Balls Bluff

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May 17

Balls Bluff

Balls Bluff welcomes you back! This park was last used in 2012, and is a favorite at this time of year. New QOC member Hannah Culberg - a member of last year's Orienteering USA National Team - has on short notice done quite a bit of work to design a full set of challenging courses (white through red; details below) for your orienteering pleasure.

Our registration area will be at the Edwards Landing pavilion, at the south end of the park, so make sure to read the driving - and parking - directions. DO NOT park in the small Edwards Landing parking lot unless you are a meet helper. We prefer that you use the parking lot at Balls Bluff Elementary School which is about half a mile from Edwards Landing. If you car-pool, you can drop-off participants at Edwards Landing before parking there. Otherwise, a little walk as a warmup shouldn't do anyone any harm. Definitely do not park in or near the narrow cul-de-sac leading to Edwards Landing. This would surely rankle the residents in the cul-de-sac and possibly end our welcome to run events out of Edwards Landing. However, if you want to be closer than half a mile, you may park on one of the wide streets between Edwards Landing and Balls Bluff Elementary School - Hunton Place, Graywood Way and Wood Edge Drive- provided you refrain from block the residents' driveways or otherwise irking them. Click here for an overview map, showing our registration area in the lower right corner.

Balls Bluff Battlefield Park is the site of the first Civil War battle in Loudoun County (1861). The park has recently undergone restoration to more accurately reflect its 1861 condition, and you are encouraged to tour the area and its National Cemetery near the Potomac River.

Training Session: Mihai Sirbu will be conducting an intermediate/advanced training session at this event; meet at 1:30pm at the registration area.

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.

Panera Bread Post-Race MeetUp! The nearby Panera Bread cafe, located (here), is just a few minutes due south of the Balls Bluff School, and it's a fine place to hang out and discuss your routes, whether or not you're also taking advantage of the nearby Leesburg Premium Outlet Stores!


Balls Bluff Regional Park, Edwards Landing Pavilion (School Parking), Leesburg, VA (Classic)

RegistrationNo advance registration required. Just show up and have fun!
Start TimesStart anytime between 11 - 1:30, and be back to download no later than 3pm.
ScheduleSunday, May 17
11:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Jeremy Gillespie
Course Designer:Hannah Culberg
Location Details

Balls Bluff Regional Park
Edwards Landing Pavilion (School Parking)
Leesburg, VA
Google Map

Take the Dulles Toll Road or Rt. 7 to the Rt. 15 by-pass in Leesburg. Turn right for about a mile to Battlefield Parkway and then turn right. Balls Bluff Elementary School will be on the right after 0.7 miles. The direction links below will take you to the school parking.

Directions to Edwards Landing from the school: From Battlefield Parkway southbound, turn left near the south end of the school to go east on Hunton Place for 0.3 miles, then turn right at the intersection with Graywood Way/Woods Edge Drive and go 0.1 miles before turning left on Powhatan Ct. The entrance to the small Edwards Landing parking area is on the right side of the turnaround circle. Note to those walking: it's just 0.6 miles, but please be especially careful crossing Battlefield Parkway. Click here for an overview map.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link

Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 1.7956
Yellow 2.21107
Orange 3.11358
Brown 2.91359
Green 4.517013
Red 6.323020
Course NotesClassic

In general, the Balls Bluff map has held up fairly well, though there are a few features worth noting. Rootstocks are mapped intermittently - there are plenty on the ground which are not on the map, and the ones which are mapped are frequently quite small. I would not suggest relying on them for navigation. That being said, the rootstocks which I used as control features are all distinct and unambiguous. Knolls as mapped are essentially non-existent. Small depressions are typically the holes left from uprooted trees (but where the truck and roots have rotted away). There are plenty more out there than mapped - the mapped depressions are the largest and most distinct holes in the area. Vegetation is generally pretty good, although even the white areas in the southern half of the map can sometimes be thicker/lower visibility than anticipated with all of the spring growth. Trails are mostly good, although there are a few new spurs and some minor shifts in a few locations.

Water is provided on all courses. Orange - Red all have one control with water, and two water drops marked with the magenta cup symbol on the maps. These are located at white and yellow controls along likely route choices at various times during the courses.

Your route choice or control locations may take you close to some backyards - please respect other's property and stay out of those areas. They are marked as olive green on your map. There are a many controls in close proximity to each other out in the woods, and the red course will have a butterfly loop part way through the course. Check your codes and numbers carefully to avoid a mispunch. Additionally, due to the constrained area for the start and finish, there will be a lot of runners going in a lot of different around the start and finish. Please be careful of other runners and keep your head up.

Have fun!

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.