He said the course is a little bit like a treasure hunt. You have a detailed map, and at each of the points you try to find, there’s an orange and white flag there, along with an electronic timer that records you’ve found the location and the time you arrived there.
“The format of the event is the same every year, but the courses are always different. We put the control markers in different places, so that it is always a new and different challenge.,” Minium said.
Beginners will receive instructions and pointers from the event leaders. Those that have never participated before can expect to cover the distance of about a mile, all on the park’s main trails. For more advanced courses, the navigation moves off trail, and the distance becomes longer. All participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather conditions.
“We had about 90 individual participants last year. People come for many different reasons. Some just like to get outside and get a little exercise, while enjoying the natural environment that MetroParks strives to preserve. Others enjoy the challenge of competing and trying up complete a course in the shortest possible time,” Minium said
For those more experienced, there will be a New Year’s Eve night course on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at Camp Timberhill, starting at 6 p.m. Pre-registration by email is encouraged.
HOW TO GO
What: New Year's Day Orienteering
Where: Rentschler Forest MetroPark, Camp Timberhill, 3976 Hamilton-Middletown Road, just north of Hamilton. (The camp entrance is on the west side of Ohio 4 between Bypass 4 and Liberty-Fairfield Road.) Watch for a narrow gravel drive on the left with MetroParks "Timberhill" sign, immediately before Innovative Labeling Solutions.
When: Wednesday, Jan. 1, start anytime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., approximate one-hour course.
Event fees: $10 for (OCIN) members and $15 for non-members. MetroParks of Butler County vehicle permit is 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: Visit www.OCIN.org and www.yourmetroparks.net, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Events are held rain, shine, or snow.