Field Trips

Introduction to Basic Orienteering

Grade Level:
High School: Ninth Grade through Twelfth Grade

This program can be guided or self-guided. In the guided option, a ranger will assist with instructions at the beginning of the program. The rest of the activity is the same. The activity can take a short as 1.5 hours or as long as a day long activity.

What is Orienteering?

Orienteering is an activity for all ages and levels of fitness and skill, in which the object is to locate control points within the park using a map and compass. It can be enjoyed as a leisurely walk in the woods or as a competitive sport combining the suspense and excitement of a treasure hunt.


Orienteering in The Park

Course maps are available free-of-charge at the visitor center. You check out a map and compass simply by signing them out. Please note that course maps cannot be photocopied and cannot be kept overnight.

There are 30 orienteering courses within the picturesque setting of Prince William Forest Park. The different orienteering courses are designed to challenge orienteers of all levels from the basic beginning to those with more advanced skills.

On even years (2006, 2008, etc.) the even numbered courses 2-28 are available for use. On odd years (2007, 2009, etc.) the odd numbered courses, 1-27 become active. This system is one of the many checks and balances in place to prevent overuse of the courses which can lead to social trails.


Scheduling This Program

If you are not requesting a ranger to assist with this program, you can pick up the maps and compasses first come-first served at the Prince William Forest Park Visitor Center. For more information, visit our Orienteering Page.

For groups that are interested in an introduction to the sport, visit the Prince William Forest Park Educator's Guide.


Last updated: January 28, 2020