Prince William Forest Park

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February 14 - February 15
Saturday - Sunday

Night Orienteering


QOC will return to Happyland for the first time since 2012 with a weekend chock full of orienteering - training and night orienteering on Saturday, classic courses on Sunday, and the option of staying overnight in one of Prince William Forest Park's historic cabin camps between the two

On offer in the way of training will be:

  • a two day junior training camp helmed by Boris Granovskiy, running from 11am Saturday to mid-afternoon on Sunday (for a more detailed schedule/description of what's planned for juniors (20 and under as of the end of 2015), click here)
  • a training day for all others on Saturday running from 11:30am to late afternoon. This will give everyone a chance to do the same exercises as the juniors (one designed by many times world champion, Thierry Gueorgiou, the other by a respected Swedish course designer). There will also be a map walk, lead by Jon Torrance, which is particularly recommended to newer orienteers, who are still either working their way up to advanced courses or working on getting comfortable doing advanced courses.
  • On Saturday evening there will be a night-O, with beginner, intermediate and advanced course options and starts from 6pm to 8pm, and a potluck dinner at 8:30pm, with socializing and games the rest of the evening. To learn more about the facilities click here.PWF Fireplace And rather than drive home only to have to return on Sunday for more orienteering, Happyland can accommodate up to 104 people staying overnight in one of 4 heated dorms (mattresses are provided; overnighters will have to bring their own bedding).

    On Sunday, the junior training will continue and juniors and adults will enjoy a full slate of seven courses in some of QOC's most technically challenging terrain.

    The night-O courses on Saturday and the regular Sunday event will be typical QOC events, with no pre-registration required. Since training requires advance organization and beds are fairly plentiful but not in infinite supply, online pre-registration is offered via Orienteering USA's Event Register system. Registration will close at midnight on Wednesday, February 11th, for both the training events and for overnight stays in the cabin camp. Please sign up for either the junior training, as a member or non-member for the Saturday all-ages training or for no training, then continue through the registration process to sign up for a bed for Friday and/or Saturday night and to indicate whether you plan on joining the potluck dinner on Saturday evening. And, while you're in there, consider entering DVOA's Fox Chaser II A meet and the US Individual Orienteering Championships, both coming up in March and with price hikes if you delay entering until after March 1st.

    Locator Map: For those who would like a printable map showing the drive from the Rt 619 Joplin Rd & Mawavi Rd junction to the registration and parking area(s), click here.

    Note: park rules prohibit pets and alcohol within the Happyland cabin camp which is our base of operations for the weekend - please leave both at home. Smoking is also forbidden by NPS rules inside buildings at Happyland.

    CabinExample of 10 person cabin at PWF Camp 3

    Calendar link for Night-O:

    Calendar link for Sunday/classic day event:


    Prince William Forest Park, Camp 5 - Happyland, Triangle, VA (Training, Night-O, Classic)

    RegistrationPre-Registration is not needed for the Saturday Night-O or the Sunday Classic orienteering, but is needed for the Saturday Training Session and Lodging, using OUSA's Event Register.
    Start TimesYou may start your course at any time during the start window listed below for your event.ATTENTION SUNDAY ORIENTEERS: DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS, ALL SUNDAY ORIENTEERING HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
    ScheduleSaturday, February 14
    11:00 am - 4:30 pmTraining: Orienteering technique training
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pmNight-O: Start anytime between 6 - 8pm. Be back no later than 10pm.
    Sunday, February 15
    11:00 am - 1:30 pmClassic: EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED
    Event Director:Scott Sharp
    Course Designer:Jon Torrance
    Location Details

    Training, Night-O, Classic
    Prince William Forest Park
    Camp 5 - Happyland
    Triangle, VA
    Google Map

