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Coyote Hills Regional Park

Date: (Sat.) Sep. 16, 2006
Location: Fremont, CA
Event Director: - 408.313.3753
Course Setter: Jim Fish
Type: C; National Orienteering Day "Come and Try It" event for beginners

Course Setter's Notes

By Jim Fish

Welcome to this Bay Area Orienteering Club (BAOC) National Orienteering Day (NOD) event. Coyote Hills is an open, grassy, hilly area — there are very few trees, except for the White (beginner's) course.

The White course does an "inner circle" of the Park on trails & paths. There is one slight downhill trail, but even it can be navigated by strollers. The course is 2 km in length (as the crow flies) with a 45-meter climb (i.e., "climb" counts only the uphill portions of the course, ignoring the downhill portions). There is no Poison Oak (PO) at any of the control locations. The course is designed for people new to Orienteering or returning for more learning experiences. By the end of the course you will have used a BAOC-created topographic map and a compass to locate a variety of features: trail junctions; lone trees; power poles; boulders; etc. If you want to continue on a longer course, you may sign up for the Yellow course, too (note that the Yellow course is not stroller friendly).

The Yellow course (3.1 km with 85 meters of climb) is intended for people who have some experience with orienteering or other use of topographic maps. This course includes longer "legs" (i.e., distances between "controls", which are the target feature locations). In addition to three long trail legs, there is an off-trail leg. When helpful, a "path" is streamered with colored ribbons. Participants will have an opportunity to run the trail legs, as this is intended to be a competitive sport (but, as always, you're welcome to go at your own pace). Due to the probability of a hot "Indian Summer" day, water will be deposited at marked locations. On this course you will be able to identify trail junctions, lone trees, boulder clusters, depressions, etc. Most likely you'll also be able to observe intermediate runners navigating their off-trail route choices.

The Orange and Long Orange courses are designed for intermediate competitors. At Coyote Hills, contouring is "the name of the game". The Orange course is 5.1 km with 180 meters of climb. The Long Orange course is 6.2 km with a climb of 220 meters. Cleats are advised to minimize the chances of "slipping and sliding" on the smooth, slippery, grassy areas. There are large PO bushes throughout the Park. There are two controls near such bushes, but these bushes are easily avoided. There are small, 3-4 inch, PO growths throughout the Park. These are easily protected against with long socks, long pants, or gaiters (but be careful when handling those items after your run).

During the days of preparing for the event, the Course Setter observed numerous species of birds (mostly shore birds). An abundance of ground squirrels were running in and out of their burrows (mostly into them). A couple of rabbits were seen on the grass lands, and a couple deer were spotted in a marsh area. There is a Butterfly Garden at the Visitor's Center, which you may want to locate (the White course goes right by it). After your "run", you might consider having a picnic near the Visitor's Center.

I was very ably assisted, in the field, by Nancy Lindeman. Nancy and Dean French vetted the course. Dean & Dan Greene made suggestions for improving the courses. Enjoy your experience on National Orienteering Day.

Here are the details of the courses:

               Target                Distance            Climb          No. of
Course        Audience          (as the crow flies)   (up, not down)   Controls

White         Beginners               2.0 km              45 m            12
Yellow        Advanced Beginners      3.1 km              85 m            11
Orange        Intermediate            5.1 km             180 m            16
Long Orange   Intermediate            6.2 km             220 m            20