Rock Springs Run State Reserve
Saturday Sep 17, 2022 

Staging area at the Horse Barn
what3words address:

What's this?
Driving Directions from w3w?
Driving Directions: Use this w3w address and follow the new paved road (details below)

FLO: Registration opens about 9:00 am, first starts at 9:30 am.
JROTC: Safety briefing 0930, first starts 1000
We expect all JROTC units to have pre-registered.


Welcome back to live orienteering with FLO's season opener event this Saturday 9/17

Venue Notes

RSRSR -  This is the first event right after the summer growing season, so while the grass might be mowed around the staging area, expect grass and other undergrowth to be high over most of the map.  In some areas, the grass is thigh-high and briars are abundant, so leg protection is STRONGLY recommended.  Prickly Pear cactus are also plentiful here, and they sport spines that can go clean through the toe or upper of a shoe if accidentally kicked, so wear tough shoes and watch where you step.  Another recommendation is to treat your shoes, socks, and pants with insect repellent containing DEET or Permethrin, as the ticks and chiggers are open for business.  Treating your clothing up to the waist with repellent is good protection against such nuisances.

Animal life is also plentiful in the park. We encountered deer, turkeys, gopher tortoises, and various birds while doing the prep work leading up to this event.  Also, please note that there is horseback riding in RSRSR, and you may encounter riders while out in the park.  Running toward or past a horse can spook it, leading to highly unfortunate events (or at the very least, angry riders who will complain to park officials).  If you encounter horses, STOP RUNNING, verbally announce your presence so that horses and riders know you're there, yield right-of-way, and be courteous.  Play nice in the sandbox.

As of this writing, the forecast for this Saturday looks quite nice, with an unseasonably cool high of 83!  It will still be humid though, so you should plan ahead and carry plenty of water for hydration.  Bottles of water or sports drinks work, but hydration packs worn on the back are best because they carry more volume and leave your hands free.  Carry more liquid than you think you will need because you may be out on your course longer than you expect.  Also plan to have more to drink when you return from your course.

The construction on SR 46 seems to finally be settling, and the official RSR entrance has finally been moved to the new paved road off Wekiva River Rd.  The bad news is that the changes are recent enough that not all routing apps seem to be fully aware of the current conditions, so be wary about using past directions, GPS targets, or addresses and blindly following your GPS.  In particular, be warned that the new 429 extension now has on/off ramps on 46, and some routing apps seem to want incorrectly route you onto 429 very near the park. This is WRONG - do NOT get onto 429!  Stay on 46 through the roundabouts to get to Wekiva River Rd and follow it south to the park entrance at what3words address


Plug that address into the w3w app, tap "Navigate", and pick your favorite navigation app to get turn-by turn directions to that intersection, then turn right onto the new paved road and follow it to the end.  It will dump you out at the Horse Barn. Turn right there to get to our staging/parking area.

Note that since the official park entrance has now been moved to the new paved road, we can't be sure whether the gate at the old dirt road entrance on the north side of the park will be open or locked.  We recommend that you do not try to come in the old way.

  • White - suitable for absolute beginners. Course is on trails and/or fields.  Length 2.5 km.
  • Yellow - for slightly more advanced beginners. Course is mostly on trails and fields with control points a short distance into the woods. There may be opportunities for those who feel able to take short cuts through the woods. Length 2.9 km.
  • Orange - intermediate difficulty. Mix of on- trail and off-trail, generally relying on the more obvious mapped features. Length 3.8 km.
  • Green - an advanced course off trail and reliant on the subtler features of the terrain. Length 4.9 km.
  • Blue - the longest advanced course, not always offered in smaller parks. Length 7.1 km.
Note that the course lengths mentioned above are measured straight-line from point to point to point.  Your actual route on the ground will often be on more winding trails or diverted around obstacles like ponds or dense tickets, so your actual distance traveled will often be 25-50% longer than the stated course length.

If you are new and/or unsure of which course is right for you, ask us at registration and we will be happy to advise you.  Precise course lengths will be on display at registration to give you an idea of how far you'll be travelling to complete a course.  When in doubt, choose an easier course.  If you complete that one too fast and haven't had enough fun yet, you can trade up to the next harder map and go out again!

As usual, there is a 3 hour time limit on all FLO courses, and all courses close at 3:00 pm (1500 hours). JROTC time limits will be 2 hours Yellow, 2.5 hours Orange, and 3 hours Green.

Safety Bearing: 
NORTHEAST to Ethel Rd.

Typical FLO registration fees are in effect: $7 per Map for FLO members, $9 per Map for non-members and $6 per Map for Groups such as JROTC and Scouts whose leaders register, and pay for, all their groups at once (this group rate minimizes the crowd and the confusion at the registration table and is well worth the discount to FLO registration volunteers!).  In addition, registration will collect the park's $2/person day use fee.

The Map

The map has been updated in various ways, mostly east of CR 433 and in the vicinity of controls.  The elevation contours were redrawn last year from LIDAR data at 1m intervals, providing a bit more topographical detail than we had previously.

