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Bedwell Bayfront Park

Event #2 of 4 in the BAOC 2017 Summer Series

Date: (Sun.) Jul. 16, 2017
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Event Director: - 408.313.3753
Course Setter: Ann Marie Cody
Type: C; One advanced course with map exchanges & shorter options, total distance <7 km; two Beginner courses that double as Telephone-O courses

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

This is the second event in the BAOC 2017 Summer Series.

Bedwell Bayfront Park started out as a landfill, but today it is so much more! Clusters of trees and shrubs, carefully placed boulders, and a maze of trails cover it now. The Bay breezes keep this place cool when the summer heat scorches the hills. Come join us in exploring it!

In addition to the orienteering, this will be BAOC's Annual General Meeting. We will be electing officers and discussing other club business. Plan to be there for the meeting, which starts at 1:00 PM (i.e., try to complete your course before then).

Venue Facilities

There is no park entrance fee. Registration will be located near the north end of the first paved parking lot, behind the restrooms. Park there, in the lot farther to the north, or alongside the access road well off the pavement. Try to use the unpaved areas efficiently; don't use more space than necessary.

Please keep in mind that we are sharing the park with the general public.

There are decent restrooms, outdoor sinks, and one drinking fountain.


  9:00 AM – Registration opens; you can register anytime until noon
  9:30 AM – Beginner's clinic instruction (free)
10:00 AM – Starts open, you can start on courses anytime until 12:30
  1:00 PM – BAOC Annual General Meeting and election
 2:00 PM – Courses close, checkpoint pick-up begins

Beginner's clinics are short, repeating sessions that provide an introduction to orienteering and enough instruction to be able to complete a Beginner course. The sessions will begin at 9:30 continue until about 10:30 (depending on demand).

Please note that everyone must return to the Finish by 2:00 PM, and check in at E-punch, 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.


  $5 for juniors (age 8 through 20; under 8 is free)
$12 for adult members
$18 for adult non-members
  $1 for a compass rental (optional)  
  $5 for an electronic fingerstick rental (if you don't own one, you'll need one to complete the course)
$15 for the lowest-cost individual one-year BAOC membership (optional)  

For extra people on a team (i.e., completing the course together), add $7 per adult or $3 per junior.

More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/100KB), which you can print and fill out in advance to save some time at the event. (You will need one entry form for each group of people going on a course together.) Please note that the form has a second page for signatures of group members.

Summer Series Course

The event consists of a single course broken onto three maps. Everyone runs the same maps, in the same order. At the end of the first map, you will drop your map in the box provided at the exchange point (be sure to punch that control), and pick up the second map from a clearly-marked map tray nearby. Likewise, at the end of the second map. The end of the third map is the Finish.

In total, the course is 6.7 km (straight-line distance), with 32 controls and just 2% climb. The distance and controls are split roughly evenly between the three maps. Hence, if you run more than the first two maps, you'll need a high-capacity E-stick, which are available for rent or exchange at Registration.

If anyone wants a shorter challenge, the ends of the first and second maps are fairly close (<100 meters) to the Finish control. So you are welcome to finish after one or two maps if that is the distance you are looking for (be sure to punch the control at the end of your final map before going to the Finish). Whether you are doing one, two, or three maps, please ensure that the Finish control is the last control you punch (and punch it only when you are actually finishing). And please be sure to download after you finish.

Since Bayfront is not a particularly challenging place within which to navigate, we have erased all trails and roads from the advanced maps. You will need to use bearings, contours, vegetation, and smaller features for guidance. Also note that since there are controls in common with the advanced course and other courses (described below), you must do the advanced first if you want your result to count toward the Summer Series.

Note that points for the Summer Series will be awarded only to people who complete the whole three-map course.

Alternative Courses

In addition to the advanced course, we will have several low-key options, some of which may prove to be amusing.

First, the beginner courses are perfect for advanced beginners and mostly follow trails around the park, though there are numerous choices of cross-country routes. They are a little bit more challenging than our usual Yellow course in terms of paying close attention to the map (hence the "Easy+" terminology), but newcomers with some topographical-map experience should give it a try. We offer two short courses of similar difficulty.

