NYC Parks Launches First-Ever Orienteering Course at Alley Pond Park in Queens




Alley Pond Park. Image via NYC Parks Dept.

NYC Parks today launched the City’s first-ever orienteering course, an outdoor recreational experience that builds wilderness survival skills. New Yorkers are invited to download Parks’ orienteering maps to develop their navigational skills while discovering Alley Pond Park’s forested areas, wetlands, scenic spots and wildlife.

Turn off your GPS and follow along……

Alley Park Pond. Image via NYC Parks Dept.

“These days, we’ve become increasingly reliant on navigation apps to get us where we’re going. Orienteering offers New Yorkers a chance to explore their parks by reconnecting with map skills and finding control markers to guide them along the way,” said NYC Parks’ Urban Park Rangers Director Bonnie McGuire. “There’s no right or wrong route to take so your orienteering experience will be different every time. There are 5 courses to choose from or make your own. Let’s start exploring!”

Orienteering is an adventurous map sport that involves finding one’s way through natural terrain using a compass and topographic map. It’s a great way to explore parks and maneuver through the splendor of New York City’s natural world. Whether you’re an experienced hiker, competitive runner, or looking to get outdoors for some family fun, these new orienteering courses will help sharpen your hiking and navigation skills.

Alley Pond Park. Image via NYC Parks Dept.

Parks has created five orienteering courses and maps based on skill level: Beginner 1, Beginner 2, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, and Intermediate 3. Each map features various colors, lines, and shapes that provide users with helpful details to aid in finding their way through unknown terrains. To complete each course, participants must find a series of locations on the map called “control points” in numerical order. Participants are also welcome to design their own course by choosing any combination of control points. To download and print the map of your choice, please visit their website.

Alley Pond Park offers glimpses into New York’s geologic past, its colonial history, and its current conservation efforts. Because of its glacier-formed moraine, the park has numerous unique natural features, like its freshwater and saltwater wetlands, tidal flats, meadows, and forests, which create a diverse ecosystem and support abundant bird life.

What a nice way to socially distance while enjoying our parks.