Brazos Bend State Park
Volunteer Organization   
Gator Hatch

Brazos Bend State Park Orienteering Courses

Orienteering is the skill of using a map and compass to find your way through unfamiliar terrain and to locate landmarks without getting lost.   There are 2 permanent course set up at the park.

The Nature Center course is set up to serve as an introduction to orienteering.  The 2-kilometer course begins and ends at the flagpole in front of the Nature Center at Brazos Bend State Park.  Each of the 12 Control Points (CPs) consists of a 4” x 4” green post with a number and letter on it.

Nature Center Orienteering Course maps and worksheets can be downloaded as PDF file containing:

  • Beginner - Map: basic map with maximum levels of detail that can be used by beginners for the course.
  • Intermediate - Map: “Blind” map gives Control Points with no other landmarks to make the exercise more difficult. Places significant emphasis on compass skills.
  • Advanced - Map: map minimal terrain features; Control Points are not plotted, user will need to plot CPs onto map using grid coordinates provided in the Intermediate/advanced level worksheet. In addition to emphasizing compass skills, it also requires and reinforces skills in plotting using UTM grid coordinates.
  • Beginner - Worksheet: worksheet to fill in azimuths and distances from each Control Point to the next when using the Beginner map, along with the alpha code from each Control Point found.
  • Intermediate/Advanced - Worksheet: alternate worksheet to fill in bearings and distances and Control Points when using the course at intermediate or advanced levels - for advanced level the worksheet provides the UTM grid coordinates for all Control Points, needed to plot them on the map.

The Hale Lake course is set up to serve as a beginner-friendly competitive orienteering course.  The 5-kilometer course begins and ends near the east end of the Hale Lake parking lot. Each of the 14 Control Points (CPs) consists of a 4” x 4” white post with an orange blaze, a number and letter on it.

The Hale Lake Orienteering Course map and worksheet can be downloaded as PDF files containing:

  • Map: detailed 1:24000 scale topographic map using USGS data, depicting the location of all Control Points but not the numerical designation for each Control Point (other than the Start and Finish). The user can use the UTM grid coordinates from the worksheet to annotate the numeric designation of each CP, or to make the course a little easier, use the map on the kiosk near the Start CP, which does indicate the numeric designation for each CP.
  • Worksheet: worksheet to identify the numeric designation for each CP, using the UTM coordinates provided; to fill in bearings and distances; and once a CP is located, note the alpha code shown on the CP post.
  • Instructions for printing the Hale Lake course map in order to retain the 1:24000 scale.

Updated: Oct 01, 2021