Orienteering at Pound Ridge Reservation

imageHudson Valley Orienteering (HVO) is the local Orienteering chapter of the national Orienteering USA organization.  HVO held their first event of 2011 at Pound Ridge Reservation on March 12, 2011.  It is good to have them back in the park.  If you are not familiar with the sport, here is an explanation of Orienteering from their website:

“Orienteering is a fun outdoor activity in which you run (or walk) a course in the woods, using only a map and compass to guide you. Control locations are marked on your map and your goal is to find them in the woods. This can be as competitive as you want; from a nice relaxed stroll in the woods, to making your competitors eat your dust!

It is enjoyed by kids, families, groups, individuals and is good training for adventure racers.

Also known as the “Thinking Sport”: it is not always the fastest runner who wins.”

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation has a rich history of Orienteering, going back to the very beginnings of the sport in the United States.  Did you know that the 3rd annual U.S. Orienteering Championships were held at the our very own Ward Pound Ridge Reservation?  It’s all here in this Sports Illustrated Vault article: http://www.si.com/vault/1972/12/18/617618/new-world-within-ones-compass. (PDF archive here in case the article disappears from the SI site again.)

Bjorn Kjellstrom (obituary), the inventor of the modern compass, lived in Pound Ridge from the 1950s to his death in 1995 and founded the United States Orienteering Federation.  He helped develop the trail system in the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.  He produced the first Orienteering (a word he also invented) maps in the US, starting with the Reservation.  The map he created for the reservation is still sold at the Trailside Nature Museum.

Orienteering and Trail running are close cousins in the sporting world.  Next time there is an HVO event nearby, check it out!