Ski Orienteering at Laurel Ridge SP, PA

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend by emailSend by emailPDF versionPDF versionShareThis

January 16

Let's try something a bit different: Put on cross-country skis and join us for a low-key training/practice Ski Orienteering event at Laurel Ridge State Park, PA!

Laurel Ridge

Two medium (for runners but short for skiers) distance courses have been prepared for this training, a new ski-O map is now ready (thanks to Greg & Jan), weather will be beautiful, and skis will (probably) be available for rent so there is no reason for you to miss this!

NOTE: We are happy to report very high interest in this event, but given relatively small amounts of parking, rental equipment, and indoor/warming hut space, we are limiting attendance to ensure better odds of a fine experience for all.

To reserve a map and race a ski-O course you MUST register in advance using this Pop-up Registration Form Link. If the form is not allowing any more registrations, it's because we've hit our maximum number of participants, but check back since we may get cancellations.

Training details are below.

We would appreciate a few volunteers to help us during the event. If you can help, email us - thanks!

Snow Conditions

There is enough snow at the moment and another 6-8" are expected before the weekend.

For current conditions, see the PACCSA Laurel Ridge webcam, which updates every 30 minutes.

Note that this is not a very large facility - or parking lot - and the PACCSA will be offering free ski lessons at Laurel Ridge starting at 1pm. Everyone planning to rent skis should show up earlier to get fitted and buy their trail pass, and if conditions are great and it's busy, there may not be any skis or boots left in your size if you get there too late. Consider renting equipment and driving there with it, and definitely consider car-pooling!

For general tips about ski orienteering, see the Orienteering USA ski-O webpage.


The Laurel Ridge Cross Country Ski Center collects a daily trail fee $6 for adults and $3 for kids (12 and under) and offers rental skis:

  • Classic rentals (includes Boots/ Poles/ Skis)
    • Adults....................$15
    • Kids (12 & Under)...$7
  • Skate ski rentals (includes Boots/ Poles/ Skis)
    • Adults....................$20
    • Kids (12 & Under)...$10


Two courses will be available:

  1. Course A
    • 5.8 km, 15 controls
    • This course is very simple to shorten by going from #8 directly to #13.
  2. Course B
    • 7.7 km, 15 controls

Control pick up will start at 3pm so everybody must be finished by then.

Map Notes

  • The map scale will be 1:7,500 with 5m contours.
  • You are encouraged to try both courses, starting with the B course first.
  • Obey the purple arrows that denote one-way trails (hills). Do not ski on these marked trails in the opposite direction! Signs posted at the bottom of these hills will also warn you.
  • The map currently shows only contour lines, ski trails, major vegetation boundaries and man-made objects.
    • Ski trails are drawn as green lines: Dashed green line marks a good track made by a snow mobile, usually 1-1.5 m wide; Solid green line denotes a fast, skateable track made by a snow mobile, width usually 2-3 m; Wide solid green line is a very fast and wide (>3m) track.
    • Due to the expected snow fall, the mapped trails may be actually groomed differently, i.e. narrower or in an extreme situation not at all.
Not Laurel Ridge!

Nordic Skier’s Code at Laurel Ridge Cross Country Ski Area

  • Always buy a trail pass from the Concessionaire. If the Concession is closed, no trail fee is required.
  • Obey all signs and posted warnings.
  • You must remain in control and proceed in such a manner that you can stop or avoid other people or objects.
  • Stay on the marked (mapped) trails. No off-trail skiing!
  • In case of emergencies, please call the Concession (724-455-7303) or call 911.
  • Give downhill skiers the right of way.
  • When "snow-plowing" down hill, do it outside of the set tracks.
  • Fill in your divots and sitz-marks.
  • Help maintain the integrity of the ski tracks by not skiing over them.
  • When a skier behind calls out “track”, move to the right to give them room to pass.
  • When stopping, step off the trail to leave room for other skiers to pass.
  • Don’t block intersections and avoid stopping in the middle of hills or where you are not visible to other skiers.
  • Don’t walk in the set tracks or on the groomed trail. Keep to the right side of the trail.
  • Dogs permitted on Orange Trail ONLY. Your dog must be under control at all times. Bag and remove any waste.
  • Carry in; carry out – Leave No Trace.
  • Return to the Concession by closing. Concession Building and Warming Hut close at sunset.
  • More info available about Laurel Ridge available via the PACCSA website.


Laurel Ridge XC, Parking Area, Rockwood, PA (Ski Orienteering)


No advance registration required. Just show up and have fun!

Map and punch card pick up 10am-12pm in the warming hut (later times are possible but you will have to find me or Dasa).

Start TimesYou may start your course at any time during the start window listed below for your event.
ScheduleSunday, January 16
11:00 am - 1:00 pmSki Orienteering: Start Window
Event Director:
Course Setter:Jan Merka
Location Details

Ski Orienteering
Laurel Ridge XC
Parking Area
Rockwood, PA
Google Map

Located in the southwestern Pennsylvania off route PA-653, which is also known as Jim Mt Rd, Old Somerset Pike or Scullton Rd depending on the map source. Click on the Google map link for more details.
Course DetailsSki Orienteering
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
Medium Ski Orienteering A
Long Ski Orienteering B
Entry Fees

Pay the $6 trail fee in the concession hut.

This is an informal test/training event so QOC will collect no fees.