Mason Neck

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF versionPDF versionShareThis

April 22

Still a relatively new park for us, this event will be just the second event ever on this map. The terrain consists of a quite 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. Contour interval is just 5 feet - not 5 meters. Course setters Tom & Trish Strat have planned a full range of courses, and details are now posted below along with map and course notes. Event registration will be from 10:45am - 1:15pm, you can start your course anytime between 11am - 1:30pm, and courses close at 3pm.

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.

zpizza Post-Race MeetUp Special! ZPIZZA is offering all orienteers your choice of a free chocolate chip cookie or brownie with any order of $10 or more this Sunday afternoon, or just a straight 10% discount. Known for their menu featuring healthy sandwiches, salads and gluten-free pizza, and rated highly by plenty of QOC orienteers who went here after our February event at Pohick. Located (here) just east of the I-95/Lorton exit 163. There's also a Quizno's and a Starbucks next door if that's more your style.

Mason Neck Playground


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

RegistrationNo advance registration required. Just show up and have fun!
Start TimesYou may start your course at any time during the start window listed below for your event.
ScheduleSunday, April 22
10:45 am - 1:15 pmClassic Orienteering: Registration window
11:00 am - 1:30 pmClassic Orienteering: Start window
3:00 pmClassic Orienteering: Courses close
Event Director:Lisa Beck
Course Designer:Tom Strat
Course Designer:Trish Strat
Course Vetter:Ryan Hanna
Location Details

Classic Orienteering, Classic Orienteering, Classic Orienteering
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 ($10 entrance fee per vehicle), follow the signs towards the Visitor Center. The registration area will be to the left just before the Visitor Center; look for the banner.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link
Course DetailsClassic Orienteering
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 1.7158
Yellow 2.63010
Orange 3.34014
Brown 3.62011
Green 5.24013
Red 6.95016
Blue 8.36017
Course NotesClassic Orienteering

Map Notes: The contour interval is 5 feet (yes, feet!). Rootstocks are represented by a brown X with a line extending in the direction of the trunk. Most rootstocks less than 2 meters high are not mapped. A brown X without the trunk line is a tree stump. Most signs and benches are not shown on the map. There are several out-of-bounds areas indicated on the map by red vertical lines. You may not enter these areas. The southern park boundary is indicated by red lines on the map, but on the ground it is indicated only by occasional signs on posts or nailed to the trees. Be careful near the southern edge of the park and do not cross the park boundary.

Course Setter Notes: Mason Neck is very flat. The topography is subtle, but the topographic features indicated on the map are there. The advanced courses will test your compass and pace skills. The white woods are in general very fast. The vertical green lines indicate areas of deadfall. As of a week before the event, the marshes are very dry. The intermittent marshes may be visible only by the darker color of the leaves in the area. An X in the control description indicates a man-made object.

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.