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General Information


Welcome to the Cooper Lake meet home page.

This meet will offer both competitive and recreational orienteering events. The competitive event will be a 2-day total time event following USOF B-meet guidelines. Recreational entrants will use the same courses as the timed competitors.

This event is being hosted by the North Texas Orienteering Association (NTOA) and will occur on Saturday, February 9th and Sunday, February 10th.

Online registration is required! The deadline is Thursday, February 07th at Noon.

Competitive registrations will NOT be accepted after the deadline.

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Information Updates

01/14/2019: Updates to fix spelling error and date/day mis-match.


Thursday, February 07th
Noon Competition registration closes!

All registrations submitted after this deadline will be accepted as RECREATIONAL ONLY!
Thursday, February 08th - Friday, February 09th

2 days of very intense activites as NTOA makes final preparations for this 2 day event.
  • No competition registrations accepted
  • No changes made that affect a competition person's Group or Class.
Find out why it takes a week to prepare [ Expand this topic ]     
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Caculate event data values for all competitor and all competition classes (6-8 hours)
  • Assign Bib Numbers
  • Determine which classes run which course based on class counts (there are multiple white and yellow courses)
  • Assign equitable, balanced starts times to approximately 400 people
    • Seperate runners from the same org on the same course by at least 6 minutes
    • Seperate runners from the same class by at least 6 minutes
    • Keep time between first and last runner for a group as small as possible
    • Don't assign times where runners from one group always follow runners from another group
    • Flip Day 2 start times to equitably distribute early, middle and late starts
    • Account for special start time requests and meet staff start time needs
    • Minimize overall length of start window to minimize staff effort
    • Don't overload start crew at any given minute during the start window
  • Assign data ID numbers
  • Verify class count totals match start totals
  • Verify course count totals match start totals
  • Send counts by course to the Course Setter for map printing
  • Send counts by class to Awards person for awards preparation
Prepare Competitor Materials: (must occur after start time assignements) (5-6 hours)
  • Print labels for competitor Bib, Day 1 punch cards and Day 2 punch cards
  • Place labels on punch cards and bibs
  • Place all punch cards for a single group into an envelope and label
  • Determine missing items for the group (Waivers, Fees, ...) and write them on the envelope
  • Sort envelopes by groups
Prepare meet staff Materials (must occur after start time assignements) (1-2 hours)
  • Prepare 1 start list for start call-up line (list has competitor name and class)
  • Prepare 1 start list for Start Manager (List has name, class and group)
  • Prepare 1 start list for Event headquarters (List has name, class, and group)
  • Prepare runner accountability lists
    (competitors by name, competitors by start time, competitors by bib number)
  • Prepare epunch checkout list
Prepare Course maps (4-5 days)
  • Print shop usually needs 2 business days to do the printing for jobs of this size and complexity.
  • First print run be completed at least 2 days prior to the event (in case a reprint is needed)
Saturday, February 10th
08:00 AM - 10:00 AM NTOA Event Check-in
09:30 AM Beginner instruction
10:00 AM Day 1, First Start
Sunday, February 11th
09:00 AM Day 2, First Start
02:00 PM Awards presentation

Start Times

The first start on Saturday will be 10 AM and the first start on Sunday at 9 AM. Individual start times will be pre-assigned and posted on the NTOA website by the Friday before the event. Walk times to the start are will be posted in the course setter's notes.


The awards ceremony will take place at 2 PM on Sunday.

Interim results will be posted at the meet as time permits prior to the awards ceremony. Official results will be posted on the NTOA website as soon as possible after the meet.


