Mason Neck

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May 8

A new park (with a new map)! This event will feature the debut of the new orienteering map of Mason Neck State Park, an area never before used for orienteering. The terrain consists of a very flat and generally open (but forested) plateau, with steep but short slopes down to the bay and marshes that border the park on two sides. Running will be fast to very fast in the predominantly white woods.

The map was field-checked by Tom Strat over the past year, who's this event's course-setter, based on a basemap from Greg Lennon. Contour interval is 5 feet (yes feet!); map scale will be 1:5000 for the White course, 1:7500 for Yellow, and 1:10000 for all others.

A full slate of courses will be offered (2 beginner, and intermediate, and several advanced courses; details below). Ample parking and flush toilets are available at the assembly area. A state park entrance fee of $4 per vehicle will be collected upon entrance to the park. We will also have the use of a large (pavilion style) tent, so feel free to bring food or beverages.

Mason Neck Woods Any youth or large groups attending, please contact the Event Director so that we can coordinate pre-registration for your group; the group registration and waiver form is part of the information on our Group Leaders page.

Mason Neck State Park is also a great place for exploration on the water or by bike (a very smooth and family-friendly bike path runs through much of the park). Of note:

  • Bring your own canoe or kayak, or rent one. Rental rates are $10/hr for a kayak, $15/hr for a tandem kayak, and $12/hr for a canoe (all + tax).
  • A 2.5 hour guided kayak tour is conducted on Sunday mornings at 9am. Cost is $15 per person; reserve a spot by calling the park office at (703) 339-2385.
  • Bring your own bikes, or rent one. Rental rate is $5/hr.
  • There's a fine playground quite near our registration area.
  • Dogs are welcome in the park, but must be on a leash of length 6 feet or less at all times and "with a human on the other end", as a park ranger said.
Mason Neck Playground


Mason Neck SP, Mason Neck SP, Lorton, VA (Classic Courses)

RegistrationNo advance registration required. Just show up and have fun!
Start TimesYou may start your course at any time during the start window (Noon to 2pm). Please be out of the woods by 4pm.
ScheduleSunday, May 8
12:00 pmClassic Courses:
Event Director:Van Anthony
Course Setter:Tom Strat
Location Details

Classic Courses
Mason Neck SP
Mason Neck SP
Lorton, VA
Google Map

From southbound I-95, take exit 163 (Lorton). Go left onto Lorton Rd at the end of exit ramp. Go under the 2nd overpass and turn right onto Lorton Market St., then go about 1.5 miles to the traffic light at Route 1. Go straight through light (the road name changes to Gunston Rd) and go about 5 miles to the right turn on High Point Road (it's about 1.2 miles after the Pohick entrance). Once in the park ($7 in-state or $10 out-of-state entrance fee per vehicle on weekends), follow the signs towards the Visitor Center. The registration area will be to the left just before the Visitor Center; look for the banner.
Course DetailsClassic Courses
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 1.5107
Yellow 2.5209
Orange 3.32512
Brown 4.32511
Green 6.35512
Red 7.57015
Blue 98020
Course NotesClassic Courses

• Out of bounds areas are marked by red vertical bars. You may not enter any out of bounds areas. • The park boundary at the south edge of the park is out of bounds. In the woods it is marked by occasional signs, but you can easily cross it without realizing it. Please keep track of where you are and try not cross the park boundary. • A brown X with a tag line indicates a large rootstock. The X shows the location of the rootstock and the tag shows the direction of the fallen trunk. Rootstocks must be more than 5 feet high or distinct in the local area to be mapped. • A brown X without a tag line indicates a distinct stump. Stumps are vertical trunks 10-30 feet tall. Not all stumps are mapped. • Green vertical bars indicate areas of fallen trees that will impede your progress. • Signs, benches, and temporary fencing are not mapped. • On the control descriptions (clue sheets), an X indicates a stump (not a man-made feature).

Entry FeesIndividual Entries

Non-Member: $10/adult, $6/junior (under 21 years old)

Member: $6/adult, $4/junior (under 21 years old)

Team or Group Entries

Participants are welcome to compete together as a single team entry. Teams containing one or more nonmembers are charged the nonmember individual rate. Teams containing one or more adults are charged the adult individual rate. For teams to receive member or junior rates, all members of the team must be members or juniors, respectively. Each extra team map beyond the first is an additional $4. Individuals or teams desiring to compete on a second course can do so for a reduced fee of $4/map.

Important Notes
  • At the event, we can only accept payment in cash or check; online, you may use a credit card or PayPal account.
  • Most of our events use electronic timing. We will provide you with an electronic timing chip (aka e-stick, finger dibber, or SI-card) for free if you don't own one. Loaned e-sticks that are lost incur a $40 replacement fee.
  • Compasses are available at no charge, but if lost incur a $15 replacement fee.
  • Please provide collateral (driver's license or car keys) when borrowing a compass or e-punch.
  • For additional safety, whistles are available for sale at $1/each.
  • Free beginner instruction is always available - just ask at the registration table.