Finally, we are reviving the Telephone-O, a format not done in the Bay Area since 2008! The courses will be the same as those on the beginner maps, but the person who is orienteering ("runner") does not get to carry a map! Instead, they partner up with a friend or club member to communicate by telephone regarding where to go. The partner ("controller") will remain out of view near the registration area, with the map. The runner is allowed to use only a compass and phone (no smartphone or GPS capabilities permitted). The controller directs them from Start to Finish as quickly as possible. When the runner successfully completes the course, the partners may switch places if desired, and then attempt the other Telephone-O course. This is a great test of map reading, as well as communication skills.

If you would like to try out Telephone-O, but do not have a partner, please contact an official at the event, and we will try to pair you up. One other option is to do it over the phone with a remote person. If you have a friend or family member who would like to direct you from another city (or country!), we will need to send them the map in advance. Please provide (the course setter) with their email address by the night before the event.

All the courses use the same Start, about 0.5 km NE from the assembly area. The Finish location is about 0.2 km SE from the assembly area, with a path connecting the two. The map exchange point for the advanced course is located within view of the Finish. All three of these locations (and only these locations​—​other than the assembly area) will have water.

Course Summary

    Course                       Length   Climb  Controls
    Beginner 1 & Telephone-O 1   1.9 km    35 m      9  
    Beginner 2 & Telephone-O 2   1.9 km    40 m      9
    Advanced                     6.7 km   140 m     32

Map Notes

As far as the mapping of the park goes, think miniature. Features such as boulders, knolls, and rootstocks are frequently smaller than what would be mapped in a more wilderness venue. The "cairn" symbol is used to denote the park's sequence of rock sculptures.

There are two non-standard symbols used for pseudo-knolls:

There are several mapping inconsistencies that you should be aware of. The park's vegetation was mowed unusually aggressively this year, so while it is delightfully runnable, some of the "green slash" areas on the map (representing especially dense, and especially growth 1.5 m or higher) have now disappeared from the park. The map has not been updated to reflect this mowing, so we recommend avoiding use of the green slash for your navigation. Similarly, there are now both rootstock symbols (brown ×'s) and fallen-tree symbols (green T's) on the map, but they do not always correspond exactly to what is seen on the ground. We have largely avoided using these features as controls, and do not recommend using them for fine navigation.

We always put a paragraph about hazards in these notes. We'll begin with a basic non-hazard: It's impossible to get lost at Bayfront! The park is less than 1 sq km in size, and virtually surrounded by water. If you have a parent, child, spouse, or friend who hasn't been able to overcome the fear of getting lost, this is the time for them to try orienteering. We have already mentioned vegetation, but the good news is that there is no poison oak, but there is some prickly brush. Leg coverings and sturdy shoes are advised. The ground, even when it appears quite flat, has numerous holes hidden under the grass. Exercise caution! There is little shade, so wear a hat and use sunscreen. The park has been known to host some wild denizens, including burrowing owls, skunk families (you may see a errant tail by one of the controls!), and even a lost kitty.

Course Setting Team
Course Setting Team (

The park is likely to be fairly busy. Please be considerate of other park users, who are likely to include hikers, joggers, bicyclists, dog walkers, and flyers of kites, model airplanes, and even drones.

Most importantly, have fun!

Your course setters,
and the 2033 JWOC team (shown at right; click on caption for a larger image)

Request for Volunteers

We'll need people for several tasks. No experience is necessary.

All the tasks are easy. Helping with set up or tear down, at the Start or Finish, or with control pickup, is particularly suitable for somebody with no previous experience.

, event director

Driving Directions

The approximate coordinates are 37.4909,-122.1773.

From the Peninsula, North, and South, take Highway 101 to the Marsh Road East exit. Stay to the left so you can drive straight ahead into the park at the traffic signal where Marsh turns right into Bayfront Expressway.

From the East Bay, cross the Dumbarton Bridge. Go to the fifth traffic light after the bridge and turn right into the park.

There's a map here that shows the location of the event. To use that map, drag it to center the Peninsula in the panel, then use the "+" button to zoom in. Repeat dragging and zooming to get the desired area shown. You can click on the Satellite button to see an aerial view.