Here's a scenario for you: Let's say your smartphone has died and someone drops you off in the middle of Faulkner Park blindfolded. They take the blindfold off and tell you to find your way out with just an old school paper map and compass. Could you do it? I'm quite sure if you're under the age of 40, chances are high you probably wouldn't because we've all become dependent on "navigation" systems. But not these young people who have installed something awesome in Faulkner Park.

What Is Orienteering?

Scavenger hunt map

Orienteering is a competitive sport in which participants find their way to various checkpoints across rough country with the aid of a map and compass, the winner being the one with the lowest elapsed time. Its kind of like a scavenger hunt but you're not looking for anything, you just have to figure out where you're going. Its very popular in  Scandinavia where meets there attract thousands and now the sport is starting to grow in America.

William Barker (Middle), a freshman at Tyler Legacy High School, has been active in the Boy Scouts since he was six years old.

City Of Tyler
City Of Tyler

As part of his Eagle Scout Project and with the help of friends and family, William Barker installed Tyler's first ever orienteering course at Faulkner Park which allows participants to practice their compass and map reading skills.

“Orienteering requires more human input and skill than just using a GPS and makes for a mental and physical challenge... When I was training for a trek in the mountains of New Mexico (Philmont High Adventure Base) and wanted to practice my navigation skills, I had to go all the way to Tyler State Park. I thought that Faulkner Park would be a great place for an orienteering course. It is a beautiful park that is free and accessible to everyone.”

If You're Ready To Play, The Course Is Ready!

City Of Tyler
City Of Tyler

This fun navigation sport follows a highly detailed map to find nine markers throughout the Faulkner Trails. The Tyler Parks & Recreation Department has information that can help you get going so reach out to them for more details and on behalf of the Tyler community at large, we want to say THANK YOU to William, his family and friends for creating something new for all of us to enjoy!

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