Rookies who can't find their way among the oaks can learn a trick or two with a compass and a map Saturday at Folsom Lake during an orienteering meet sponsored by the Gold Country Orienteers of Sacramento. Beginners and experienced orienteers are welcome, said Jennifer Kerr, meet director.
Participants will have a choice of five graded hikes, one for each level. Course setter Marsha Jacobs makes sure the beginners have a challenge they can meet, and instruction is provided.
This outdoor fun is suitable for families, youth groups, nature lovers and adventure racers seeking a mental and physical challenge, Kerr said.
For Saturday, the first-level course will cover 2.2 kilometers, or a little less than 1 1/2 miles, and have eight points to locate with a map, which is provided, and compass, which can be rented for $1. At each map point, the orienteer, whether a single or a team, punches a card.
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The top-level course sends hikers out for a 6.1-kilometer (a little more than 3 3/4-mile) hike with a 300-foot elevation gain and a dozen map points to find as fast as they can. The course is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but most people finish by noon, Kerr said from her Sacramento home. The club puts on about eight meets a year in spring and fall.
The cost to take part is $5. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., beginner instruction is at 10 a.m., and assigned departure times begin at 10 a.m.
Orienteers will meet in the Granite Bay area of the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. From Sacramento, take Interstate 80 to Douglas Boulevard in Roseville. Go east 6 miles to the park entrance. Park admission is $5. Follow the orienteering signs.