May 5 is National Orienteering Day here in the U.S., and BAOC is hosting two of the more than 50 events being held nationwide. One event is at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, part of the East Bay Regional Park District. Coyote Hills is at the East end of the Dumbarton Bridge, easily accessible from the entire Bay Area.
Four courses will be offered this year: White, Yellow, Orange, and the Survivor (Long Orange). All courses have been designed to provide exceptional views of the Bay Area, The wildflowers are beautiful right now. The Survivor course has all the elements of the TV show: no water, no food, no shade, lots of challenges, and alligators (well, maybe not alligators). Preliminary course statistics (subject to change) from coursesetter Jeff Lanam:
White 2.4 km 47 m climb 10 controls Yellow 3.6 km 117 m climb 12 controls Orange 4.4 km 155 m climb 14 controls L. Orange 8.0 km 282 m climb 23 controlsMaps are at 1:10000 scale with 5m contours. All courses will have premarked maps. Sorry, no electronic punching.
There will be prizes (Brunton compasses) awarded to the top "first-time" orienteers running White, Yellow, and Orange as a first course.
The park is fairly dry and the ground hard. Orange and Long Orange require a lot of contouring, so wear appropriate shoes. There is quite a bit of avoidable poison oak, unavoidable star thistle, and miscellaneous other sticker things, so take appropriate precautions.
Saturday morning brings out a lot of joggers and bicycles. Get there early to get a good parking place and a good start time. Park admission is $4 per car. Standard registration rates are in place. Register in advance on the web at Active.com and avoid the lines.
From 880 in Fremont, exit at Decoto Rd. (a.k.a. 84 West) and go west onto the freeway that leads to the Dumbarton Bridge. After you are on Highway 84 on your way to the Dumbarton Bridge, about 2 miles west from 880, exit at the Thornton Avenue/ Paseo Padre exit, and turn right (north) on Paseo Padre. (Note the both Paseo Padre and Thornton also cross 880, but you don't want to exit at either of these.) After about 1 mile, turn left at the entrance to Coyote Hills Regional Park and follow orienteering signs.
From the Peninsula, take 84 east to the Dumbarton Bridge. After you have crossed the bridge and passed the toll plaza, you should take the first exit at Thornton Avenue & Paseo Padre. Turn left (North) on Paseo Padre and proceed about 1 mile, turning left at the entrance to Coyote Hills Regional Park.