Home > NTOA Events >  Cooper Lake Course Setter Notes Printable View
Cooper Lake


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

Send Email to  |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 
  © Copyright 2017, North Texas Orienteering Association. All rights reserved.
Best viewed at 1280x900 or greater. Hosted by fluidhosting