What is Orienteering?
ORIENTEERING involves using a special detailed map to choose and follow the best route from one control (checkpoint) to the next. ‘Best’ route depends on YOU; it could be the shortest, or flattest, or smoothest or driest, or least prickly or the most certain to find the control easily. It all depends on skill level and physical ability and personal preference. To see a sample “leg” on an advanced loop/course with route choices click here.
It is important to keep the map oriented with the terrain. Often, especially in the City Parks, this can be done by lining up obvious, visible features, such as a trail or a river, with the corresponding features on the map. In the forest, where obvious features may not be visible, lining up the north arrows on the map with a compass needle does the job. Illustration
Orienteering can be enjoyed by all as a sport or as a recreational activity. You can RUN, JOG or HIKE the course. You can do it ON YOUR OWN, WITH A FRIEND or AS A FAMILY. (In a competition, the competitive orienteer has to compete on his/her own, but there will also be recreational courses for hikers, couples and families).
For the competitive orienteer, fastest one round the course (loop), wins. For the recreational orienteer, there is the personal satisfaction of finding the controls, at the same time as having an enjoyable hike, jog or run through the woods.
Participants of any age or experience are welcome at all Edmonton Orienteering events. Every event, from a low-key city park event to a major championship, has instruction included in the entry fee and an easy course/loop for beginners.
You don’t need special equipment to get started – just wear clothes suitable for the weather and old comfy shoes. For forest events, as a safety precaution, you must carry a whistle – bring your own or buy one at the event for $1. You can rent a compass at forest events for a small fee.
The Edmonton Overlanders Orienteering Club runs regular events in city parks and in the forest, from mid April until September. Just turn up at the place and time indicated in the schedule.
Registration is now open for the Fall session of Kids Run Wild, the club’s active outdoor program for kids from 7 to 16.
Wed July 30 - Whitemud South – access west off 119/122 Street, just south of the Whitemud Freeway. Follow the park road down under the freeway and park in the parking lot outside the Rainbow Valley Campground. Location
Wed Aug 6 – Kinsmen Park, at the bottom of Walterdale Hill and Queen Elizabeth Park Roads, which are both one-way streets northbound. Location
Wed Aug 13 – Hermitage Park – east end of Hermitage Road, off Victoria Trail, just north of the Yellowhead. Location
Wed Aug 20 – East side of Mill Creek, 88 Avenue / 95 Street (Ecole Maurice-Lavallee) Location
Wed Aug 27 – Laurier – south end of Buena Vista Road, near the zoo. Location NB: the northern half of the map area is an off-leash dog area.
Registration for Wednesday evening park events in September is from 6:00 – 7:00pm, with increasingly earlier course closing times and shorter course lengths.
Wed Sept 3 – Strathcona Science Park – off 17th Street NW, just south of the Yellowhead Hwy or 2.5 km north of 101 Avenue; once in the park, turn right to the ski chalet parking lot. Location
Wed Sept 10 – Capilano Park – south side of the river, at the end of 50th Street. Roofed shelter, plus washrooms. Location
Wed Sept 17 - Hawrelak Park, picnic shelter #2, two-thirds of the way round the one-way system, close to the pedestrian bridge across the river. Location
Wed Sept 24 – Rundle Park, – access off 118 Avenue at Abbottsfield Road or 113 Avenue near 30 Street. Registration will be on the south side of the ACT Centre, which is towards the south end of the park. Location