Orienteering in Williamstown

Williamstown is in the northwestern corner of Massachusetts, and is home to Williams College, which has an active outing club that includes an orienteering section headed by Dave Vosburg (David.A.Vosburg@williams.edu). Williamstown is also the home of Pat Dunlavey (mapping coordinator of the 1993 World Orienteering Championships; pdunlave@williams.edu ), and Heather Williams (who represented the US at four World Orienteering Championships; hwilliams@williams.edu ).

Williams College owns the Hopkins Memorial Forest, a center for forestry research and an area used for recreation by college students and town residents (motorized vehicles and mountain bikes are prohibited). The Hopkins Forest covers approximately 13 km2 of forest land, rising from its eastern edge at the Hoosic River (elevation 150 m) to the crest of the Taconic Mountains (elevation 750 m), and includes the point at which Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York meet. A map of the forest, with photogrammetry by Ivar Helgesen and Pat Dunlavey, field work by Mikell Platt and Pat Dunlavey, and drawn by Pat Dunlavey, was completed in 1994 (contours 5m. 1:10,000). A color version of the map is expected soon.

Because the Hopkins Forest is an experimental forest, its use for orienteering is provisional, based upon responsible low-impact conduct by orienteers at designated events. Possession of a map should not be construed as permission to explore off-trail areas.

Score-orienteering at Hopkins Forest

A score-orienteering event was held on Sunday, October 15th at 1:00 PM, at the Rosenburg Center; the event finished at 3:00 PM. In a "score" event, the object is to visit (and punch in to verify your visit) as many control sites as possible within the allotted time. Each control site you visit is allocated a given number of points between 1 and 10; more points for sites that are farther away and harder to find. By punching in at a site, you receive the points allocated to the site; however, one point is deducted for each minute you stay out beyond 3:00 PM. The winner(s) of the event are those whose final net score is the highest.
Map of Hopkins Forest with the score-orienteering control sites and the winner's route.

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