WHAT ARE THEY?
Each spring, the Buffalo Orienteering Club sets up a course of 25 controls at several Erie County Parks for the avid orienteer or the casual hiker to experience at their leisure. In early spring, MAP HIKES will be created at Chestnut Ridge Park, Emery Park, Hunters Creek Park, Sardinia County Forest, and Sprague Brook Park and Knox Farm State Park. They will be up until February of the following year.
Chestnut Ridge Park
A six control permanent course is available on the casino side of Chestnut Ridge Park. The map and punch card can be downloaded here so you can complete that course at any time.
Schoellkopf Boy Scout Camp
A permanent course is available. Scroll down on the Boys Scouts of America reservation page to find links to the map, instructions and punch card.
EMERY MAP ADVENTURE
At the 2018 Annual Meeting the orienteering event was the Emery Map Adventure which required participants to find the locations marked on the map and answer questions about what was located at each place. The questions could only be answered by being at the correct location. It was a fun and creative O-game that could be played at any time. Anyone can try the Emery Map Adventure by downloading the map and questions below and then checking responses using the answer key.
WHERE CAN I PURCHASE THEM?
Packets can be purchased at $7.00 for each park and include a five color map with marked control locations, a control card, instructions and a plastic map case. They are available at the following locations:
- At all local meets. See the schedule on our home page.
- Online from Hyatt’s – All Things Creative.
- The Hyatt’s stores in Buffalo and Clarence, NY.
- The Gear for Adventure store in Hamburg, NY.
- By mail from the club. A special price of $36 is available only from the club for the set of all 6 Erie County Park map hikes. Please use this order form.
HOW TO DO IT?
- Using the map, navigate to the locations indicated by the small purple or red circles. Use the control description as a clue to the feature nearby the control. Map Hike Control Marker
- At the location, you’ll find a 4″ x 4″ red and white marker mounted to a nearby tree or post. This is called a “control”.
- The number on the control will correspond to the number by the circle on the map. Also on the control will be a two letter “code”. Copy that code in the numbered box on the control card.
- You can visit the controls in any order you wish. It may take a few visits to locate all of the controls.
- When finished, put proper postage on the control card and drop it in the mail. Minimum of 20 controls found is required for entry into prize drawing. Prizes are awarded at our annual spring meeting.
- If a control is missing or damaged, please report it to Phillip Wolfling at 832-9758.
HINTS FOR SUCCESSFUL ORIENTEERING
- “Map Hiking” is a great family or group activity. But, if you go by yourself, tell someone where you are going.
- “Orient” the map every time you look at it. That is, turn the map so that the map North points toward Magnetic North as shown by a compass. This will put the map “in sync” with the terrain and will make it easier to read.
- Have a plan in mind for which features to follow to get to the control, such as a road, trail or stream.
- Hold the map in your hand with your thumb firmly planted on your current location. Fold it up to make this easier. When you next look at the map it will be easier to “locate” yourself.
- The controls are small, only four inches square, and flat, so you may have to look carefully to see some of them. In general, if you are at the feature described in the “Control Descriptions” and you turn in a circle, you’ll spot it.
- Use the plastic case to carry the map. It will protect the map from moisture and tearing.
- Keep in mind that all maps are drawn by people, not by divine powers, so the mapper’s decisions on what to show and how to show it might not be the same as what your decisions would have been. Do not be surprised if you come across new features that are not shown on the map. Remember, everything that’s on the map is out there, but everything that’s out there may not be on the map. We think you will be impressed by the accuracy of the map.
- If you enjoy the MAP HIKES, you may wish to consider joining the Buffalo Orienteering Club. We sponsor Orienteering activities in other parks and forests throughout the year including Ski-Orienteering in the winter.