“Corona” courses at Briones

Table of contents

Briones Regional Park, North Entrance

Dates: March 23, 2020 to ??
Location: Lafayette, CA
Course Setter:
Type: Training; Two streamered courses for practice/exercise during the shutdown (at the NORTH park entrance)

Photo gallery image (click to enlarge)

September 3rd Update

Briones Regional Park is currently open. You can check the status here (https://www.ebparks.org/parks/briones/default.htm).

General Notes:

Note: The Alhambra parking lot was closed April 11–12, 2020, and could be closed again in the future. Walk-in access was permitted during the closure (the walk from Reliez Valley Rd to the Start Triangle is 1.5 km). You might want to check the EBRPD news (https://www.ebparks.org/news/releases.htm) before heading out to the park.

Do you have Covid-cabin-itis? If you want to get outdoors, exercise, and do some “real” orienteering, here is a suggestion: Try a Briones Corona course.

I pink-streamered two courses at Briones Regional Park​—​a Brown course and a Green course. The maps are here (PDF/1.3MB).

A Google Sheet for registration is here (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1phi_dLlq0PEd7bxjSeuWUJPcsRuXWpVZUx259DYamls/edit?usp=sharing). Please use it to enter your expected start time, as well as your time on the course.

This is just for fun, so everything is on the honor system: time yourself, “punch” at each control by getting within 2 meters of it (like an air punch, and no need to touch anything).


The location is the Alhambra entrance, on the north side of Briones Park. It’s nicer there than the SW side. The coordinates of the parking and Finish area are 37.956686,-122.123205.

There is plenty of parking. There were lots of cars in the lot on Sunday when I set the courses, but I never got within 100 feet of anyone at any time​—​orienteering is quite unique in that regard! The picnic area is closed because of the virus; so is all the drinking water and the restrooms.

Course Notes

Briones conditions are spectacular right now​—​best I have ever seen in the past 30 years of regular venturing into Briones!! The grass is short and smooth, footing is soft but not muddy, birds and wildlife are having a blast. There is very little poison oak on the courses​—​what there is, is easily avoided.

The courses are very runnable. Technical difficulty is appropriate, with some decent navigation challenges and route-choice options. There is one fence/gate to cross, near the end.

The course statistics are:

    Course   Length   Climb   Controls
    Brown    3.6 km   147 m      11  
    Green    4.8 km   204 m      14

The controls themselves are almost all “on the ground” at the feature​—​a 1-foot-long pink streamer, usually attached to a stick. Some are hanging, also close to the ground.

The map is getting a bit old. I have made zero map corrections. There are a lot of rootstocks not on the map, and some rootstocks on the map are almost gone. The vegetation boundaries are pretty good, except for the many fallen trees. The contours are good.

Please print your own map. If you can’t print a map, there is a small wooden box attached to the notice board at the gate entrance. It is labelled “orienteering”, and was placed there by Malcolm 16 years ago when he built the permanent course. There are a few maps in it, with map cases. However, it’s best if you give me a call, send a text, or email if you would like me to leave a map for you in the box, since I know the public tends to take them, and they may be all gone when you get there. I will wear gloves when I handle the maps and map cases.


Please be aware of the following:


If you’d like to donate to the club for this, please do so at a future event ... whenever that is.

It’s John Crowther’s birthday tomorrow (March 24). If you see him out there, I’m sure he’d be happy to yell greetings with you from some massive (>6-foot) distance.

Again, you don’t need to touch anything, and you don’t need to get anywhere near anyone else. Of course, you are on your own recognizance, at your own risk.

Have fun!


(March 23, 2020)


Per popular request, I have set up the Briones “Corona” training courses on RouteGadget. Visit RouteGadget for an introduction or go directly here (http://baoc.org/gadget/cgi/reitti.cgi) to draw your route.

Since there was no E-punch, the event is set up using "no results" mode, where competitors need to enter their name, total time, and any cumulative splits that they might have taken.

Note that if you are uploading a GPS track, you don't need to enter your total time or splits.

You can also draw your route even if you didn't take any splits​—​just enter your name and total time.

Note that RouteGadget requires cumulative splits. Both splits and total time need to be entered in MMMSS format. For example, 0:57 is entered as "57", 5 min 43 sec as "543", and 1:12:32 as "7232". That's easy.

Note regarding GPS tracks:

Note that since there are no E-punch splits, it's very challenging for RouteGadget to fit GPS tracks to the course automatically, especially as our maps are not georeferenced. Thus, more manual adjustment will be needed needed than usual.
When you upload your GPS track, there are three blue adjustment points that you can move to adjust your track. There are typically points at the start and finish of the track, and a third one somewhere in the middle of the track.
The trick is to add more blue adjustment points by right-clicking the track anywhere you would like to add a new point. I typically add a blue dot at every control location on my track, as those are easy to identify because of the notable direction change. Then I just drag the blue dots to the corresponding control locations on the course. Note that you can remove a blue dot by right-clicking on it.

To see other RouteGadget events worldwide, visit http://www.routegadget.net (http://www.routegadget.net).

Happy Routes,

(April 13, 2020)