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Spring Lake Regional Park

Date: (Sun.) May. 5, 2019
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Event Director: - 415.456.8118
Course Setter: Scott Aster
Type: C; Courses for beginners through advanced; the event will have a "Cinco de Mayo" flavor

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.

There will be White and Yellow courses for beginners and advanced beginners.

There will also be a fun, challenging Adventure course for intermediate and advanced orienteers, which will test their navigation as well as their creative map-reading skills. For those who want more of a workout, this course can be combined with the Yellow course (only a couple shared controls) for a total length of about 8 km. That should provide all the workout an advanced orienteer could want, and with climb under 3%!

All the courses will be fast (the terrain is gently rolling​—​very little climb) but technical, with possibly a few twists thrown in to keep one on one's toes.

Spring Lake, the site of the 2009 U.S. Team Trials (sprints), has complex terrain in a semi-urban park. Lots of mining pits, exposed rock faces, and shallow ridges and depressions left over from the mining boom over a century ago make this park surprisingly technical despite the extensive trail network. Very low climb figures, and mostly runnable terrain will make for some fast, exciting courses!

As a bonus, this year's event falls on May 5th, and the Event Director is busy cooking up some unusual perks and tweeks to celebrate the Cinco de Mayo holiday.

Spring Lake is also located very close to many wineries, and is a short drive from the brewery where the famous "Pliny the Younger" beer is created each spring. Plan on making a day of it and enjoying the park and the wonderful surrounding amenities!

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 – 11:59 AM: Registration open
  9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Beginners' clinic instruction (free)
 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Starts open
                   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 (the registration form is available here (PDF/90KB)).

Note that you can register and start on courses anytime during the open times above. Thus, for example, you do not need to be "punctual" at 9:00 (but you can if you want, but please don't show up earlier and expect to be served).

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.

Note that you must return to the Finish by 2:00, and then go to the download table, even if you have not finished your course. If there are unaccounted people after 2:00, we must initiate a search for them.

After you finish, stick around and socialize with other participants!


BAOC has a new fee structure for 2019. The following fees apply at this event:

  $3 for each junior (age 8 through 20) on beginner's (White) and advanced beginner's (Yellow) courses
  $8 for each adult on beginner's and advanced beginner's courses
  $5 for each junior on intermediate/advanced courses  
$15 for each member on intermediate/advanced courses
$20 for each non-member on intermediate/advanced courses
  $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)  


  • At the event, we are able to accept payment only by cash or check​—​no credit cards or electronic payments.
  • There is no charge for a second (or more) course.
  • There is no longer a discount for "additional people" on a team.

More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/90KB), 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.)

In addition to the above costs, there is a $7 per-car park entrance fee that you will pay at the entrance kiosk.


Here are the course details:

    Course       Length    Climb  Controls
    White        2.2 km     30 m      7  
    Yellow       3.0 km     60 m     11
    Adventure    4.9 km    125 m     14

Beginners should be aware that the course lengths shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. Your actual distance will be somewhat longer. For a rough estimate of how far you will actually go, mentally change "km" to "mi" (e.g., for a "2.2 km" course, you might travel up to "2.2 mi").

Be sure to read the Course Setter's Notes below.

What to Bring

For beginners' courses (White and Yellow), comfortable outdoors attire and shoes are fine.

For the Adventure course, 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 each entry/team needs to have a SPORTident fingerstick. If you don't have your own, you can rent one at registration for $5. (Use of the "E-punch" system is easy. You can learn how at the event, or read about it here.)

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(s).

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).

Course Setter's Notes

Welcome to Spring Lake Regional Park in beautiful Santa Rosa!

Today we offer three courses:

The one thing all the courses lack is climb! By BAOC standards, all three courses are as flat as a slightly rumpled pancake!

Here are the course statistics:

    Course       Length    Climb  Controls
    White        2.2 km     30 m      7  
    Yellow       2.8 km     60 m     11
    Adventure    4.4 km    125 m     14

There are water faucets throughout the park, indicated by blue circles on the map, which is one reason why there will be no water stops on the courses.

Wildflowers are out in force, even though the grass is turning brown and drying out.

Hazards include other park attendees, who may be walking, jogging, driving, or riding bicycles. Please be courteous to the people you might encounter on your courses. Poison oak (PO) is present in places, though all the controls can be reached without having to go through any PO. Just keep an eye out for it, and make slight detours if you see some.

There are two major out-of-bounds areas on the map.

The weather should be warm but not too hot, with partial cloudy skies to keep things cool. Flush toilets and running water are available, along with plenty of picnic tables, so plan on hanging around after your course(s) and enjoy the beautiful park that is Spring Lake!

Driving Directions

There's a map here that shows the location of the event. The approximate coordinates of the assembly area are 38.4483,-122.6509.

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.

(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 #8 (Bennett Valley), which has an hourly stop at the intersection of Summerfield and Hoen. Please check ( for details.