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Spring Lake Regional Park

Date: (Sun.) Apr. 27, 2014
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Event Director: Judy Koehler - 707.778.1604
Course Setter: Nikolay Chukanov
Type: B; Beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses; point-to-point courses with a new perspective on this park

Please note that fees and time limits apply. 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.

What is Orienteering?

An adventure! Discover the outdoors and discover yourself! Teams of 1 to 5 find checkpoints in wilderness venues or urban areas using specially-produced maps.


  9:00 AM – Registration opens (closes at noon)
  9:30 AM – Beginner's clinic instruction (free)
10:00 AM – Starts open, you can start on courses anytime until 12:30
  2:00 PM – Courses close, checkpoint pick-up begins

At registration, all juniors must be accompanied by parents or legal guardians, or bring with them a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian (the registration form is available here (PDF/38KB) (

Beginner's clinics are repeating sessions that provide an introduction to orienteering and enough instruction to be able to complete a beginner (White) course. The sessions will continue until about 10:30.

Enjoy snacks and refreshments after you finish! Please check in at the Finish by 2:00 PM, thank you, so we can have everyone accounted for and start checkpoint pick-up on time so those volunteers can get home.


There will be a beginner's (White) course, which will be a great warmup if you're trying orienteering for the first time. You get to see the map before the start and experience how everything works. If you want more after that course, you are welcome to try the Yellow course.

There's also an advanced beginner's (Yellow) course.

For more experienced participants, we have an intermediate (Orange) course. It will be a traditional point-to-point orienteering course with technical control placement and as much route choice as the park allows. This course will explore the forests, meadows, hilltops, and valleys for a fun, challenging navigation experience.

Lastly, Nikolay has designed a challenging Green/Red course for advanced participants. The course goes over the big hill in the east part of the park, where the most technical part will be, then it goes to the west part of the lake for high-speed park orienteering. Each control will have a minimum of two route choices, and the straight line will not always be the best choice​—​unless you bring your swimsuit with you. There is a lot of poison oak. but still with green leaves, and it is not bigger then 10 inches high. Make sure you bring shoes suitable for rocks. The most important thing, however, is to have fun while running the courses.

Here are the details of the courses:

    Course       Length     Climb   Controls   Difficulty
    White        2.3 km      55 m       9      Novice    
    Yellow       3.4 km      75 m      13      Beginner+
    Orange       4.2 km     140 m      17      Intermediate
    Green/Red    6.1 km     270 m      23      Advanced

Beginners should be aware that the course lengths above represent the cumulative straight-line distances between the controls. The actual distance you will travel will depend on your route choices (and any errors you might make), and will certainly be somewhat longer. The climb numbers represent the amount of ascent one would experience on the "optimum route", without regard for any decent along the course.

This is Nikolay's first course setting experience with BAOC (his previous course setting experience was in his native Bulgaria). So, another reason to come to this event is courses with a fresh look at Spring Lake.

What to Bring

For beginners' courses, comfortable outdoors attire and shoes are fine.

For intermediate and advanced courses, leg cover or gaiters are recommended, as well shoes with some extra grip on the sole.

A compass is not necessary, but can be helpful. We have compasses available for a $1 rental fee.

We time the courses with the SPORTident system, so a SPORTident fingerstick rents for $3.

Venue Facilities

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.


The intermediate and advanced courses will traverse some rocky, stony areas​—​watch your step!

For participants on the intermediate and advanced courses, the park has some poison oak that you will want to avoid. It looks like this. Washing clothes and shoes and bathing exposed areas with dishwashing soap, or a commercial product such as Tecnu, is recommended to remove the irritant oil.


  $3 for juniors on beginner's and advanced beginner's courses
  $6 for beginner's and advanced beginner's courses (members & non-members)
  $5 for juniors on intermediate and advanced courses
$10 member price for intermediate and advanced courses
$15 non-member price for intermediate and advanced courses
$15 for the lowest-cost individual 1-year BAOC membership
  $1 for a compass rental
  $3 for an electronic fingerstick rental (if you don't own one, you'll need it to complete the course.)
  $7 per vehicle parking fee collected by the park at the entrance gate

For extra people on a team, add $3 per person on beginner’s courses or $5 per person on intermediate and advanced courses.

The fees are reduced for a second (and third!) course at the event.

More information about event pricing is in the club FAQ.

Location Within the Park

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).

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. Pay your park fee at the ranger's kiosk, make a right turn, 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.