Sunday, June 24, 2018
Busse Woods Canoe-O

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Meet Director: Gordon Pearce
Course Setter: Gordon Pearce

9:00 a.m. Beginners' Clinic
9:30 a.m. Registration and Start
12 p.m. Registration closes
2 p.m. Courses close

(Maximum time on course: 1 hours)

Cost: (per individual or team)


Event Day


CAOC members
additional maps
rental compass
purchase e-Punch
Canoe Rental

(We suggest a maximum of four people per group.)

On-line registration is open.

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NOTE: We could use a couple of volunteers to help out with registration. Please e-mail if you can help out for an hour or two. You'll still get a chance to paddle the course!

Please join us for the annual Chicago Area Orienteering Club Canoe-O. This event is designed to test your paddling skills as well as your orienteering skills.

This year, the Canoe-O is included in the season pass. The canoe rental fee is not included, so if you need to rent a boat, go ahead and register, and select the 'Season Pass Holder' option.

The controls will be scattered around the south pool, with its many inlets and islands. There will be two courses, a short course and long course. The long course is a 1-Hour score-O where you try to collect as many points as possible without exceeding the 1-hour time limit.

We will be using ePunch, so bring along your SI chip/card/stick. If you don't have one, you can borrow one at no charge.

We will be keeping track of the number of people on each team, as well as the type of watercraft, but there will not be separate classes for single/double/canoe/kayak, etc.

Bring shoes that you don't mind getting dirty. You may need to get out of your boat to punch at a few of the controls, and you may need to wade for very short distances. A change of clothes for afterward is highly recommended.

Canoe rental will be available at the start/finish. We have arranged for 12 boats to be guaranteed for our use. There will be 5 canoes (up to 3 people) and 5 kayaks (2 people each) reserved. These will be available for $20 (flat fee per boat). Boat rental includes paddles and personal flotation devices (PFDs). You can request your type of boat and a 10:00 or 11:30 start time during registration. To help us use the rental canoes most efficiently, please arrive at least 15 minutes before your time-slot. If you missed the pre-registration, and you need to rent a boat, please arrive after 11:30 a.m., as all of our boats will probably be reserved at 10:00. If our reserved rental boats sell out, you are still free to rent directly from the canoe concession. The start/finish will be at the boat rental building.

Competitors are welcome (nay, encouraged) to bring their own canoes, kayaks, or rowboats. Please have your current Illinois boat license already affixed. (Park district police and or Illinois DNR have shown up to verify compliance in the past!) For personal watercraft, please launch your boats at the public boat ramp and paddle over to the boat rental building for the start.

Here are a few rules specific to Canoe-O (subject to change without notice):

  1. Every person must be wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times. If you are in your own boat, you may have up to 3 adults.

  2. Competitors start and finish with all crew members and equipment. One or all teammates may leave the boat during the event, but at the finish line the crew, boat, and all equipment must be back together again. This means that one teammate could run between controls while another paddles.

  3. No swimming is allowed. Many controls may be designated as "wet" controls, which means they must be visited in a boat. If you have any questions about whether a control is "wet" or "dry," please ask at the start/finish before you begin.

  4. No boat may be portaged along or across Higgins Road, for safety reasons. The courses have been designed to make this a very unfavorable choice, anyway.


  • There will be some legs where paddling might not be your best option.
  • Running the entire course is not allowed. Some of the controls will be on islands, and forest preserve rules prohibit swimming in the reservoir.
  • Controls will probably not be visible from across the the water. However, other competitors' boats will be visible.

Take I-90 (Kennedy Expwy and Northwest Tollway) northwest of the Loop 23 miles. Exit at I-290 / Route 53 southbound. Go about 1 mile and exit at Higgins Road. Turn left and go about a quarter mile to the first forest preserve entrance on the right. Watch for the red and white orienteering signs to direct you to the boat rental building, where the start/finish will be located. If you are using your own boat, please launch it at the public boat ramp nearby and paddle to boat rental building -- please don't carry your boat through the rental building!

Public Transportation:
The Pace #208 bus runs every half-hour starting at 8:43 from the Davis stop on the Purple Line in Evanston, or at 8:03 from the Des Plaines Metra station. Twenty minutes after that the bus travels along Golf Road which borders Busse Woods on the north. Another option is the #606 Pace bus that leaves the Rosemont stop on the Blue Line at 8:15 and 9:45 Sunday mornings and also takes twenty minutes to get to Golf Road. Get off either bus near the I-90 overpass over Golf. Walk west on Golf Rd and then south along the Salt Creek embankment and into the fields and woods of the forest preserve, and use an old orienteering map for guidance to get to the shelter where the event is being held. On the way back to the City, I like to stop for a hamburger and beer at Portillo’s or Chili’s on Golf Road near the bus stop. An alternate route if you don’t want to bushwhack is to get off the bus at Arlington Heights Road and walk south to the bike path where it crosses Higgins Road.(under 1 mile of walking from the bus to the meet location)

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