Arbor Hills Park DIY-O

Arbor Hills Park DIY-O

Photo: Visitplano.com

Arbor Hills DIY-Orienteering Event

Arbor Hills Natural Reserve, Plano, TX

Nov. 19-27, 2022

Located on the western border or Plano, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a 200-acre park featuring vast areas of natural beauty for walking, jogging, hiking, orienteering and other outdoor activities.

This event will be “orienteering without the meet,” as we did here a year ago due to COVID guidelines. In this case, though, we’re doing so at the request of the venue. Arbor Hill Nature Preserve would like us to minimize the impact on the terrain by holding a virtual meet spread over several days rather than have us all descend at once. In the past, this was one of our more popular venues and our events started to get too big. So, we’re thrilled to be back. 

The event will begin when the Preserve opens on Sat., Nov. 19 and extend over 8 days through Sun., Nov. 27. That’s right: This is the perfect post-Thanksgiving outdoor exercise! 

You can choose any day and time you want to orienteer (while the park is open, of course). Think of it as a training event, or a permanent course that lasts only several days. There will be no onsite NTOA presence: no registration tent, no lines, no scoring or DQs, no awards. Just orienteering fun. Bring your own water and gear. Instead of control bags, controls will simply be colorful ribbons hung in the terrain.

General Info

Event Officials

Meet Director & Course Setter: Stan Darnell

Meet Director Notes: click here

Course Setter Notes: click here


We’ll be offering three courses: Yellow (shortest and easiest), Orange (longer and more) and Green (longest and most advanced).


N/A — No awards, so no classes.


Honor system! Feel free to post your finish time, photos or perhaps a picture of your marked-up map in our Facebook Group after the event is over.

Scout Info

A Merit Badge clinic will not be offered, but completing the Yellow course will qualify for the badge. Please contact BSA Liaison Ralph Courtney for instructions on doing the required report.


We’re not charging event fees for this virtual, self-serve event, but donations are always appreciated! NTOA is a non-profit organization. Suggested donation per map: $5.

Schedule & Instructions

Controls will be in the field when the park opens (see hours of operation below) on the morning of Sat., Nov. 19. The event ends when the park closes on Sun., Nov. 27 and controls will be removed on Mon., Nov. 28.

Arbor Hills Nature Reserve: hours of operation

Every day but Wednesday: 5 am to 11 pm

Wednesday: Special hours — 2 pm to 11 pm, closed from 5 am to 2 pm for maintenance


How to participate


1. Click the Proceed button to sign an online waiver — you’ll then be taken to the map print page.

2. Arrange for your own “runner accountability.” We recommend telling a friend or family member where you are going and when you plan to finish. Provide them with a copy of the map. Or, you may choose to meet another orienteer at the venue and run simultaneously.

3. It’s an urban park, but still includes brushy areas, so dress accordingly. Don’t forget to bring your own water.

4. Run or walk your course. Find the ribbons. Enjoy!

5. Check in with the person you made plans with in Step 2.

6. If there are any ribbons missing, contact the course setter so he can replace them.

Optional: Go out and enjoy again as often as you like during the DIY period. You could try another course, do your first course backwards, or do the controls in your own unique order.

Share your GPX track online with O-Track!

If you have Strava or similar sports tracker, you can share your orienteering route for this event online using O-Track! Here’s how:

Go to O-Track and Register a profile for yourself as a runner. It is quick and free.

When you run the course, track your route with your sports tracker.

On your tracking device or on computer at home, save your tracked file as a GPX file.

After running the course, open O-Track and search for the meet. In this case, we will call it Arbor Hills November 2022.

Click on “Upload track” and then drag and drop the file into the provided area. Select the course you ran and select OK.

You can now go back to the overview of the courses on Arbor Hills November 2022 and Replay the course and see how you did with other runners that have uploaded their tracks. In other words: Virtual race!

Replay has many functions, including selecting full course running or control-to-control. You can select and deselect runners if you only want to compare yourself to a few runners.

Thank you to Jens Boersting for setting this up!

Registration for this awesome event is now closed.


Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a jewel tucked away in West Plano on W. Parker Road near the Dallas North Tollway. 

From Dallas:

Take Dallas North Tollway N to Dallas Pkwy in Plano Take the exit toward Parker Road. Take W. Parker Rd 1.4 miles to Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.

From Denton:

Take I-35E S to N. Stemmons Fwy in Lewisville. Take exit 453 from I-35S.

Take Valley Ridge Blvd to E State Hwy 121 Business.

Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto E State Hwy 121 Business.

Continue on FM 544 (Parker Road) east. Arrive at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.