Choice of Competition Types
Competition Courses Recreational Courses
The fee shown is for the 2-day event.
The fee is reduced in half if you register for just one day
Fees for Competitive Individuals
(a participant that is navigating the course individually)
Competitor Cost
Juniors: (19 yrs and younger) $22 per person
Members $32 per person
Non-members $42 per person
Other Fees
Item Cost
Competitive TeamsNot Allowed
E-Punch Rental $6 per fingerstick
The fee shown is for the 2 day event.
The fee is reduced in half if you only register for just one day
Fees for Recreational Teams
(2 or more participants that are navigating the course together)
Competitor Cost
Non-members $42 per 2 person team
Members $42 per 2 person team
Juniors: (19 yrs and younger) $42 per 2 person team
Additional People
Maximum of 3 additional people
Age 8 and below are not charged
once 2 person minimum is met
$18 per person

Meet Officials

Meet Director:  
Course Setter:  
Online Registration:    

Competition Related



Card punch

Card punch




  • For an explanation of the course colors, see the course descriptions.
  • Course time limits: All competitors must report to the finish line within 3 hours of their start.


  • This event will be using the typical NTOA 2-Day meet classes.
  • The online registration form will calculate the competitor's class.
  • Class Adjustments: Classes may be combined or sub-divided based on the number of entrants at the descretion of the meet director.


This data is not available at this time. Please check back later.

Registration Page for the 2 Day orienteering event

Questions regarding preregistration can be sent to the . Other questions regarding the meet should be sent to the meet director.
Choice of Competition Types
Competition Courses Recreational Courses
2-day Competition 1 or 2 day Recreational

Manual punch

Manual punch

Electronic punch

Electronic punch

Electronic punch

Electronic punch

Manual punch

Manual punch

Step 1: Register Online

Competition Courses Recreational Courses
Competition online registration is not available at this time.
Recreational online registration is not available at this time.

Competitive Individual

Competitive Individual
Large Group

Competitive Individuals
( from the same school, troop, group or family )

Recreational Team

Recreational Team
( min 2 people, max 5 people )

Step 2: Download and complete waiver

Please download and complete the waiver

Complete the waiver in pen.

NOTE: All youth under 18 years of age must have a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian.

Step 3: Submit payment and waiver to meet officials

There are NO mail-in requirements for payments and waivers this year.

Please bring payments and waivers with you to the event.


Welcome to Cooper Lake State Park, NTOA's newest and largest mapped area. The event features the classic format: 2-day combined time. The regular set of competition courses will be offered, with e-punch for Orange, Brown, Green and Red. Recreational courses are also offered.

In addition to meet fees, all participants must pay Cooper State Park entry fee. There is a three-hour time limit on all courses. Even if you don't locate all of the controls, please report to the Finish within three hours. Please use courtesy around campsite areas and when walking along roads.

Day one registration and start are at the Heron Harbor day use area. Bus parking is at the adjacent Gulls Bluff parking. Start is 200-350m from parking

Day 2 HQ and parking are at the Honey creek day use area. Start is at the Buggy Whip campground, 700m walk from parking.

Ralph Courtney


Cooper Lake State Park, South Sulphur Unit, (CLSP) is a relatively new map. It was first used for the 2017 Interscholastic and Intercollegiate Championships

A broad discussion of the history, terrain, vegetation and mapping of Cooper Lake State Park can be found in the "Terrain and Maps" page under the "Other" tab. Some special symbols are used on this map and they are explained there. Specific conditions for this meet are discussed here.

Current conditions related to terrain

As of this writing, less than two weeks before the event, the lake is at "conservation pool", which is another way of saying "full". That is somewhat higher than the lake level shown on the map. No courses include a logical route choice that would involve running the shoreline, so that should not be a concern. If there is a drastic rise in lake level, the Day 2 White course could be affected. In that case, a flagged route will be added to avoid any submerged section of trail.

Because Northeast Texas has had a wet winter, many of the watercourses, ponds, depressions and intermittent marshes that are often dry, now hold water.

Orienteers may ignore any "trail closed" signs for this competition.


Vegetation: Green briar, honey locust (read: long thorns), and poison ivy. Wear gaiters or some other form of leg protection. The briars are especially prevalent on the Day 2 terrain.

Fauna: The park is home to some venomous snakes (rattlesnake, copperhead, water moccasin, etc.), but they will still be dormant. Destructive feral hogs are present, but you'll likely see only the mess they leave behind. If you do see them, make loud noise and they will run away. Common non-hazardous creatures include white-tailed deer and the nine-banded armadillo (NTOA's mascot).

Insects: Mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, etc., should not be emerging yet.

