Orienteering: "Orienteering is a sport in which orienteers use an accurate, detailed map and a compass
to find points in the landscape. It can be enjoyed as a walk in the woods or as a competitive sport."
(see also: US Orienteering Federation)
The current area organization for orienteering is the Austin Orienteering Club. They organize events
both in and around the Austin-area. Previous results and
photo galleries of the events can be found on their website.
Other groups further afield include the Houston Orienteering Club and the
North Texas Orienteering Association.
The best place in the Austin area for orienteering was and may still be Bastrop State Park.
Steve Nelson, former president of the now-defunct Hill Country Orienteering Club, laid out (and still maintains?) permanent
markers for about 100 control points in the park. At the main ranger station where you enter the park,
they will sell you for a few dollars a topo map of the park with all of the orienteering controls
marked. You can make up your own course and go out and try to find the controls. The permanent markers
are probably 6" wide and stand 12" to 18" out of the ground, and are orange and white. For an actual
meet, they hang control markers at torso height above the permanent markers with punches you use to
punch a paper card you take from control to control.