Orienteering offers outdoor, family-friendly activity for New Year’s

Those looking for an outdoor activity to do on New Year’s Day may want to participate in an annual orienteering event that will be held at Camp Timberhill on Sunday, Jan. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We started a tradition by offering New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day events. We felt like it was a family-friendly activity for people to do,” said Mike Minium, event director, Orienteering Cincinnati.

Minium said the event is designed for everyone, from beginners to those with a more advanced training. It will feature a range of different courses for various ages and skill levels.

For those with more advanced skills, there will be a New Year’s Eve night course on Saturday, Dec. 31 at Camp Timberhill from 8 p.m. to midnight. Pre-registration is requested.

Orienteering is an internationally recognized sport that requires navigational skills using a map and a compass to move through series of checkpoints in a diverse environment, usually in unfamiliar terrain. The sport can be enjoyed as a walk in the woods or as a more competitive activity.

With the course, participants use a detailed topographic map of the park to find a series of checkpoints. A standard course generally consists of a start, a series of control sites or checkpoints that are marked by circles, connected by lines and numbered in the order they are to be visited, and a finish. There are typically eight to 15 checkpoints per course. The map is the main tool participants use. However, some participants may choose to use a compass.

“This is an opportunity to get outside, and to get some exercise, and to burn off some of the calories they may have indulged in the night before, and hopefully, they will have a good time participating,” Minium said.

How to go

What: New Year's Day Orienteering

Where: Camp Timberhill, 3976 Hamilton-Middletown Rd., just north of Hamilton.

When: Sunday, Jan. 1, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., approximate one-hour course.

Event Fees: $10 for non-members (includes a map and a timing chip), OCIN members will receive a discount. MetroParks of Butler County vehicle permit required and may be purchased at the event. $5 daily, $10 annually, park permit is free for Butler County residents with an ID.

More info: At www.OCIN.org, or by emailing Mike Minium at mikeminium@aol.com.

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