Man-made: Ruined fences with barbed wire lying on the ground or just a foot or so off the ground.

Terrain: Deep gullies with tall earth banks.

Safety Bearings

If you become lost and cannot find your location on the map, use the safety bearings. (Of course, if you see signs pointing to "camp" or "parking", follow them.)

Day One White and Yellow: Go west until you find a major trail, power line, paved road, or boundary fence then follow it north to the finish area.

Day One Advanced courses: Go West. If you find a deep uncrossable gully or the lake, go south to the big trail and follow it west.

Day Two White, Yellow and Brown: Go uphill until you find a major trail. Follow it east, then north to the finish area (or follow signs to "camp").

Day Two Orange, Green and Red: Same as the shorter courses until you have crossed the ford at the butterfly control. West of the butterfly control, go south to the boundary fence, follow it east to the ford then take trails northeast and north to finish.

Course info

Scale varies by course: Red uses 1:10000; Orange, Brown and Green use 1:7500; White and Yellow use 1:5000. Contour interval is 3 meters.

Course Length Climb Number of controls
Day 1 [km] [km]  
D1White 2.39 51 15
D1Yellow 3.17 63 13
D1Orange 4.61 90 15
D1Brown 3.68 69 13
D1Green 5.00 96 12
D1Red 6.96 144 18
Day 2      
D2White 2.00 30 11
D2Yellow 2.95 60 14
D2Orange 4.50 4.50 15
D2Brown 3.12 57 11
D2Green 4.50 114 14
D2Red 6.71 147 19

The White courses on both days have a high density of controls, many with similar control descriptions. Please be careful in checking control codes and make sure to punch all the controls in order!

On Day 1, one of the "ruined" barbwire fences has been flagged for the White course to follow.

On Day 2, the Orange, Green and Red courses will to be "butterfly" courses with a mandatory crossing control at the only current safe crossing of the deep, steep Finley Creek gully. Be sure to punch going both ways.

The Day 2 Red course crosses a private business road in the west end of the park. Due to recent mowing on the right of way, some vegetation details may be inaccurate there. Obviously, watch out and give way to cars as necessary.

There are many controls visible in the forest. Be sure to check your control codes! Also, there are a few extra, non-orienteering-related ribbons in the terrain.

Out-of-bounds areas (such as the camping areas, ranger homes, or the water pumping station) are marked as out of bounds on the map.

There will be at least one water stop with drinking water on (or near) all courses. They are indicated by the Cup symbol on the map, not in the control descriptions. Please use the cups provided and dispose of them in the bag or bin provided.

The Day 1 parking is in the Heron Harbor Day Use Area Parking lot. The Day 1 registration, starts and finishes are all in the Heron Harbor Day Use Area.

Day 2 competition start and finish will be in the Buggy Whip Equestrian Camping Area. Limited parking is available in Buggy Whip so be prepared to use the Honey Creek Day Use Area parking lot. The walk from Honey Creek parking to Day 2 start is approximately 700 meters.

Course Setter: Stan Darnell
Assistant Course Setter: Olivia Golden


Travel Related Information

Cooper Lake State Park, South Sulphur Unit and Doctors Creek Unit

Cooper Lake State Park has two units: The South Sulphur Unit on the south side of the lake and Doctors Creek Unit on the north side of the lake. The orienteering event will take place at the South Sulphur unit. Lodging is available in both units, although choices are limited at South Sulphur due to embargoed areas.

Website: Cooper Lake State Park

Sulphur Springs hotels

Online Maps and Directions


Driving Directions to Sulphur Springs

From the west (Dallas):
  • Take I-30 East from Dallas for approx. 80 miles
  • Follow I-30 E to Shannon Rd E in Sulphur Springs.
  • Take exit 124 from I-30 E.
From the east (Texarkana):
  • Follow I-30 W to Industrial Dr E in Sulphur Springs
  • Take exit 126 from I-30 W.
From the north (Tulsa):
  • From US-271 S, take TX-286 Loop/NW Loop 286 and TX-19 S into town.

