Lake Accotink

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September 21

This event has lots going on! First off: it's part of the National Orienteering Week festivities, so you can expect something in the way of (out)door prizes. The event itself will kick off with an MTBO event, and courses suitable for both beginners and experienced mountain bikers will be available. Additionally, our MTBO event will be part of the grand US 'Barnstorming' MTBO Tour, which means that the Swedish MTBO Team's National Coach, Magnus Wallenborg, will be on hand at this event to give advice and lead MTBO clinics. And to top it all off, come meet QOC's newest dynamic duo - Dave and Diane Ashley, serving as course setter and meet director for the MTBO part of this event. Dave (better known as Dash to his Rev3 teammates) was a member of the 2013 National MTBO Team competing in Estonia, and Diane was an organizing principle behind a lot of the great photos and publicity streaming from the competition there. The Ashleys moved this summer to the DC area, so come welcome them.

After the MTB bikes are (hopefully) all out of the woods, it's time to enjoy Lake Accotink's forests and trails on foot. Gary and Karla will be serving up White through Red courses, and with plenty of space near our registration area and the nearby Lake to enjoy as well, why not bring a picnic to relax after your course?

Any youth or large groups attending this event should 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.

Wondering what Mountain Bike Orienteering is about? Check out these videos (there are 3) from the Australian Orienteering Association:

The other two videos are here ('How To Navigate") and here ('Things You Need To Know').

If you don't want to click through to any of those at the moment, suffice it to say that MTBO is navigational racing on mountain bikes, in which each participant is given a map showing a series of checkpoints to be found in a designated order in the shortest possible time, with the choice of route between checkpoints left up to the racer. Success therefore depends on raw speed, of course, but also on the ability to read the map, make good route choices and execute them efficiently.

Rules for the MTBO event:

  • NOTE: The railway bed/track is out of bounds. Stay away from it.
  • Helmet use is mandatory.
  • Participants are required to stay within 10 feet of their bikes at all times while racing.
  • Participants are required to stay on trails, tracks, roads and fields. No short cuts through the forest.
  • Participants must yield to horses and pedestrians, in accordance with park rules.
  • Note: in case of rain and therefore poor trail conditions we may be required to cancel the MTBO event; make sure to check this website the day before the event for news. The foot-O in the afternoon will take place rain or shine.

    Map Boards Are Available! Buy your own map board in advance, or save shipping costs and have it hand delivered at this event. The AutoPilot map board (3 styles) can be purchased as described here, and we'll deliver it to this event. We may (no guarantees!) have some map boards to try out for free too - first come, first served, and if you break it, you bought it! AutoPilot map boards are the preferred choice of Team USA riders, and a portion of each purchase helps support Orienteering USA's MTBO Team as well.

    Special Entry Fees:

  • Member using their own epunch: $5 foot, $10 MTBO, $15 for both
  • Member renting an epunch: add $5 to above amounts (and use for one or both events)
  • Non-member using their own epunch: $10 foot, $15 MTBO, $25 for both
  • Non-member renting an epunch: add $5 to above non-member entry fee (and use for one or both events)
  • Juniors: $5/event plus $5 if non-member plus $5 if epunch needed
  • Donations to MTBO Team USA: Definitely accepted and encouraged! And yes, they are tax-deductible.
  • After The Event use our updated RouteGadget software to enter your routes to all controls, and then compare your way to the way others went. The user interface is now tablet- and smartphone-friendly as well as Java-free. Event maps and split times for all participants are usually online within a day of the event.


    Lake Accotink Park, Lower Parking Lot, Springfield, VA (MTBO + Classic)

    RegistrationNo advance registration required. Just show up and have fun!
    Start TimesStart window times for both MTB and foot courses are posted below (subject to change).
    ScheduleSunday, September 21
    8:45 am - 9:45 amMTBO + Classic: MTBO registration window
    9:00 am - 10:00 amMTBO + Classic: MTBO Start window
    10:45 am - 1:15 pmMTBO + Classic: Classic (foot) orienteering registration window
    11:00 am - 1:30 pmMTBO + Classic: Classic orienteering start window
    11:30 amMTBO + Classic: MTBO courses close
    3:00 pmMTBO + Classic: Classic orienteering courses close
    Event Director:Diane Ashley
    Course Designer:Gary Smith
    Course Designer:Karla Hulett
    Course Designer:Dave Ashley
    Location Details

    MTBO + Classic, MTBO + Classic, MTBO + Classic, MTBO + Classic, MTBO + Classic, MTBO + Classic
    Lake Accotink Park
    Lower Parking Lot
    Springfield, VA
    Google Map

    From southbound, I-95 Springfield West, first right on BacklickRoad. Left on Highland to Park.Park in the lower parking lot below the dam.

    From northbound I-95 Springfield West to third stoplight. Right on Hanover, left on Highland (sixth stop sign) to Park.Park in the lower parking lot below the dam.

    From southbound, I-495 Braddock Road East. Right at second stop light,onto Heming. Follow Heming. Pass under the beltway and continue pass two streets on the right.The park is on the right where the street begins to turn to the left. This is the upper parking lot. Walk downhill next to the fence to the dam.(This avoids the Springfield Interchange with I-95 which may have a back-up).

    From I-395, Edsall Road West to end. Left on Braddock Road to third stoplight. Right onto Highland to Park. Park in the lower parking lot below the dam. (This avoids the Springfield I-95 Interchange which may have a back-up).

    Google Maps Link
    Apple/iPhone Link
    Course DetailsMTBO + Classic
    Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
    Beginner Mountain Bike 5.67
    Intermediate Mountain Bike 613
    White 1.9459
    Yellow 2.88012
    Orange 4.810510
    Brown 3.6859
    Advanced Mountain Bike 8.819
    Green 5.924013
    Red 7.428519
    Course NotesMTBO + Classic

    Lake Accotink is one of the club's older maps, but it remains generally accurate. The trails that are mapped appear accurate but there are at least a few unmapped trails, since mountain bikers have been active in the park. Map scales are 1:7500 for all MTBO maps and the orange, brown, green and red maps; white and yellow (beginner) maps are at 1:5000 scale. All contour intervals are 5m.

    It is definitely still summer in terms of vegetation and insects. The leaves are still on and sightlines are short. There are lots of spider webs, especially if you're tall. Mosquito activity seems relatively light and we haven't run into chiggers, but given the stories from Occoquan, we urge everyone to be generous with the bug juice and cover up as much as possible. The park seems to be drier than usual, so some routes that are usually too wet might be passable. No guarantees, though.

    The park is a maze of trails, so most foot-O controls are within a few meters of a trail, making most (but not all) controls on the advanced courses no more than Orange difficulty. Advanced runners wanting more of a challenge might like to try their course without a compass.

    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.