Misc Notes:
In the event you choose to spend your post-orienteering time horseback riding, It’s only a short walk, but of course there is an extra charge for the rides because they are a commercial enterprise.

We hope you all enjoy the day and this lovely venue. Thanks for coming out, and Bring A Friend!
Course Design: Ray Bruneau (ray@floridaorienteering.org), Bob Putnam (bob@floridaorienteering.org)
Vetting & Map Update: Blaik Mathews 
(blaik@floridaorienteering.org), Joanie Haas (joanie@floridaorienteering.org)
  • Check the weather before coming and bring appropriate clothing.  This includes layers during colder weather, cool moisture-wicking clothing in hotter months, and a waterproof jacket or poncho if rain is a possibility (FLO events run rain or shine!).
  • We recommend wearing supportive shoes with a upper tougher than fabric, particularly if you plan to do a course beyond novice level.  If you plan to do an advanced course, you will likely spend significant time off trail.  Covering your lower legs with outdoor pants or even gaiters will protect you from scratches.
  • It's Florida. Bring sun screen and bug spray as appropriate.
  • DO NOT FORGET TO BRING WATER.  Each competitor is expected to carry their own water or to be sufficiently hydrated before competing.  And let’s not kid ourselves about this hydrating thing: Plan on carrying your own water even though it’s an option, because if you become lost or disoriented, you may be spending more time out there than you planned. Stay hydrated. It may be warm and there will be no water on the courses. Carrying a little extra can also let you be a hero to someone else who didn't plan ahead as well as you did.
  • When registering a group, make sure you tell us the exact number of people who will be in that group.  FLO absolutely needs to know how many people are in each group and what the individual names are. Do not treat this as a choice; this is a safety issue. We hope never to use this information as part of a Search & Rescue effort, but if it is neglected and a search becomes necessary, you can appreciate how vital it may be.
  • The Safety Bearing for all courses will always be PRINTED ON YOUR MAP, and will generally lead to a road or fence that will guide you back to the finish.
  • If you become severely lost or injured, or lose your map and/or compass: If you are at a control, stay there until help arrives. Bail out to the Safety Bearing ONLY if you are CERTAIN you now know which way is the way back.
  • Carry a whistle and know how to use it: If in trouble, give 3 short blasts on the whistle, and repeat every few minutes until found. If you hear another wistle answer back (single blast), respond with your 3 blasts every time they signal so they can home in on you.
  • If you have a smartphone, carry it with you and use the Livelox app to record your hike (see info below).  With Livelox and cell signal, event staff can monitor your position and movements in real time, which is VERY handy if you should become lost.
  • An emergency contact number will also be printed on your map.  If you get in trouble or see someone else who is, call in for help.
  • At some of our venues, there may be horse trails with riders on horseback.  Running toward or past a horse can spook it, leading to highly unfortunate events (or at the very least, angry riders who will complain to park officials).  If you encounter horses, STOP RUNNING, yield right-of-way, and be courteous.  Play nice in the sandbox.
Florida Orienteering is a non-profit entity and our entire operation runs on the efforts of volunteers - people who love the sport, love the outdoors, and love sharing the experience of enjoying Florida's unique and beautiful natural spaces.  We are always on the lookout for new friends who share these interests and are willing to help - so if you have some time to share, please volunteer!

We always need people to help out at every event - even an hour or two really helps.  We will train any skills needed.  Possible duties include setup or take-down, registration, start table, finish table, Livelox monitoring, and control retrieval (starting at 3pm).

Contact the event coordinator listed above or email Blaik at 
blaik@floridaorienteering.org.   Let them know you can volunteer for a few hours either early (9:00 to noon) or late (noon-3:00), and whether there is anything in particular you’d like to do. 

SPECIAL NOTE - Volunteering for Control Retrieval at the end of the event is one of the best ways to learn the skill of navigation!  Adventure Racers and JROTC Cadets, especially the AR’s who like to run two or three courses, should consider Retrieval as an alternative training exercise.
Livelox GPS logging is also now available at all FLO events.  This technology allows you to use any smartphone to record a GPS track of your course and have it automatically overlaid on your course map after you finish.  This is a lot of fun and is an extremely popular way to enhance your enjoyment of your orienteering experience.

Using Livelox also offers an additional layer of safety, as it allows event staff to locate you if you should ever become lost.  Livelox is free to use and very easy to set up on your smartphone - see the video below for details:

Livelox Setup Instructions:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urpc6pzE0f8
SportIdent “e-punch” timing is now the required method of timing at all FLO events.  In addition to providing more information about your course, it also lightens the workload of accurate record-keeping, scoring, tracking, and results posting for FLO event staff and volunteers.  If you don’t own an e-punch finger stick, one can be easily rented for $3 at registration.  E-punch sticks can also be purchased for $30 (or $27 after rental) and used at orienteering events worldwide. For more information on e-punch timing see the intro video linked below:

 Training Video on “E-Punch” Timing & Finger Sticks:
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