Driving Directions from Sulphur Springs to Cooper Lake State Park

Travel north from I-30 at Exit 122 on the west side of Sulphur Springs for 10 miles on State Highway 19; then go west on State Highway 71 for four miles and north for one mile on FM 3505 to the park entrance.

Time: Approximately 25 minutes.


Other Information

New Orienteer Information

Orienteering Survival Guide: If this is your first event, you might like to read this event description .

Equipment: Wear comfortable running shoes or hiking boots, long pants or long nylon running pants for protection against underbrush, eyewear to protect against branches, a watch as there is a time limit (3 hours unless noted otherwise), a whistle to call for help, and a compass. The compass should be protractor-style with a clear baseplate that can be purchased at many outdoor and sporting-goods stores for $10-$15.

Water:Water will be available at the start, finish and at locations on the course. However, all participants are highly encouraged to carry water to prevent dehydration.


Texas weather in February can be extremely variable. Cold jet stream winds from the north can drop the temperature to the teens. Southern winds can raise the temperatures back up to the seventies the very next day! One day can be a sunny day, perfect for shorts. The next can be cold and rainy. We have a good snow a couple times a winter, and sometimes it even sticks around for a day or two. Storms of freezing rain and ice are not uncommon. But then it's sunny and warm again.

Bottom line: Be prepared for anything. Have gloves, hats and running gear of good wicking material in case it is wet and cold.



Cooper Lake State Park, South Sulphur Unit, (CLSP) is a brand new map—actually, two maps, with Coyote Run on the east side of the park and Buggy Whip to the west. With a model map stuck in the middle. This map was made and used for the 2017 Interscholastic Championships.

  • Base map: Greg Lennon, Red Arrow maps
  • Field work: Nancy Bowers (2013-2015), Tom Strat (2016), Stan Darnell (2016-2017), Jim Stevens (2016-2017), Sheila Doyle (2017)


CLSP is located in the borderland of the Blackland Prairies and the Oak Forest and Prairies ecoregions of Texas. The land was settled by American pioneers starting in the 1850s and farming activity began to alter the natural landscape. Over time, many of the fields were converted to pasture. Small man-made ponds (or “tanks” in Texas farming lingo) were created to retain water. Berms (or “terraces” in Texas farming lingo – not to be confused with the orienteering terrace feature) were created to stop erosion

The berms are evident today as low undulations (too small to map) that approximate parallel contours on many hillsides. Fence were installed to keep cattle in or out of pastures and fields. As fields were plowed, the fence rows often became low linear ridges that remain today even after the fences have fallen down and the fields have grown over and returned to forest. In many places, the berms and fence rows have influenced runoff patterns and created erosion features in unexpected places.

Cooper Lake was created in the mid-1990s and CLSP opened in the late 1990s. The houses were removed and the fields were allowed to go back to nature. Over time, the fences have deteriorated leaving wire on the ground as well as a few wires up where the trees grew around them or where the posts may not have rotted yet. The ruined fences may often be just a wire or two that is a foot or so off the ground. They can be very hard to see in the woods if you are traveling perpendicular to them, but may be followed if you find them. Some, but not all, of them have been flagged for safety

Walking trails were created in the east end and equestrian trails were created in the west end. As the trails are used, ruts are created, which grow into gullies, and new trails are created to replace the old trails. This leads to an intricate gully and watercourse system, including many watercourses that are not normally seen in nature – such as gullies that go down the crest of a spur where an old trail used to be.

Since the lake was created, the water level has varied. Most of the park lake shore is bordered by 1- to 6-foot earth banks associated with the shoreline when the lake is full. When the lake level drops, the gradually sloping lake bottom is exposed. As the time of this writing, the lake level is at a moderate level below the earth bank line and with 10 to 50 meters of exposed lake bottom.

The large creeks that feed northward into the lake have carved deeply incised, steep-sided gullies. When the lake is high, it extends up the major feeding creeks into the gullies, deep into the park. In the most extreme case, Finley Creek, the gullies are up to two contour lines deep, and the lake extends up a kilometer into the creek.



Although there are a variety of small stones and cobbles, there are no rocks large enough to be mapped as boulders.

