The New England Orienteering Club

Event 4: Cemetery Hill

Coursesetter: Ali Crocker 

Cemetery Hill includes some of the grounds of the former Northampton State Hospital, (aka Northampton Insane Asylum). In the 1950’s, the hospital housed 2657 patients (including, at one point, Sylvia Plath). Today, Cemetery Hill is a dog park, where dogs are permitted to run off leash, and includes a disk golf course. Please be respectful of others who may be using the area.

There are two courses: a long sprint that is 3.0k and a short sprint that is 2.0k. These are “woods sprints,” with a fair amount of trail running and some open field running. The white woods range from very open, to moderately junky (due in part to the October snowstorm). This time of year, the vegetation in some places is thicker than mapped.

There is some poison ivy on the course, and a few ticks. Full leg covering is highly recommended.

Please check control codes! In some areas, controls are very dense. In a couple of cases they are only 30 meters apart; in a couple of cases there are controls on the same feature that are only 40 meters apart.

There is a portable toilet within a couple hundred meters of the start. Control descriptions will be available at the start; they are also on the map.

Map Notes 

The map is 1 x 4000 with 2.5 meter contours, ISOM.

Special Symbols:

  • Black circles are disk golf baskets. (These baskets are frequently moved around, and so a couple may not be where mapped.)
  • Brown solid triangles (“charcoal platform”) are disk golf tees (rectangular rubber mats).
  • Black x’s (“manmade objects”) are almost always either signs, tables, or benches.
  • Brown x’s are, as usual, rootstocks. Most rootstocks greater than a meter in height are on the map. A few mapped rootstocks are as small as .5 meter.

Vegetation: Medium green (except perhaps a narrow strip) and dark green are to be avoided; they almost always contain nasty vines. Light green is slow run, sometimes with obstacles to go around or over; it may contain some stray vines.

Fences: You may come across a couple of barbed wire fences. They are flagged with orange streamer and, if above ground, marked as crossable fences on the map. There could also be some unmapped barbed wire on the ground. Please be careful.

Rock: Individual boulders are often mapped down to .5 meter. “Cliffs” on the map are manmade rockfaces.

Directions to Cemetery Hill and Parking

From the intersection of routes 9 and 5 in the center of Northampton: Take Main St. (rt. 9) west through the center of town. Turn left at the second light onto West St (rt. 66). Go .9 miles to the first light and fork right onto Prince St. This becomes Burts Pit Road. Follow this about .5 mile and look for o-signs on your right, just past the Community Gardens. Park along the right side of the road.

For GPS navigation, enter the address 40 Burts Pit Road, Northampton.

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