Mountain Lake Permanent Orienteering Course
The sport of orienteering involves using a topographic map and a compass to find orange and white markers (called controls) that are placed out in the woods at specific locations.

I've built (with help from Brian Mayer and Teresa Burke) a course located at Mountain Lake near Pembroke, Virginia (directions). It consists of  24 controls  to find plus the Start/Finish control. But, you don't have to find them all. The first 6 are close to the hotel and lake, and are also close to the trails. A nice intermediate challenge would be to get the first 10 controls (A-J).

All you need to walk/run a course is the orienteering course map, a control clue card and a compass. You also might want to bring some water and food.

Each of the points has an orange and white control (see picture) with an orienteering punch (a small stapler) in it. These controls are a bit more weather proof than standard orienteering flags. (Thanks to Dave Adamczyk for some great design ideas.) Each punch also has a word written on it. You can either write down the words or punch (staple) the appropriate box on the control card. Here's the answer key for the punch patterns.

If you are just writing down the words written on the controls, here's the answer key for them.

For a bigger challenge, use the map without the controls plotted and plot them yoursleves from the UTM coordinates in this list of controls.

If you discover any problems (missing controls, inaccuracies, etc) or have any suggestions, please email and let me know.

Here are step by step instructions for doing the course.

Good luck and have fun!

Control with Punch

Maps/Materials for the Course

Map With Controls Plotted (and Hints)
Map Without Controls Plotted
Mountain Lake Trails Map

Control Cards
List of Controls
Blank Punch Card (to use on course)

Answer Keys
Punch Card Answer Key
List of Controls With Answer Words

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