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Lake Herman Recreation Area

Date: (Sun.) Feb. 22, 2015
Location: Benicia, CA
Event Director: - 650.321.9713
Course Setter: Nick Corsano
Type: C; Regional event with four point-to-point courses; Junior Training event

Please note that fees and time limits apply. Events are typically not canceled due to bad weather.

Note Regarding the Green Course

Some time in the last few days, a fence was put up at the park to protect a sensitive area. Green runners will encounter this fence on one leg of their course, where it will prevent them from going in a straight line to the control, but following the fence provides an obvious route choice. The feature itself (a thicket) is just inside the fence, so I have put the flag just outside the fence. It is now on the eastern side of the thicket, while the clue sheet says the north side. I might or might not have time to correct the clue sheets.

   (February 21, 2015)

Come out to Lake Herman Recreation Area in the hills above the Carquinez Strait, and enjoy this new map, drawn by Benicia teenager Emily Radtke for her Girl Scout Silver Award project. This is, as far as I know, BAOC's first ever event in Solano County!

What is Orienteering?

An adventure: Discover the outdoors and discover yourself! Teams of 1 to 5 find checkpoints in parks and wilderness areas using specially-produced maps. All are welcome at our events​—​runners, hikers, joggers, and walkers.


  9:00 AM – Registration opens
  9:30 AM – Beginners' clinic instruction begins (free)
  9:30 AMJunior Training begins
10:00 AM – Starts open
10:30 AM – Beginners' clinic instruction ends
11:59 AM – Registration closes
12:30 PM – Starts close
  2:00 PM – Courses close, checkpoint control pick-up begins

Note that you can register and start on courses anytime between the open and close times above. Thus, for example, you do not need to be "punctual" at 9:00 (but you can if you want).

Beginners' clinics are short, repeating sessions that introduce the sport of orienteering, and provide enough instruction to be able to complete the beginner (White) course.

Everyone must check in at the Finish by 2:00 PM and download their E-stick even if you don't complete your course, so we can have everyone accounted for and start checkpoint pick-up on time so those volunteers can get home.

After you finish, enjoy free snacks and refreshments, and socialize with other participants!

Terrain and Courses

The park consists of about 2.3 sq km of grassy hills sloping down to Lake Herman, a small reservoir that is the source of drinking water for the city of Benicia. The base map, produced by Bob Cooley, was a high-resolution aerial photograph overlaid on 2.5-meter LIDAR contours. There are some wooded areas on the outskirts of the park and in streambeds, but over most of the area, mapped vegetation consists of bushes and small trees​—​hundreds of them, meticulously mapped.

Here are the details for the courses:

    Course                       Length    Climb   Controls
    White (beginner)             1.7 km     50 m      12  
    Yellow (advanced beginner)   2.4 km     90 m      14
    Orange (intermediate)        3.8 km    135 m      14
    Brown (advanced)             3.6 km     85 m      15
    Green (advanced)             4.7 km    160 m      18

Conditions should be very fast. Be sure to read the Course Setter's Notes for more information.

Beginners should be aware that the distances shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. Your actual distance will be longer. The climb numbers represent the amount of ascending that would be done on the "optimum route" (in the Course Setter's opinion), without regard for any descending.

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 as shoes with some extra grip on the soles.

Venue Facilities

The assembly area is in the adjacent Benicia Community Park, which offers ample free parking, restrooms, picnic tables, and barbecues. Feel free to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after you finish your course.

Please note that dogs are not allowed in Benicia Community Park, other than in the enclosed dog area.


  $3 for juniors
  $6 for beginners' and advanced beginners' courses
$10 member price for intermediate and advanced courses  
$15 non-member price for intermediate and advanced courses
$15 for the lowest-cost individual one-year BAOC membership (optional)  
  $1 for a compass rental (optional)
  $3 for an electronic fingerstick rental (if you don't own one, you'll need one to complete the course)

For extra people on a team, add $5 per person for intermediate and advanced courses or $3 per person on beginners' courses.

More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ.


From the South Bay, most of the East Bay, and the southern half of the Peninsula:

Take I-680 North across the Benicia Bridge. Stay in the left lanes on the bridge to merge onto I-780 West. Take the second exit from I-780, E 2nd St. Go straight-ish (uphill) on E 2nd St, continue 1.3 miles. Turn left at the traffic light onto Rose Dr. Continue 1.1 miles, and then turn into Benicia Community Park on your right.

From Sacramento:

Take I-80 West to I-680 South. Exit at Mount Herman Road, and turn right. At the stop sign, turn left onto E 2nd St. Continue 2.1 miles, turn right at the traffic light onto Rose Dr. Continue 1.1 miles, and then turn into Benicia Community Park on your right.

From San Francisco, Oakland and surrounding communities, and from the North Bay:

Go to I-80, and take it to Vallejo. Exit onto I-780 East. Exit at E 2nd St, turn right and continue 1.4 miles. Turn left at the traffic light onto Rose Dr. Continue 1.1 miles, and then turn into Benicia Community Park on your right.