Trail Orienteering (Trail-O) is one of the four disciplines of Orienteering. Developed from Foot Orienteering, it is a variant in which physical performance has been eliminated to allow the participation of orienteers with reduced mobility, including those who need wheelchairs. However, nowadays most participants in this discipline are orienteers with normal mobility.

Uma competição desta disciplina exige capacidade de leitura de mapa e interpretação do terreno, assim como velocidade de tomada de decisão nalguns pontos específicos.

A trail-O competition requires a great ability to read the map and interpret the terrain, as well as decision-making speed in some specific control points.

Two formats: PreO and TempO

There are two formats of Trail Orienteering.

In the PreO format, the main control points of the course are not timed, but are complemented by one or more timed control points in which the speed of decision is measured, and these times are used as a tiebreaker.

The more recent TempO format consists of timed control points only. In TempO, a time penalty is given for each wrong answer, which is added to the time spent on the timed control points. The total time, including penalties, makes up the final results.


Specific Foot Orienteering maps are used, but detail and accuracy have to be even greater. The maps are drawn according to international specifications defined by the IOF, namely:

The scales used for Trail Orienteering maps are normally the scales used for sprint foot-o competitions, which can be 1:3000, 1:4000 or 1:5000, depending on the nature of the terrain.


The courses for Trail Orienteering competitions must follow a set of principles, defined by the IOF Trail Orienteering Commission.

Control descriptions

The control descriptions used are based on Foot Orienteering, but with small adaptations for the specific characteristics of Trail Orienteering.

Control card

In Trail Orienteering a specific control card is used.

More recently, electronic control systems have also started to be used.


In order to understand the dynamics of a Trail Orienteering event, Katherine Bett (IOF commentator) produced this video with the support of The Orienteering Foundation.