Arbor Hills Park DIY-O

Arbor Hills Park DIY-O

Photo: Visitplano.com

Arbor Hills Nature Reserve

Nov. 20-28 2021

Plano, TX

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 this past spring 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 being when the Preserve opens on Sat., Nov. 21 and extend over 8 days through Sun., Nov. 28. 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: Frank Ray

Course Setter: Lon Newsom // Course Setter Notes


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 content BSA Liaison Ralph Courtney for instructions on doing the require report. 

Schedule & Instructions

Controls will be in the field when the park opens (see hours of operation below) on the morning of Sat., Nov. 21. The event ends when the park closes on Sun., Nov. 28 and controls will be removed on Mon., Nov. 1.

How to participate


1. Access the map print page after reading the waiver of responsibility.

By clicking through the link below to access and print maps, you are agreeing to the following:

You agree to print maps only for your individual use; no reprints or usage for commercial purposes are permitted. You must also agree to the terms of the waiver.

Waiver of Responsibility

If you do not fully accept the following and do not complete and submit this waiver, you will not be allowed to participate:

I, the undersigned, know that Orienteering, as an outdoor action sport, carries significant risk of personal injury. I know that there are natural and man-made hazards, environmental conditions, and risks, which in combination with my actions, can cause me serious or possibly even fatal injury. I agree that I as a participant must take an active role in understanding and accepting these risks, conditions and hazards. I also agree that I alone am responsible for my safety while I participate in this event, and not the organizers and officials of this event, the North Texas Orienteering Association, the US Orienteering Federation, the land owners or managers, the municipality/county/state of the event location, or any sponsors. Finally, participant is granted a one-time guest membership to OUSA only for the duration of the event. 

Parent or Guardian MUST approve if entrant is under 18 years of age. 



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: Post your results to NTOA’s Facebook Group. (Join us!) 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.

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

Event fees

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


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 I35E 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.