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Spring Lake Regional Park

Date: (Sun.) May. 6, 2012
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Event Director: Judy Koehler - 707.778.1604
Course Setters: Brett Carver, Erik Carver, Bill Cusworth (NAV-X), Heidi Cusworth (NAV-X)
Type: C; Courses for beginners, as well as something interesting for intermediate and advanced orienteers

Please note that fees and time limits apply, unless otherwise mentioned below. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

Learn to orienteer amid spring wild flowers. This orienteering event is especially for those new to the sport of orienteering. The terrain is gently rolling, with some forest cover, a beautiful lake, and many bike paths and trails to help you find your way. The area is relatively flat, so it is suitable for children.

There will be a short course suitable for true novices and those with small children. A longer, slightly more difficult course will challenge those who have orienteered before or are familiar with reading a map. This course will require some off-trail orienteering. For those really looking for a challenge, take in both courses (but be sure to plan ample time)!

There will also be two courses for intermediate and advanced orienteers set by Bill and Heidi Cusworth. If you haven't been to Spring Lake before, now would be a good time as Bill and Heidi will be setting the courses at Boggs Mountain later this year. Check back here closer to the event for more details on all courses.

Free Beginner Clinics will start at 9:30 AM and continue through the morning at 20-minute intervals as needed. These will provide you with the basics of orienteering and map reading — enough information to complete your first course.

No pre-registration is necessary. Registration and clinics will be held at the Oak Knolls Picnic Area (see directions below — note that there are two park entrances on opposite sides of the park, and there are no connecting roads within the park). Standard costs starting at $6 will apply. For a complete breakdown on costs see our FAQ. In addition, the park charges a $6 entrance fee per vehicle.

Registration will begin at 9:00 AM and close at 12:00 noon. The courses will be open for starts from 10:00 AM until 12:30 PM, and all participants must check in at the Finish by 2:00 PM. Please honor the course closing time by coming to the Finish even if you have not completed your course by 2:00 PM. Most people take between one and two hours to take in a clinic and complete a course.

If you are bringing a group of 8 or more people, please call a few days in advance if possible, so that we can be sure to have enough maps for everyone. A compass is not necessary to complete these courses — if you want to use one, you can rent one at registration for a nominal fee. Wear clothing and shoes suitable for a walk in the woods.

Picnic tables, piped water, and flush toilets are available, so please feel free to bring along a picnic lunch to enjoy after you finish your course.


Here are the course statistics:

    Course         Length    Climb  Controls  Difficulty
    White          2.5 km     45 m     11     Novice
    Yellow         3.7 km    120 m     14     Beginner  
    Short Orange   4.3 km    105 m     15     Intermediate  
    Long Orange    6.1 km    225 m     24     Intermediate  

Beginners should keep in mind that the lengths listed represent the total of the straight-line distances between controls. The actual distance traveled on a course will always be longer — how much longer will depend on route choices and errors.

The White and Yellow courses are printed at 1:5000. The Orange courses are printed at 1:7500.

Be sure to read the Course Setters' Notes for more information.

Event Planning Meeting

will hold another in his series of short, event planning meetings at 12:30 PM. Everyone is welcome (i.e., encouraged) to participate in planning events for the remainder of this year, and through year.

Driving Directions

Take Highway 101 north toward Santa Rosa. Once in Santa Rosa, exit onto Highway 12 going east. Follow Highway 12 for 1.5 miles to where Highway 12 makes a left turn at Farmer's Lane. Do not take this turn, but instead, continue onto Hoen Avenue. Go 1.5 miles to the traffic light at Hoen and Summerfield. Continue straight on Hoen, then take an immediate left onto Newanga Avenue. Newanga leads into Spring Lake County Park. At the ranger's kiosk, make a right and go up the hill to the Oak Knolls picnic area.

There's a map here that shows the location of the event.

(Note that there are two entrances to the park, and they are not connected inside the park. If you go in the "wrong" entrance, you'll have to walk farther to the registration area.)

Public Transit

The closest bus route to this entrance of Spring Lake Park is Santa Rosa City Bus #2 (Bennett Valley), which has a stop at the intersection of Summerfield and Hoen. Please check ( for details.