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The Buffalo Orienteering Club will kick off its season on Saturday at Emery Park with a master class for beginners on map and compass use followed by a regular three-course event.

A training session is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and the regular event at 11 a.m., geared for runners or walkers of all ages and abilities. There is a $10 fee for non-members that include a detailed map of the park. New this year is an urban event – a 2K orienteering meet Sept. 8 in Delaware Park – for individuals of all abilities.

If you’re looking for an intense physical and mental challenge, mark the calendar for Sept. 28, when the club will conduct its Ellicottville Adventure Run and Hike in the hills by Holiday Valley ski resort.

Participants will use strategy to make their way through three-hour or six-hour courses that will test their endurance and brains.

This year also will see the continuation of the club’s “Explore Erie County Parks” trail runs. The races include a 5K run May 9 at Knox Farm State Park, 5K and 10K runs June 9 at Hunter’s Creek Park, and a 5.1 mile run July 18 at Chestnut Ridge Park.

In addition, there will be a full slate of standard orienteering meets – May 11 in Schoellkopf Boy Scout Camp, June 9 in Hunter’s Creek Park, July 28 in Sprague Brook Park, Sept. 21 in Chestnut Ridge Park, and Oct. 19 in Sardinia County Forest.

Orienteering involves using a map and compass to navigate terrain to find checkpoints.

Events are conducted as competitive races, but can also be leisurely hiked alone or in groups, and are designed for all ages and abilities.

The club also sets up permanent courses for the season in county parks for which participants can buy maps and try to find the checkpoints on their own.

For more information, visit buffalo-orienteering.org.

email: hdavis@buffnews.com