Erwin Park DIY-O

Erwin Park

Erwin Park “DIY event”

Feb. 13-28, 2021
Erwin Park, McKinney

Do You Remember Erwin?

The third orienteering event of the year will re-introduce us to an old partner! Erwin Park was one of our popular venues many years ago.  But alas, we drifted apart.  We have been through some fun times with other parks, many that are bigger and wilder.  But you’ll find that the years have treated Erwin well.  There are a few more trails across the open hills but the woods and grasslands are more runnable than ever. Are you ready for some fast times with Erwin?  

News Alert! Erwin has given us the cold shoulder!  So we are extending the event for another week through Feb. 28th.  For those advanced runners who like a real challenge, we are offering an additional set of maps soon that will not show the trails.   So if you want to try something different, test yourself with the BrownNT or GreeenNT courses.  (see amended Course Setter Notes)


Do-it-Yourself Format

This event will be “orienteering without the meet” again, like we did at Gateway and Harry Moss in the fall.  The DIY format will follow state and local COVID regulations, adhere to COVID guidance from Orienteering USA, our sport’s national governing body, and hopefully, protect the health of participants and organizers. We will encourage distancing by extending the duration of the event and eliminating the need for anyone to touch equipment that is used by other runners.  

The event will begin when the park opens on Saturday, Feb. 13, and extend over 16 days through Sunday, Feb. 28. You can choose any day and time you want to run. Think of it as a training event, or a permanent course that only lasts nine days. There will be no onsite organizational presence: no registration tent, no lines, no cost, no punching, no scorecards, no scoring, no DQ’s, no awards. Just orienteering fun. Bring your own water and gear. Controls will just be colorful ribbons hung in the terrain.  

There will be NO BEGINNER (AKA WHITE) COURSE. There are several reasons for this:

  1. Beginners are more likely to get lost and we won’t be there to find them.
  2. Courses will be active for several days in a popular public park. Beginner controls must be easy to find, so they’re hung in obvious locations on well traveled trails, and therefore most likely to disappear over a number of days. Advanced controls can be hung off-trail in less frequented places. 
  3. Beginners tend to run in groups. Groups aren’t socially distant.
  4. We don’t encourage groups to travel to our events on buses at this time. 
  5. We will not have the usual training session for beginners that we have at most meets.

Beginners can participate by running on the ‘yellow’ course with a more experienced runner (ideally a family member or leader) while following safety precautions.

General info

Event Officials

Meet Director: Stan Darnell ……. Meet Director notes 
Course Setter: Stan Darnell……..Course Setter notes


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


N/A — No awards, so no classes.

Scoring: Honor system! Feel free to post your finishing time and perhaps a screenshot of your marked-up map in our Facebook Group after the event is over! 

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

Schedule & Instructions

Controls will be in the field when the park opens on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 13. The event ends when the park closes on Sunday, Feb. 28 and controls will be removed on Monday, March 1.


  1. Go to the Participation Waiver page (EVENT IS OVER) starting on Friday, Feb. 12 at noon. Fill out the online waiver and you’ll get access to print the map for the course you choose.
  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 map. Or, you may choose to meet another orienteer at the venue and run simultaneously.
  3. Gather your gear and don’t forget to bring your own water and map.
  4. Run the course. Find the ribbons. Enjoy.
  5. Check in with the person you made plans with in step 2.
  6. Let the course setter know if there are any ribbons missing, so he can replace them.
  7. Optional: Post your results to NTOA’s Facebook Group. (Join us!)
  8. Optional: Rinse and repeat! You’re welcome to do any or all courses and come back as often as you like during the period the ribbons are out.

Event fees

We’re not charging event fees for this virtual, self-serve event, but donations are always appreciated! We’re a non-profit organization.


Erwin Park is located in the rapidly developing northwest part of McKinney.  Traffic on US 75 and US 380 to the south of the park can be particularly congested at times so consult your favorite GPS app for alternate routes. The following routes work well when traffic is light.

From Dallas and points south or east: 

  • Take US 75 / Central Expressway north to the Wilmeth Road exit (42A). 
  • Turn left (west) and follow FM 943 for 6.3 miles.  It will become a narrow country road and wind north.
  • Turn right (east) onto FM 164  and go 0.2 miles.
  • Turn left (north) onto FM 1006 and go 0.4 miles.
  • Turn right (east) at the Erwin Park sign and go another 0.4 miles to the park entrance.
  • Stay to the left and continue down the hill.  Park on the wide pavement near the Pecan Grove pavilion. 

From Denton:

  • Take US 380 / University Dr. east 26 miles to Lake Forest Dr. (FM 1461), where Baylor Scott & White Med Center occupies the northwest corner. 
  • Turn left (north) onto FM 1461 and go 2 miles.
  • Turn right (east)  onto FM 164 and go 0.9 miles.
  • Turn left (north) onto FM 1006 and go 0.4 miles.
  • Turn right (east) at Erwin Park sign and go another 0.4 miles to the park entrance.
  • Stay to the left and continue down the hill.  Park on the wide pavement near the Pecan Grove pavilion.