 14, 2023 2:21 AM # 
OK - thanks for the replies. Quite surprising that there isn't anything more structured around Knoxville given the outdoor opportunities in the area. There are a couple of adventure races in the upcoming few months so I contacted the corresponding race organizers. If anyone else has any other leads I would be glad and willing to hear.
Feb 26, 2023 4:32 AM # 
Tennessee has been chewing on me for 6 years. I'm in Johnson City, 2 hours east of Knoxville. I worked on a map of Roan Mountain State Park. To my New England legs, nearly all of the forest in the mountains of eastern Tennessee is too steep for fun orienteering routes.

Chris Gkikas made a map of Winged Deer Park in Johnson City, and held an event pre-COVID.
Feb 26, 2023 11:38 PM # 
I have attended two events by nashville orienteering club in the last couple of months.. Do a search on them and you will find a paddle orienteering event and regular events coming up in the next few months. They are a newer club but have professional equipment and maps. They also need volunteers to pick up controls after an event and other needs.

This discussion thread is closed.