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Lake Herman Recreation Area

Date: (Sun.) May. 6, 2018
Location: Benicia, CA
Event Director: - 415.895.6039
Course Setter: Nikolay Chukanov
Type: B; Standard seven-course event for beginners through advanced (pending park approval)

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

As this is being written early in March, excitement is building for California Orienteering Week 2018, seven high-quality national events in the span of nine days! But ... there will be orienteering life after March Madness. There will be a BAOC orienteering event at Lake Herman Recreation Area in Benicia on Sunday, May 6.

Benicia was once the state capitol of California, and the capitol building is a historical landmark and museum, and well worth a visit after completing a course or two. Lake Herman has plenty of hills, but is not steep by Bay Area standards. The area is mostly open and highly runnable. There are hundreds of bushes/thickets and they are all mapped!

We will be meeting in Benicia Community Park, at the picnic tables close to the volleyball court. There is plenty of parking.

Your course setter is Nikolay Chukanov. Nikolay will be setting the standard seven courses, White through Blue, Middle-style. "Middle-Style" means that there will be many controls, relatively short legs, with an emphasis on technical control placement. The White course is a beginner course, suitable for families with young children, or children going on their own with parents shadowing them. The Yellow course is at advanced-beginner level, and is suitable for adventurous beginners. Orange is an intermediate-level course, and you can expect plenty of off-trail orienteering. Brown through Blue are technically advanced courses.

More event details will be added as they become available.

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.

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.


The standard BAOC schedule will be followed:

  9:00 AM – Registration opens
  9:30 AM – Beginners' clinic instruction begins (free)
10:00 AM – Starts open
10:30 AM – Beginners' clinic instruction ends (or sooner if requests end)
11:59 AM – Registration closes
12:30 PM – Starts close
2:00 PM – Courses close, checkpoint control 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.

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!


The event fees will be added here later.

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.

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.

Details of the courses will be available here later.


As usual, we will need several volunteers to make this event happen. Beat the rush, and contact , the Event Director, to claim your preferred role.


The official address of Benicia Community Park is 540 Rose Dr, Benicia, and that will get you close enough to find us. Alternatively, the approximate coordinates are 38.0862,-122.1586.

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

Take I-680 North across the Benicia-Martinez Bridge. Stay in the left lanes on the bridge to merge onto I-780 West. Take Exit #5 from I-780, E 2nd St. Go straight-ish (uphill) on E 2nd St, continue 1.3 miles. At the traffic light, turn left onto Rose Dr. Continue 1.1 miles, and then turn into Benicia Community Park (Dempsey Dr) on your right.

From Sacramento:

Take I-80 West to I-680 South. Take exit #61 for Mount Herman Road, and turn right. At the first intersection, turn left onto E 2nd St. After 2.1 miles, turn right at the traffic light onto Rose Dr. Continue 1.1 miles, and then turn into Benicia Community Park (Dempsey Dr) 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. Take exit #5 for E 2nd St, turn right and continue 1.4 miles. At the traffic light, turn left onto Rose Dr. Continue 1.1 miles, and then turn into Benicia Community Park (Dempsey Dr) on your right.