There are no rock cliffs in the park. However, there are a large variety of erosional landforms, including high earth banks, watercourses, ditches, and gullies. Thus, we used the following standard and non-standard mapping symbology:

Years of farming, ranching, and now horseback riding and hiking have formed an intricate system of watercourses. There are so many small ditches (up to 1 meter deep), that using the standard brown dotted map symbol was confusing and impossible to read in areas with dense ditches. Thus, we used the blue dashed small stream symbol to show a wide range of water courses that can be crossed at speed (for the indicated vegetation). These include shallow reentrants, small ditches, and deeper swales.

Abandoned trails that are just ruts through the terrain are shown as brown dotted lines (non-standard symbol). A control clue of “ruined trail” refers to such a brown dotted line abandoned trail.

One- to 3- meter gullies that are narrow are shown with the standard brown gully symbol. Depending upon vegetation, they are crossable or else you only have to go upstream or downstream a short way to cross.

Some of the deep or wider gullies are shown with earth banks. Where they are most complex, they may be shown with contours or form-lines without hachures. Since there are no rock cliffs, we use the black cliff symbol in a non-standard way to represent an impassable earth bank and the regular brown earth bank for a passable earth bank. The brown earth bank indicates a 1- to 4-meter tall earth bank that orienteers could traverse. Taller (2- to 8-meter) earth banks that are too steep to climb are shown using the black cliff symbol. The earth banks symbolized as black cliffs should be crossed only at designated crossing points.

If it hasn’t rained recently, almost all of the watercourses and man-made ponds will be dry, with the exception of the larger creek gullies that have lake water backed up into them. The dry ponds will look like an earth wall with either a depression form line, depression symbol or intermittent marsh symbol. If it has rained recently, many of the watercourses, ponds, depressions, intermittent marshes, and trails may have standing water.

The woods include a mix of evergreen eastern red cedar, deciduous post oak, winged elm, bois d’arc, and Texas honey locust, among others. The eastern red bud blooming season starts in March. White, runnable woods are either open with native prairie grasses or a mix of small brush/trees and vines – typically low green briar.

Occasionally, mature stands of evergreen cedar may be fast runnable and also shown as white forest. About half of the white runnable forest is similar to what is often called the “Midwestern style” of white runnable forest. By that, we mean good visibility and running, but significant low green briar in many places (not mapped). Gaiters are essential.

Lighter green woods are typically oak forest with patches of taller green briar or an excess of small sapling and vines, or large cedar trees with enough low branches still intact to inhibit direct-line navigating. In low wet areas, light green often represents canebrakes. A canebrake is a dense growth of canes that is 1- to 3-meters tall, about the diameter of a pencil and fairly easy to push through, but with very low visibility. (See example below of trail through canebrake.) canebreak.bmp

Darker green woods can be thickets of small trees (including cedars and thorny honey locusts) and green briar that grow up as fields first turn into woodlands or more established woods with a mix of cedar and other trees with extra tall green briar. Often the vegetation is thicker at the edge of the woods where greater sunlight allows a mix of green briar, wild roses, poison ivy, and honey locust to thrive.

Don’t depend on thickets for detailed navigation — consider them indications of variations in vegetation density (see example below). thicket.bmp

Black Xs and Os indicate man-made features. The Black Xs could be green electric boxes (about 1 x 1 x 1 meters), picnic tables on concrete (free standing picnic tables were not mapped since they get moved around), trail-side benches, gas wellhead equipment, guy wire anchors for a tall radio tower, large animal traps, miscellaneous junk (including old rusty cars, old motorcycles, old culverts, old metal farm equipment, etc.), and large signs. Only the very largest signs are mapped; smaller trail signs and road signs are not mapped.

Black Os could be street light poles, water supply components (ranging from 0.5- to 1-meter high water system access covers to large overflow piping), birdhouses on poles, pilings or buoys (including those that got stranded in the woods by the record-setting floods). Smaller junk less than 0.5-meter high was not mapped.

The black “small tunnel” symbol is used to indicate small road culverts (where quite visible or where significant water courses go under the road)


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