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​Orienteering at State Parks

Called “the art of map and compass reading,” this recreational activity dates back more than 100 years by using “low-tech” tools to navigate the landscape.

Often set as a timed challenge, orienteering is a fun way to exercise and build wilderness survival skills.

The following state parks have permanently established orienteering courses and open to use by the general public:

French Creek State Park

The art of map and compass reading has made French Creek State Park a favorite stop for novices and experts. Considered by some as the “orienteering capital of North America,” French Creek has developed a permanent self-guiding course for use by visitors of all ages.

Maps of the course are available at the park office.

Greenwood Furnace State Park

The self-guiding course at Greenwood Furnace State Park starts across the road from the Visitor Center/Park Office.

Maps of the course are available at the visitor center/park office.

Hickory Run State Park

The three permanent orienteering courses at Hickory Run State Park are a joint venture of the Delaware Valley Orienteering Association.

The beginner course in the Sand Spring Day Use Area takes at least an hour to complete. An advanced course begins near the Saylorsville Dam and takes about four hours to complete.

Maps of the course are available at the park office.

Kings Gap Environmental Education Center

A permanent orienteering course is located at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center. Additional information on orienteering and copies of beginner course maps are available at the education building foyer.

“Introduction to Orienteering” programs are offered in fall and spring.

Pine Grove Furnace State Park

Pine Grove Furnace State Park features a self-guided course starts at the Fuller Lake Day Use Area picnic grove. 

Maps of the course are available at the park office.

Prince Gallitzin State Park

The orienteering courses at Prince Gallitzin State Park have three levels of difficulty consisting of 30 control points around the Muskrat Beach Area and is great for both new and advanced orienteers.

Course levels begin at “Beginner,” then progress to “Intermediate,” and “Advanced.”

Course maps, control cards, and answer codes may be picked up at the Prince Gallitzin Main Office lobby area.

The course is a partnership between Prince Gallitzin State Park and the Western Pennsylvania Orienteering Club.

Promised Land State Park

Promised Land State Park offers beginner and intermediate orienteering courses located at the Rock Oak Ridge Trailhead, near the Pines Campground.

Orienteering course brochures can be obtained at the park office. Loaner compasses can be borrowed at the park office and the Masker Museum.

Yellow Creek State Park

Yellow Creek State Park offers a small orienteering course on the north shore near the camping cottages.

Maps of the course are available at the park office.