Great Falls MD

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November 2

Great Falls Fall ColorRegistration is now open closed. When you are ready to enter your information and pay, click here. For a list of who's already registered, click here.

We anticipate this event will sell out as it has for the last several years. Youth groups interested in attending should contact the Event Directors (listed below) as soon as possible to indicate interest in attending. Registered orienteers will be able to start on their course anytime between 11 - 1:30, and must be back no later than 3pm.

Course Information: Course stats are now posted below. Note that there are officially 3 approved courses (beginner, intermediate, and advanced). These courses are carefully designed to avoid areas that the National Park Service has designated as sensitive.

In order to provide safety options for advanced orienteers that are likely to be unable to complete the full advanced course of 9.4km, we have designated a specific bypass between certain controls on this (long) advanced course that also avoids sensitive areas; this version of the advanced course is designated "medium advanced" below and "Advanced-medium" in the registration software. This also means that orienteers on either advanced course have a certain number of controls in common at the beginning of their courses.

Have any questions? Just use our Contact Us form and ask away!

Save $8 - Just $9 For A Large Pizza Back by Popular Demand PLUS Nearby Sale: Post-Race Potomac Pizza Palooza! After your race, take advantage of a 1/2 price pizza deal at a nearby restaurant, Potomac Pizza. Normally $17 for a large cheese and tomato pizza, just wave your QOC map at Guillermo the friendly manager and you'll get this 8 slice pizza for just $9, and additional toppings are only $1 each. There's seating for everyone at this friendly local place with a full menu, free soda refills, and it's no problem to go "as you are" post-race. There's plenty of room to go over your map and routes and meet up with your fellow orienteers. The address is 9812 Falls Rd in Potomac; to get there, just take a left at the stop sign as you exit the park, and in less than 2 miles take a left just before River Road into the Potomac Promenade parking area. Directions are also shown in the Event Locator Map.
New This Year - Dividend Program: Potomac Paddlesports is located 2 doors away from Potomac Pizza, and they have a deal as well for QOC club members - get a 10% dividend on all purchases made in a calendar year. And this Sunday the store will be having a 50% off sale on all Patagonia summer gear, 30% off boats AND a clearance sale on select Hoka One One running shoe models. Before or after your pizza, check out this fine store!
Nearby Sale


C&O NHP (Great Falls MD), Great Falls Tavern, Potomac, MD (Classic)

RegistrationAdvance registration is required. Click here to register and pay. To see who's already registered, click here.
Start TimesYou may start your course at any time during the start window for this event. NOTE!: First Day of Daylight Savings Time! Be sure to set your clocks back one hour Saturday night.
ScheduleSunday, November 2
11:00 am - 1:30 pmClassic: Start window (start any time between 11 - 1:30)
3:00 pmClassic: Courses close - all orienteers must be back out of the woods
Event Director:Kathleen Lennon
Event Director:Greg Lennon
Course Designer:
Location Details

Classic, Classic
C&O NHP (Great Falls MD)
Great Falls Tavern
Potomac, MD
Google Map

From I-495, Maryland: Take exit 41 (Carderock/Great Falls, MD), follow Clara Barton Parkway to the end. At the stop sign, turn left onto MacArthur Blvd. Follow MacArthur ~3.5 miles to the park entrance booth. MacArthur Blvd. ends at the park.

From I-495, Virginia: Cross into Maryland over the American Legion Bridge (beltway inner loop) and take exit 41 (Clara Barton Parkway) Westbound, staying left at the fork. Follow Clara Barton to the end. At the stop sign, turn left onto MacArthur Blvd. Follow MacArthur Blvd ~3.5 miles to the park entrance booth. MacArthur Blvd. ends at the park.

After paying the park entrance fee, park in the large lot to the right (north) of the roundabout, then walk south back past the roundabout and beyond the Tavern to find our registration area.

Printable detailed maps showing the parking/registration area and the route to the Pizza Palooza are available here.

Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
Beginner 2.97511
Intermediate 4.616014
Medium Advanced 6.323014
Long Advanced 9.435022
Course NotesClassic

The woods are quite open and runnable, but due to lots of leaves, some of the trails can be harder to see than usual - look for blazes and other hints if needed.
A recreation ecologist will be studying the environmental impact of this event, so please be as careful as usual not to disturb the terrain. Cross all streams at footbridges or trail crossings when possible.
Please stay on your course, and if you choose to quit early, stay on trails to make your way back to minimize the odds of traversing any environmentally sensitive areas. The Finish location is in the woods; please walk (not run) the short distance from there to the download station. The map scale for the Beginner course map is 1:7500; all other course maps are 1:10,000.
Thanks and enjoy the courses!

Entry FeesIndividual Entries

Note: juniors = under 21

Club Member, adult Club Member, junior Non-Member, adult Non-Member, junior
Epunch Owner $5 $5 $10 $5
Epunch Borrower $10 $5 $15 $10

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 $2. Individuals or teams desiring to compete on a second course can do so for a reduced fee of $2/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.
  • You may become a member at the event or by joining online via this webpage (which also explains the member benefits). Membership is completely optional.
  • Most of our events use an 'epunch' timing chip for electronic timing. Individuals or groups without their own epunch pay a higher entry fee (see above), which includes the loan of an epunch for that event. Loaned epunches that are lost incur a $40 replacement fee. Epunches (also known as SI-cards or finger sticks) are usually available for sale at each event as described here.
  • 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 epunch.
  • For additional safety, whistles are available for sale at $1/each.
  • Free beginner instruction is always available - just ask at the registration table.