    From I-95 exit 150B (near Triangle, VA) go west on Joplin Road ~4.5 miles, then turn right and follow the red and white orienteering signs on Mawavi Road. Registration is (usually) in the Dining Hall of Camp 5. More detailed directions available using the Google map link. Note: Mawavi Road is likely to have runners on it - please be careful as you drive in. Please park in lots or where directed by volunteers (otherwise you're likely to get a costly ticket).
    Course DetailsNight-O
    Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
    Beginner 3.31509
    Intermediate 3.91807
    Short Advanced 4.823010
    Medium Advanced 6.635512
    Long Advanced 7.942514
    Course NotesTraining


    The night orienteering courses on offer Saturday evening are beginner, intermediate and advanced (short, medium, and long), as laid out above. The beginner course stays mostly on trails and in open areas within the immediate vicinity of cabin camps 2 and 5 and offers controls that would be suited for a white course or the easier end of the range of difficulty appropriate to a yellow course in daylight - they will no doubt seem slightly harder in the dark. The intermediate and advanced courses take place almost entirely in the mostly trackless woods east of cabin camp 5, between the south fork of Quantico Creek and Route 619. This is an area dominated by large, fairly steep spurs and reentrants with mostly white and light green woods - fortunately the map, including the mapped vegetation, is aging well. In the dark, it should offer very challenging navigation - trying a longer or harder course than you're accustomed to is not advised. The intermediate course is similar to a typical orange course, although in darkness it should provide sufficient challenge for anyone who would normally run brown and wants a course under 4km. The advanced courses are advanced - nothing out of the ordinary for an event in typical QOC terrain but it will be very easy to make parallel errors in the dark and not so easy to recover from them. Please choose your course accordingly. And make sure you have fresh or freshly recharged batteries for your light.

    Should you get seriously lost on the intermediate or any of the advanced courses, heading west will eventually get you back either to cabin camp 5 or to Route 619 east of cabin camp 5. If knowing which way is west is a problem (lost compass or failing light) and another orienteer doesn't come along to help you out, heading generally uphill should eventually take you to Route 619 or heading downhill should get you to the south fork, either of which can be followed back to cabin camp 5.


    On Sunday we'll revisit some of QOC's most challenging mapped terrain, site of day 1 of the 2007 US Classic Championships. Be warned, this terrain gave many US elites a hard time when they first encountered it. It's still our usual spur and reentrant terrain, with varied vegetation and the map aging well since 2007 (except in one small area regrowing after a forest fire), but it's generally slightly thicker, significantly less steep and with more subtle contour detail than the night-O terrain. The courses, other than white and yellow, run a little longer than usual and emphasize route choice - there's just so much lovely terrain in the west half of Prince William Forest Park that the temptation to design courses that visit as much of it as possible is hard to resist. Apologies therefore to those who liked the recent beige course at Little Bennett that there won't be a shorter than brown advanced course on offer at this event.

    One note of particular importance given the expected frigid temperatures - the orange, green, red and blue courses all face a crossing of the south fork of Quantico Creek fairly early on in their courses and the legs they'll be doing are such as to make it tempting to very tempting to try to ford the creek rather than go out of the way to the nearest bridge. The map does, as far as I've seen, do a reasonable job of indicating where the creek is relatively easy to cross and where doing so involves wading rather than just a step or two in the water or some careful negotiation of stepping stones, but my experience has been you'll probably get at least one foot wet getting across. Please consider the water-resistant and insulating qualities of your shoes and socks, your personal tolerance for cold, wet feet and how much you really care about saving a few minutes of running when making these route choices. You've been warned so sympathy for those unhappy with their choice, whatever it may be, will be limited.

    White and yellow courses will start and finish next to the dining hall in which we'll have registration and results. Orange and advanced courses will start there but have a remote finish and approximate 600 meters to walk back to the dining hall in order to download.

    Jon Torrance, Course Designer

    Entry FeesFees listed below apply to both the Saturday/Night or the Sunday/Classic event. Separate fees (see above) apply to the Training events, meals and lodging.

    Individual 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.