Abrams Park Orienteering Course
Come practice orienteering at the permanent course at Abrams Park in Ridgefield, Washington!
Unlike a normal O-Course where the control points are flags placed the morning of the event, this permanent course uses fixed 4×4 posts with control markers attached near the top of the posts. Each post has four markers. Each marker has two letters to help you identify the post location on the orienteering map.
The course has 10 controls and is 1.5km (as the crow flies).
- The course starts at the triangle marker and finishes at the double circle marker. (same location on this course)
- Visit the controls in the proper order (1, then 2, then 3, etc.)
- Complete the course all at one time.
- You can start anywhere you want.
- You can walk as much or as little of the course as you like.
- You can visit the controls in any order. Just get out there and have some fun!
Download and Print the Orienteering Map (PDF)
In 2021, the City received a grant to work with OrienteeringUSA and develop a detailed orienteering map of Abrams Park. A local Boy Scout troop used the course to earn Orienteering badges and a conversation began about installing a course with permanent checkpoints at Abrams Park. Michael Lerner took on the project and worked with staff and the Parks Board to develop a plan and install 10 points throughout the course. Thank you Michael for your work to bring a permanent course to Abrams Park!
What is Orienteering?
From Orienteering USA:
Orienteering is the sport of navigation, using a highly detailed map. Whether you're an experienced hiker, competitive runner, or just a family or group out for an activity in a park, this sport helps you improve your navigation each time.
Orienteering can gradually build your map-reading skills from exploring a local city park full of obvious structures to navigating remote terrain with few, if any, man-made features.
On orienteering maps, a course consists of a triangle, circles, a double circle and sometimes connecting lines all in purple. The triangle is the start. The double circle is the finish. All the circles in between are checkpoints.
How to Orienteer
From Orienteering USA:
- Course map
- Timer (optional)
How to Navigate:
- Orient the map - Using your compass and major terrain features around you, hold the map so that the north arrow on the map is pointing the same way as the north arrow on your compass and the terrain features you see match up.
- Choose your route: Choose the best route for you based on your physical and navigational abilities. Often, going straight may not be the best choice. A method to choose your route is CAR:
- Control: Look at the control you are going to. What are you looking for? What direction do you want to approach it from?
- Attackpoint: What is the closest large or unique feature that indicates you are approaching your control?
- Route: Which way will get you to the attackpoint and control the fastest? Are there other routes to consider?
- Simplify: There is a lot of information on the map. Choose which features you are going to use to navigate.
- Navigate: Go find your control!
- Relocate: When you get disoriented or you cannot find your control, a systematic approach to figuring out where you are can reduce the time it takes to correct yourself.
- Stop: identify your last known location on the map
- Consider the features you have seen, the features you currently see, and the time/length since your last location
- Relocate: Try to identify where you actually are on the map (use at least three features to improve confidence). If you are unsure, identify a large, distinguishable feature you know you can easily find and go to that. (e.g. trails, lakes, etc)