The New England Orienteering Club
NEOC: Wanderings - BYOM (Belmont, MA)
Download as iCal file
From Monday, August 29, 2022
To Monday, September 05, 2022
Wanderings map, including Belmont, Watertown, Waltham, Cambridge, and Arlington.
Special Courses:
Foot and bicycle event
Event Director:
Jim Crawford
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This will be the 11th running of Wanderings! It will once again be a BYOM event, so you can run on whatever day is convenient for you. 

Downloads are free for current NEOC members; $10 for non-members. (Check your membership status here.)

The map is ready and controls are set. The Start & Finish is in eastern Watertown, at the gazebo in Filippello Park (191 Grove St, Watertown). The smaller 1:5000 map is for Mt. Auburn Cemetery, which has a rule of No Biking and No Jogging. So this may be the first walking-only orienteering event in New England. It will give you added opportunity to enjoy the scenery and honor the many famous Bostonians in the Cemetery. Of course outside the cemetery, you are faced with the typical Wanderings challenge of 50 controls and plenty of steep hills.

Download Maps

Course notes for Aug 29-Sep 5, 2022 Wanderings BYOM:

This year takes us to Watertown, Cambridge, Belmont, Waltham and Newton. Due to Covid we will not have a mass start. The course itself is just like previous years.

  1. Download maps & notes using the button above. The files are in .pdf format; you will need to print the map and clue sheet yourself. Since the map is 11” x 17”, you can either take it to a copy place, or print the two 8.5 x 11” overlapping PDF files on your home printer. There will be a third 8.5 x 11” PDF file for the 1:5000 map.
  2. You will be responsible for timing yourself. There will be no electronic punches, nor will there be QR codes. I encourage entrants to record a GPS trace of your route (via Garmin watch, GPS tracker, or cell phone app), and send it to me so I can get split times and verify controls.
  3. When you finish, email me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) your answers (or a photo of your answers) with your timing and your GPS route if available.
  4. You can start anytime between Aug 29 to Sep 5. Note that some course choices may take you through school grounds which may be occupied during the week. Also there are more cars during the week than on the weekends, although the Bike Paths are more crowded on the weekends.
  5. Five divisions:
    • 1½ hr foot
    • 3 hr foot
    • 1½ hr bike
    • 3 hr bike
    • 4½ hr combo (bike 3 hr, run 1½ hr)
    I recommend a mountain bike since the roads are notorious for potholes. There are not as many dirt trails as in previous years, but probably more bike paths. (I use a road bike and walk the rough trails when I set the course). In past years cyclists have used both road bikes and mountain bikes.
  6. 65 controls total with 15 of them off-limits to bikers. Optimal route about 45 miles with 1660 ft of climb. Controls can be visited in any order. 14 of the controls (plus the 15 Cemetery controls) are within 2 km of the start. No extra credit for going to the same control twice. Part of the combo challenge is to decide which controls to avoid on the bike in order to save controls doable on foot.
  7. Point value for a control is the control number with the 2nd digit set to 0, so e.g., controls 21, 23, and 27 are all worth 20 points. 2770 points for all controls. Foot-O penalty for finishing over the time limit is 15 points per minute for the first 5 minutes, and 30 points per minute after that (seconds are rounded down). Bike-O penalty is 30 points per minute for all late minutes. In the combo division, you can receive penalty points in both the bike phase and the run phase. This year there are no special controls giving bonus points.
  8. The Clue Sheet gives a physical description of each control and a question that can only be answered when you have reached that location (e.g. “Telephone Pole -- _, on W corner”) When you reach a control, write the answer on the clue sheet or a separate paper of your own making.
  9. As in the past, I will put small (1"x1") paper control flags on the telephone poles, with the control number on the lower left and the answer on the upper right. These let you know you are at the right telephone pole. If you don't find one, it probably means you are on the wrong street!
  10. There are no official water stops, except on the front porch of my house (control #64), so you should take drinks and money with you. There are plenty of convenience stores, pizza shops, etc. where you can buy drinks very quickly.
  11. Everybody must carry map, clue sheet, control card, pencil, watch, and water bottle. Runners should also have a compass. It is recommended that everyone also take an extra pencil, money, and a cell phone.
  12. Cheating not allowed: no use of cars, buses, or trains; no assistance from GPS or Internet, although if you are not a serious competitor, do whatever helps you enjoy it!
  13. Finally, be Safe! Some of these roads have many cars, with speeds up to 50 mph. Its better to brake and stop than hope there are no cars coming.

Map notes for 2022 Wanderings:

  1. The Wanderings map is 11” by 17” at a scale of 1:25000 and 10 ft contours. It includes parts of Belmont, Cambridge, Newton, Waltham, & Watertown..
  2. The map has a few non-standard symbols in the legend, so make sure you study it. Cemeteries, Golf courses, Farms and some Conservation land are all off-limits, and indicated by purple cross-hatching.
  3. You should stay on trails in all of the dark green forest land. Major trails in these areas are marked on the map; minor trails may or may not be on the map. They all have differing off-trail policies, so to make it easy for everyone to follow, we use the most restrictive rule, which is DO NOT GO OFF TRAILS. This restriction continues to apply to the Mt. Auburn Cemetery map.
  4. On the other hand, you can go off trails in town parks and schools as long as you don't run through a ball game or other activity. You can usually tell what is a town park by the mowed lawn and marked ball fields. Of course, some have fences around them - never climb a fence, only use gates.
  5. All private property is off limits! Stick to streets and paths marked on the map. No cutting through residential yards or climbing fences. Parking lots, such as at Shaw's, are ok; but note that many parking lots have fences surrounding them and may have extra security.
  6. A commuter railroad passes through the map (purple line). Do not go anywhere near the tracks except to cross them at streets marked on the map. Likewise for Route 2, I-93, and I-95 (Route 128).
  7. There is a separate 1:5000 orienteering map of Mt. Auburn Cemetery. I decided to use this area because the Cemetery encourages visitors, especially bird watchers and exotic tree lovers. They do have two rules we must follow: No Biking and No Jogging. You should also stay on the roads & marked paths, and not bushwhack over the graves. All paths on the map have street signs showing their locations. A course with the 15 controls on this map is 3 mi for the optimal route, plus 95 steps to climb the circular tower to get a fabulous 360º view of Greater Boston. I have gone to all controls in a brisk walk in 1 hour. Serious competitors can ignore this map if they want, but I think the more casual participant will enjoy the scenery and the memorials to 3 famous Bostonians. The north & southwest gates close at 8PM. The northwest gate is only open during business hours.

Call my cell phone for orienteering emergencies. REAL emergencies call 911.
- Jim Crawford 617-913-9303


Filippello Park
191 Grove St.