Erwin Park DIY-O 2023

Erwin Park DIY Event

March 11-19, 2023 Erwin Park, McKinney

Return to Erwin

Our next event brings us back to Erwin Park in McKinney.  We had our first Erwin DIY-O, two years ago, during the Big Freeze… and the subsequent thaw.  This year, conditions should be much less harsh.  

For those advanced runners who like a real challenge, we are offering an additional set of maps that will not show the trails. If you want to try something different, test yourself with the BrownNT or GreenNT courses (see details in the Course Setter Notes.)

Do-it-Yourself Format

This event will be “orienteering without the meet” again.  

The event will begin when the park opens on Saturday, March 11 and extend over 9 days through Sunday, March 19. 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. 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: Kristine Tisinger ………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, March 11. The event ends when the park closes on Sunday, March 19 and controls will be removed on Monday, March 20.

 This event has concluded. The Waiver and Map Download pages are closed.


  1. Click through to the Participation Waiver page. Fill out the online waiver and you’ll get access to print the map for the course(s) 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 to the DETOUR signs at Hardin Blvd.  Follow the detour through the neighborhood streets to FM 164
  • Turn left (west) onto FM 164 and go 0.5 miles.
  • Turn right (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.