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Spring Lake Regional Park

Date: (Sun.) Dec. 4, 2022
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Event Director: - 415.456.8118
Course Setter: James Roney
Type: C; Beginner and intermediate/advanced courses. This park is suitable for first-timers.

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

Please plan on coming up to Santa Rosa for some wonderful, late-year orienteering, in a complex and relatively flat park, quite different from our typical Bay Area terrain! This will be only the second time we’ve held an event here since 2014, so the intricacies of the terrain will be new to most participants, and I think a tougher challenge than most might surmise!

This year, James Roney will be setting the courses, comprised of White and Yellow courses for beginners, and three advanced-level courses. Along with Brown and Green advanced courses, he has added a devilish wrinkle for those who need an extreme challenge. The third advanced-level course will utilize a map of the park showing only contour lines, with all other details left off. Test your navigation skills as you try to complete this course without running into the lake or the blackberry brambles! For those who want a workout, James says the Green and “Contour” courses together (having a minimal number of shared controls) will cover about 9 km in length. (All the course details will be posted below closer to the event date.)

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!

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!

Please come out and experience this gem of a venue. You will be impressed!

Note: Events are not canceled due to weather.

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.


  9:30 AM – 11:59 AM: Registration open (Note that this is not our usual registration opening time.)
  9:30 AM – 11:59 AM: Beginner clinic instruction throughout the morning as needed (free)
 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Starts are 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 9:30 (but you can if you want, but please don’t show up earlier and expect to be served).

Beginner clinics are short (10–15 minutes), 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!


The following fees apply at this event:

  $3 for each junior (age 8 through 20) on Beginner (White) and Advanced Beginner (Yellow) courses
  $8 for each adult on Beginner and Advanced Beginner courses
  $5 for each junior on advanced courses  
$15 for each member on advanced courses
$20 for each non-member on 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)  

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

  • At the event, we are able to accept payment only by cash or check​—​no credit cards or electronic payments.
  • Juniors are age 8 through 20 (under age 8 is free).
  • There is no charge for a second course (but you must end up paying for the more expensive course​—​i.e., an advanced course after a Beginner course).
  • Members of other orienteering clubs can pay the “member” fee. (We hope your club would do the same for our members. 🙂)

More information about event pricing is available in the club FAQ. All the prices are also shown on the standard entry form (PDF/12KB), 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.)

Optional Online Registration

Online registration has closed, but you can still register at the event.

  • Online registration is not required​—​you can register at the event.
  • You can see who is registered here ( (but keep in mind that others will register at the event.


Here are the course details:

    Course     Length    Climb   Controls   Map Scale
    White      1.7 km     20 m       9       1:5000  
    Yellow     2.4 km     40 m      13       1:5000
    Brown      3.0 km     75 m      13       1:4000  
    Contour    3.5 km     80 m      10       1:7500
    Green      5.4 km    195 m      15       1:7500

Beginners should be aware that the course lengths shown are the cumulative straight-line distances between controls. Your actual distance will be somewhat 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.

Be sure to read the Course Setter’s Notes for more information.

What to Bring

You might want to consider the possibility of rain ... and bring warm clothes for after you complete your course(s). Actually, you might want to bring warm clothes to wear while you complete your course(s), since the forecast (,-122.72/date/2022-12-04?cm_ven=localwx_modtomorrow) is for a high temperature of 56°F (after 2:00 PM) and "feels like" temperatures below 50°F until after noon.

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

For the 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 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).

Driving Directions

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 Farmers 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: 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 CityBus #8 (Bennett Valley), which has an hourly stop near the intersection of Summerfield and Hoen. From there, you will walk about 0.9 mile, following the Driving Directions above. Please check this website ( for bus details.