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Knowland Park

Date: (Sat.) Sep. 13, 2008
Location: Oakland, CA
Event Directors: - 650.365.4275, - 510.619.5728
Course Setters: Jim Fish, Dean French
Type: C; National Orienteering Day event on a NEW MAP

Course Setters' Notes


Knowland Park is in Oakland, CA (entrance through the Oakland Zoo). The event is on Saturday, 9/13/08, for National Orienteering Day in the East Bay.

It will likely be a bright, sunny (probably hot) day, so ... use plenty of sunscreen. At the higher elevations, there is nearly a 180-degree view of the Bay Area. Take some time to enjoy it.

The BAOC electronic punching (EP) system will be used for this event. Bring your own e-stick (or memory stick, or "chip"), or rent one at the event. The BAOC EP Crew (who are all volunteers) are endeavoring to minimize EP problems, so we are asking participants who "run" two courses to use two different e-sticks (available at the time you do your second course). Of course, all rented/loaned e-sticks must be returned. If there is a large turnout for the event, the EP crew may use an alternative to the second-course, second-stick method.


There are five courses offered. Training "clinics" are offered from 10:00–11:00. They provide enough information to complete a beginner course.


A beginner's course with 8 controls (on or very near trails), with a straight-line distance of 2 km, and a climb of 260 feet (approximately 80 meters).


An advanced beginner's course with 14 controls (the course goes "cross country" on some legs, so learning to take a bearing will be beneficial), the straight-line distance is 2.4 km, the climb is 300 feet (approximately 92 meters).

Orange Courses

E (for Easy) Orange: An intermediate course with 15 controls, a distance of 3.3 km, and a climb of 440 feet (approximately 134 meters).

H (for Hard) Orange: An intermediate course with 15 controls, a distance of 3.4 km, and a climb of 500 feet (approximately 152 meters).

Special note for the H Orange course: There are two legs on the course that involve "bushwhacking" through some of the brush that is prominent on the NW side of the park. The Course Setter included a challenge for participants who want to expend extra effort on a course. [The Event Director calls these legs "Extreme Orange".] There are three ways into, and four ways out of, the most difficult control site. After all, orienteering is about route choices, right? Since there are "scratchy" bushes, and random poison oak, the Course Setter recommends long pants (or gaiters) and long-sleeve shirts. For those participants who prefer not to do the bushwhacking, there is the E(asy) Orange course (minor bushwhacking) or the Sprint course.


A special course that emphasizes speed and quick decisions related to bearings and navigation through/around obstacles. Running or walking is a participant's choice, of course. 14 Controls, 2.8 km with a climb of 260 feet (approximately 79 meters).


Yes, there is poison oak (PO) in the park. Plant height varies from a few inches to a few feet. The plants are generally around other vegetation such as trees and bushes. They can be scattered as single plants or in various-size clusters. The clusters should be easily identified and avoidable. Single plants may be near some route choices, so caution is advised. PO near controls is avoidable.

There are products at most drug stores that prevent a reaction to PO, such as: Tecnu (; IvyX; buji; Ivy Block (; Ivy Cleanse towlettes (; and Fels Naptha Laundry Soap Bar ( Some people use Dove soap to wash away the PO oils. Be sure to wash your clothes as well.

On a positive note, goats have recently eaten and/or flattened the grasses, so visibility and runability are excellent.

Driving Directions

Take exit 29, Golf Links Rd, off of I-580. Go in the Oakland Zoo Parking entrance, pay $6 parking fee, and head northeast to the top parking lot. From there walk east up the wide trail that leads to the Registration and Start area.


See the Event Director's announcement for general information.

We hope you enjoy the day in this park recommended by Rex Winterbottom, using the new map created (and printed) by Bob Cooley.

Special thanks to Nancy Lindeman for vetting the courses and offering a thorough, helpful critique.