Lake Needwood

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April 12

Glen Artney stream Welcome to the first Maryland QOC event for April! This will also be our fourth event ever at Lake Needwood, and it will feature a full slate of beginner through advanced courses. Course lengths are now posted below.

As with all QOC events, we will have free newcomer instruction at this event. A QOC member will show you how to read a map, teach you how to use a compass with your map and give you hints on how to navigate your choice of course. Besides that, just wear a smile and the clothes you would for a hike or run in a local park. Bring a compass, if you have one, or borrow one at the event. And dogs (on leash) are welcome at Lake Needwood too. Driving directions are below; we will be in Shelter C (just up from A).

Map scales: White, 1:5000; Yellow, Orange and Brown, 1:7500; Green, Red, and Blue 1:10000. All are on letter size (8.5x11 inch) paper.

Special Training! An advanced training session will be conducted by veteran member Mihai Sirbu starting at 1:30. If you're an intermediate (orange) or advanced runner interested in this, email Mihai directly to let him know so he'll have enough maps ready.

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.

Nearby attractions include:

  • Scenic Lake Needwood itself - for a panoramic photo by mapper Nadim Ahmed of part of the lake, click here
  • Park map - a Rock Creek Regional Park trail map with plenty of amenities can be found here, and a brochure here
  • A Go Ape treetop adventure course is also in this park.

Urban BBQ

Post-Race MeetUp: It's a deal for us at this favorite spot - all appetizers are half-price and beers are $1 off (meaning, Happy Hour prices) - when you head to this family friendly restaurant after orienteering. Urban BBQ is located at 5566 Norbeck Rd, in the shopping center just east of the Rock Creek overpass; driving directions from our event are here.


Lake Needwood, Circle Parking Area, Derwood, MD (Classic)

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 12
11:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic: Start between 11 - 1:30; finish no later than 3pm.
Event Director:Lydia Andrews
Course Designer:Greg Lennon
Course Designer:Kathleen Lennon
Location Details

Lake Needwood
Circle Parking Area
Derwood, MD
Google Map

Get to Avery Rd from either Norbeck Rd (Rt 28) or Muncaster Mill Rd (Rt 115). From Avery Rd, turn onto Needwood Lake Dr, go 0.3 miles, then turn left on Beach Dr. The first right then leads to Needwood Lake Circle, and by continuing to follow QOC signs you should be led to the pavilion/shelter in use for the event, most likely towards the S end of the lake.
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 1.8508
Yellow 3.29012
Orange 4.317014
Brown 3.114511
Green 5.328017
Red 6.838518
Blue 8.441522
Course NotesClassic

This is a great time of year to be in this park; the woods are (still) open and the many rock features can often be seen from quite a distance. However, the main stream bisecting this park can also be too high to cross at this time of year.

As a result, courses have been designed to allow orienteers to cross on either bridges or, for the advanced courses, on roads (or via underpasses). Please be aware that this means juniors doing advanced (brown, green, red, blue) courses will have to cross potentially busy roads, albeit at marked crosswalks.

Simplistically, the park is one long north/south valley with re-entrants funneling down from the sides; the advanced courses have a high amount of climb to keep things more challenging on both mental, and yes physical, levels. As a result, this is not an event in which to go up a course unless you want the physical challenge. Nonetheless, there are (in some cases) route options that may lessen the straight-line-calculated climb. But don't say we didn't warn you!

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.