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Commons Ford Ranch

Austin, TX, US
Oct 1, 2011

Next entry deadline: Sep 29, 2011

Type: Orienteering - Local

event website

added by: radu.greavu

On Site Registration and Payment: starts 9am

First start: 10 am Last Start: Noon

Awards: 2pm or as soon as possible after 2pm

Control Bag Pick-up: 3-6 pm (volunteers welcome)

Courses: This will be a point-to-point competition with three course levels: Beginner(White/Yellow); Intermediate (Orange); and Advanced (Green) courses.

Pre-Registration: open until midnight Thursday, September 29, 2011.

Map Scale: 1:10000 (May have 1:7500 for beginner course)

Contour Interval: 5 m

Meet Contact Person / Course Setter: Nancy Bowers (512) 644-0092; bowersne@yahoo.com

Event Location: Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park, 614 Commons Ford Rd, Austin, TX 78733

Directions:

From the North: Take Highway 1 (MoPac) South to the 183/North Capital of Texas Highway exit. Turn right onto 360 (Capital of Texas Highway) and go 9.4 miles south. A few hills after you cross Lake Austin, take the Bee Caves Rd exit (FM 2244). Turn right (west) onto Bee Caves Rd and go 3.3 miles to Cuernevaca Rd. Turn right onto Cuernevaca Rd and go 0.5 miles to the first road intersection which is Commons Ford Rd. Turn left onto Commons Ford Rd and go 1.5 miles to the park entrance on the left.

From the Southeast: From 290/71 take the South Capital of Texas Highway (360) exit north 3.6 miles to Bee Caves Rd. (FM 2244). At the light, turn left (west) onto Bee Caves Rd, and drive 3.4 miles to Cuernevaca Rd. Turn right onto Cuernevaca Rd and go 0.5 miles to the first road intersection which is Commons Ford Rd. Turn left onto Commons Ford Rd and go 1.5 miles to the park entrance on the left.

From the Southwest: From 290/71 take the Highway 1 (Mopac) north exit ramp and then take the first exit for South Capital of Texas Highway (360). At the light turn left onto 360 and follow it for 3.6 miles to Bee Caves Rd. (FM 2244). At the light, turn left (west) onto Bee Caves Rd, and drive 3.4 miles to Cuernevaca Rd. Turn right onto Cuernevaca Rd and go 0.5 miles to the first road intersection which is Commons Ford Rd. Turn left onto Commons Ford Rd and go 1.5 miles to the park entrance on the left.

Parking: The park gates normally open at noon, but will be opened at 9am for us. Continue down the road to the bottom of the hill and just after you cross the stream there is a gravel parking area on the left for cars. There is limited parking, so please carpool and park as close to the neighboring vehicle as reasonably possible. There are a couple parking areas further down the road once this lot fills up and we will direct you there after the lot fills up. Buses should continue down the road, turn around and then park alongside the road parallel to the road or as designated by someone directing parking.

Miscellaneous Park Info.: There is no camping at this park. Although visitors can enter the park from 8am- 10pm, the park gates close and lock at 6pm, so plan on leaving the park before 6. We have the reservable picnic area for our meet which has a grass lawn and picnic tables with a volleyball court. There is a burn ban so no fires of any kind are allowed. Also no alcohol, glass, or styrofoam is allowed and we cannot put stakes into the ground to tie down objects. Please do not litter and dispose of all trash properly.

Course Mapper/Setter Notes:

This is a City of Austin park that lies on the south side of Lake Austin which is a dam-controlled section of the Colorado River. It was once a working ranch so there are some historical buildings and large flat areas where crops were grown and a few barbed wire fences that are in disrepair. The flat/low lying areas are near the river but the terrain progresses fairly abruptly into hills with limestone outcrops, lots of rocks and a loose caliche soil. As the hillsides are primarily rocks, only a few were put on the map. Rocks on the map are distinct from rock outcrops. There are some flat rock ledges and steep sided cliffs especially along the drainages. Pay attention to whether you should be at the top or bottom of them when you plan your route. The creeks are dry so there is no water in the creeks except where the lake comes up the channel. The soil is also very dry in the hills and doesn’t have much cohesion so be careful when climbing or walking along steep banks you can slide easily. The vegetation is primarily old oak trees and old juniper trees. There was a fire about 10 years ago so some of the older trees are slightly burned. The vegetation allows for pretty easy running except in the creek beds and drainages where the vegetation is relatively thick. There is minimal cactus except in one small location where it is abundant. There isn’t much in the way of poison ivy, but I did see one plant near the water. The neighboring land-owners are very influential and wealthy and do not like uninvited guests so please stay within the park boundaries.

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See also:

Oct 29–30, 2011McKinney Falls State Park