Get out Get orienteering!

Whilst we are all practicing social distancing, there is no need to let this stop you orienteering or even getting you started with a new family friendly sport! After all, we also need to maintain our mental and physical health in these difficult times.

Permanent Orienteering courses

Permanent Orienteering courses (POC) can be used by anyone from beginners to the more advanced orienteer. Many of the locations have a range of courses, whilst they may be fairly simple for the more experienced orienteer, they are definitely more interesting than a plain old run, walk or jog!

There are numerous permanent orienteering courses around Ireland. These courses consist of permanent markers, which are placed around a mapped area. The markers are heavy wooden stakes with an orienteering logo and often a code on the post too, this identifies the post you have found. Sometimes the plaque can be found on park furniture or trees too.

Details of where you can access maps are found in the information attached to each location. A list of permanent orienteering courses around Ireland can be found here. Many of the locations offer free map download, a few locations charge a small fee.

Cork Orienteering Club have a great beginners guide which will help you use the courses.

Challenge a friend

Why not suggest a friend do the same course as you and compare your routes or speed afterwards on social media or a call or video chat. You won’t meet up, but you’ll have similar experiences to share.

Experienced orienteers can use the permanent courses/maps to challenge a friend. Draw your own course on an existing map, email it to a friend and see how they get on. Share your experiences on Social media or a running app like Strava, create your own challenges each week. Unfortunately the social distancing could go on for some time 😒

Mobile friendly orienteering

A new twist on the permanent course, ‘Sporteering’ has been launched in the South East by Waterford Orienteering Club.

The aim of Sporteering is to navigate around a series of controls and collect points as you reach each one. There are no physical markers on the ground. If you are within 15 metres of the feature, the app will indicate this. The Sporteering app will allow you to find events of locations where you can challenge yourself and others. Download the app from the Google Playstore or Apple app store and sign in to register interest.

  1. Find an event near you (Apply events filter Ireland to reduce list. This is the symbol that resembles a funnel. Check the remember settings icon) e.g. Clonmel
  2. Use Google maps on phone (awkward) or email for a copy of relevant course map for you to print at home.
  3. Scan the start point to start the clock
  4. Scan the controls to collect points as you find them. (Sporteering uses GPS on your phone so remember to switch Location on)
  5. Scan the Finish code to stop the clock
  6. Upload score to website to compare with others (if you wish)

There are currently courses in Dungarvan, Kilmacthomas, Waterford peoples park, Kilbarry amenity park. Coming soon… Carrick, Callan and Fethard .

There are also courses in Carlow at Duckett’s Grove and Carlow Town Park. Email for maps or queries.

If you find any permanent course with markers missing please send a message to or via twitter @poc2017 .

Above all get outside and enjoy the Springtime, WASH YOUR HANDS, give others space and be considerate 😊.

If you’ve had some inspiration for orienteering activities whilst our scheduled events have been on hold, please share it with us. Tag IOA on social media; Facebook, Instagram and twitter, or email Debbie at

The Irish Orienteering Association are always interested in suggestions for new areas that could be mapped for orienteering both for permanent courses and competitive events. If you have any suggestions please get in contact at

Orienteering in Ireland
Orienteering Ireland, Irish Sport HQ, Blanchardstown
D15 DY62, Ireland