WHAT ARE THEY?
Each spring, the Buffalo Orienteering Club sets up a course of 15 to 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, Erie County Forest – Sardinia, and Sprague Brook Park and Knox Farm State Park. They will be up until March 31st of the following year.
WHERE CAN I PURCHASE THEM?
Packets can be purchased 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:
- By mail or online from the club. Order from the club online here or use this order form to order from the club by mail. If ordering directly from the club there is a set of all 6 Erie County Park map hikes for sale. There is a $3.00 shipping charge per order for orders of 1-19 maps. Shipping is free for orders of 20 or more maps.
- Members receive a 15% discount code that can be used when ordering directly from the club. If you’d like to become a member you can do so here. Codes are emailed out to members, but if you believe you are a member and would like to request the code you can do so by sending us an email.
- For the 2022 and 2023 seasons there is an option to order directly from the club a pack of 5 maps, excluding Sprague Brook Park, due to the 2023 Masters Nationals being held in Sprague Brook. In the interest of fair play, users of the Sprague Brook Park map who enter the 2023 event will not be eligible for awards or ranking points.
- At all local meets. See the schedule on our home page.
- Online from Hyatt’s – All Things Creative.
- The Hyatt’s store in Buffalo NY.
- The Gear for Adventure stores in Hamburg, NY or Amherst, NY
HOW TO DO IT?
- Using the map, navigate to the locations indicated by the small 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. A minimum number of controls depending on the park 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. You can also check the club Facebook group or report a possible missing control there as well.
- There is no on-site event management for map hikes. Purchasing the map serves as agreement to a waiver in which you fully accept all risks and responsibilities for losses, costs and damages you incur as a result of your participation in this event, and that you release the Buffalo Orienteering Club, Erie County and OUSA from any liability. A copy of the waiver is posted here.
- After completing a map hike cards can be submitted digitally by clicking here.
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.
Note: There will be no on-site event management, for permanent courses. Downloading the map serves as agreement to a waiver in which you fully accept all risks and responsibilities for losses, costs and damages you incur as a result of your participation in this event, and that you release the Buffalo Orienteering Club, Erie County and OUSA from any liability. A copy of the waiver is posted here.
Cazenovia Park Photo-O
Download the map and the document below to participate in the Cazenovia Park Photo-O. Navigate to the areas circled on the map and determine which photo was taken at each location. Once you’ve completed the course you are eligible to receive a certificate of completion by emailing your answers to Dave Cady at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chestnut Ridge Park
A six control permanent course is available on the casino side of Chestnut Ridge Park. The map and instructions for how to complete the course can be found here. You can complete that course at any time.
Delaware Park Map Adventure
The Delaware Park Map Adventure provides a way to get outside, use your orienteering skills and enjoy some trivia too! To participate in the Delaware Park Map Adventure first, download the map of Delaware Park and download the question sheet. Next, print the map and the question sheet. The map shows 15 locations indicated by numbered control circles. Navigate to each point and then answer the corresponding question. Remember to observe proper social distancing. The locations can be visited in any order. A certificate of completion is also available by emailing your answers to Dave Cady. Download the map and question sheet and get started!