There is nothing to compare to actually orienteering in the woods, but look at the map above to get an idea of what an orienteering course is like. The comments explain how one might complete the course. While all controls must be visited in sequence, the route you take is your own choice.
Point 1 (Bend in the trail): The triangle marks the starting point. You see you are on a large trail and should follow it until it forks, then turn right. Immediately the path forks again and you go right again to the sharp bend where the first red and white marker hangs. You punch your score card and examine your map to choose your next route.
Point 2 (Hill): You decide to follow the trail south to the junction and turn right, then onward to the next right turn, then a left turn. You notice the trail going slightly downhill then slightly up again. This must be the small hill. You look to the left and see the second control.
Point 3 (Stream junction): It would probably be best to go back to the trail and follow it to the stream then go southwest to the next stream junction.
Point 4 (Large boulder, west side): If you continue to go downstream you will soon pass one boulder then another which is south of the stream bed and a third boulder in the stream. This is your place to turn east to the larger boulder, there it is!
Point 5 (Fork in the ditch): You go south a short distance to the trail and start uphill. The trail bends north and you pass two buildings, then turn right at the trail junction and come to the ditch.
Point 6 (Clearing, west corner): It is a long way around on the trails to the clearing so you decide to try your compass. You set your compass toward the corner of the clearing. Then after studying the map you see that if you wandered slightly to the north nothing is there to stop you, so you decide to go a little bit south on your compass bearing. The large trails will catch you from going too far. You follow your compass into the woods and pass a pond, boulder cluster and a well. A quick check of the map shows you are right on. Soon you see a bright spot in the woods. It must be the clearing, that was easy.
Point 7 (Knoll): You go east through the clearing to the trail, go northeast to the small trail and turn right. The small trail leads you to the stream, you continue downstream to the junction and follow the other fork upstream and soon see your knoll.
Point 8 (Trail junction): You follow the stream up to the end and continue in the same direction to the trail then turn right to the junction. You have found the last control and follow streamers to the finish line (the double circle).
At the finish you find refreshments, smiles and laughter. Everybody is comparing their routes and telling of their own adventure. There were others completing the course faster than you, but you found them all, you feel like a winner.
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