Orienteering is a skill and a sport. While the Bug O' course is designed to highlight the Arboretum's unique habitat and mission, it is also meant to teach orienteering skills to people of all ages and abilities. Some people race through the course, testing their endurance as well as their map-reading and decision-making skills. Other participants prefer a leisurely hike, enjoying nature's beauty and diversity as they seek the controls.

CONTROL: Each checkpoint along the course is called a control. Usually an orienteering course has a number of controls in predetermined order. Participants find their way from one control to the next. On the Bug O' course, each control is marked with a bronze cast insect on a 3-foot high light-blue post. To verify that each control was found you can make a rubbing of each insect with a crayon on a piece of paper or simply emboss the paper by rubbing with your hand.

ORIENTATING THE MAP: It is very helpful to always keep the map orientated to the landscape. Many people like to keep the north side of the map aligned with magnetic north with the help of a compass. Only map reading skills are necessary to successfully complete the course, but a compass can be a helpful secondary tool. Without a compass, simply keep turning the map as you walk so that the paths, roads, and natural features lie in the correct positions.

IF YOU GET LOST: Getting turned around is part of the learning experience. If you get lost while doing Bug O', stay calm and use the clues around you to find your place on the map. Is there a path intersection nearby? A hill or a body of water? Look for identifiable landmarks and turn your map until it matches up-north will then once again be facing north and you can continue on your way.

HOW TO BUG O': The Arboretum map is marked with the locations of the twelve Bug O' controls. The Start/Finish is the Sensory Garden, and is marked on the map by a triangle inside a circle. Note: there is no control post at the Sensory Garden. The clue sheet below identifies the landscape feature and bronze insect to be found at each control.

PLEASE do not walk through the garden beds as you navigate the Bug O' course. Stay on trails, paved roads or paths, or mowed turf as you participate in Bug O'.

The actual map is a tabloid or 11X17 sheet of paper. It can be fit to print on a smaller sheet of paper. Feel free to pick a copy of the map and clue sheet at the Oswald Visitor Center Info Desk or kiosk.

Click here if you would like to download the Bug Orienteering Map.
Click here if you would like to download the Bug Orienteering Clue Sheet.
You will need both sheets to participate.