DCR Mount Tom State Reservation is situated along the eastern slope of the Mount Tom range, a ridge of roughly 1000 foot peaks running NNE, overlooking the Connecticut River. The terrain is typical New England glacial topography with a fairly intricate ridge-reentrant appearance to the northeast, and a more uniform hillside punctuated by a few salient features to the southwest. The area is almost entirely wooded with a mixed but predominantly deciduous forest with relatively little underbrush. Nevertheless, the generally rocky ground-cover and moderate deadfall will tend to slow running speeds to a noticeable extent. The area is traversed by a relatively sparse trail network concentrated between Lake Bray to the east and the saddle between Whiting and Goat Peaks to the west.
Watch US team member Greg Alswede running at Mount Tom in the video below.
View a preview map. (Right-click to download.)
The map for all courses will be printed at 1x10,000 with 5 meter contours. Clues will be on the map as well as available at the Start.
Fieldwork for the original Mount Tom map was done by Peter Gagarin in 1978. The map was first used for the New England Orienteering Champs in 1978, making this is the 40th anniversary of orienteering at Mount Tom. A large portion of the map was extensively updated in spring, 2008, by Krum Sergiev for the last national meet held at Mount Tom in 2009, NEOC’s Heart and Troll Revival. Minor updates to the map have been made annually by Phil Bricker. Mount Tom was the home of the first Billygoat in 1979. There have been four Billygoats at Mount Tom, the last in 2010.
On the original map, all cliffs had tags on the downhill side. The tags have been removed from most cliffs, for readability. In general, the cliffs with tags are larger, and potentially dangerous; but cliffs without tags can be quite large as well (up to 4 meters), and just as impassable (and dangerous) as cliffs with tags.
The mapping of boulders and cliffs is “contextual”—in areas with a lot of rock, boulders up to one-and-a-half meters and cliffs up to two meters may not be on the map; in areas with little rock, boulders as small as half a meter and cliffs as small as one meter may be mapped.
The rocky ground symbol, when it covers a substantial area, most often represents scree slopes covered with loose, angular rocks that can be treacherous, especially in wet weather and when traveling downhill. Masses of rock that are not mappable as cliffs or individual boulders are sometimes represented as boulder fields, sometimes as rocky ground.
The green on the map is almost always mountain laurel. Medium green is sometimes more passable than it looks where stands of mountain laurel have been dying out. On the other hand, the white woods are sometimes towards light green with respect to runnability where the hemlocks are dense, or there is a lot of deadfall. Sometimes, the mapping of vegetation is generalized, and not sutable for precise navigation.
Root stocks, even when very large, are not represented on the map. Bare rock is not represented on the map. Vegetation undergrowth, such as ocasional patches of blueberry, are represented as light green if thick enough to hinder running; there is no vertical green on the map. There is very little thorny vegetation at Mount Tom.