Covering 1,463 acres of forest, ponds and open meadows, Lord Hill has some of the best navigation west of the Cascade Mountains. It features rolling hills, a wide-ranging trail network, and enough navigable land to have back-to-back events at each and of a 1:10,000-scale map, with little to no overlap.

It has north and south entrances, but our club routinely uses the South entrance, both for its ample parking and closer access to “the bowl,” an open, grassy area of the map ideal for the arena-style finishes used in larger events.

Since 2014, Lord Hill has been the preferred location for the annual Bog Slog during the winter, and is often used for an event during another season as well.

Note: Samples of the map are provided here for educational purposes only; the map shown here is not kept up-to-date. The course shown is a Beginner/Intermediate course, and actual controls do not exist in the terrain.

The purpose of providing these navigational and physical ratings below is to provide greater context for how challenging an orienteering course at this venue might be. For example, an advanced-level course at a local city park will be easier to complete than an advanced-level course in the mountains.

Navigational Challenge Rating: 8

Lord Hill Park is mainly comprised of trails, trees, and ferns. Other than trails, there are few man-made features here. Some pockets of the park are trail-less, allowing advanced course design, in which the only route options are completely off-trail. As the vegetation is relatively uniform, pace counting can be a useful tool when deciding when to get off-trail. Contour reading and compass skills will be paramount when off-trail.

Physical Challenge Rating: 9

Lord Hill is a really big hill. Several of them, actually. Getting to the top is like the beginning of a roller-coaster ride when your car slowly climbs until it’s above the treetops.

Lord Hill is a popular park, so the trails are well-maintained (except for new ones, of course), and offer good footing. Surfaces range from hard gravel roads to soft single track. Off-trail, there are many tall ferns to contend with. In the early spring, stinging nettle grows in clusters; brushing against them will leave you with a tingling sensation for the rest of the day. To avoid these tingly nuisances, Lord Hill is best in the winter.