Patapsco Avalon

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February 26

Patapsco Avalon Welcome to the first Avalon event of 2017, featuring a full set of classic courses (white/beginner through blue/advanced) courses for you to choose from, courtesy of course setter Ted Good. Final course stats and comments as well as map notes are now posted below.

A few additional notes:

  • BE CAREFUL crossing the park road. Getting to the start as well as to the finish requires crossing the park road, so pay attention!
  • Dogs are allowed in this park and should be on a leash at all times.
  • Restrooms will be near the parking/registration area.
  • Speaking of parking: carpooling is encouraged for the sake of all park users.
  • This section of Patapsco is pretty steep, so take that into account when choosing your course.
  • Remember: No Drinking Directly Out of the Water Bottles! Use the provided cups.
  • Have any questions? Just use our handy Contact Us form.

As usual, youth groups and other large groups planning to attend this event should contact the Event Director well in advance 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.


Patapsco Valley State Park, Avalon area, Elkridge, 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, February 26
11:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:John Landers
Course Designer:Ted Good
Location Details

Patapsco Valley State Park
Avalon area
Elkridge, MD
Google Map

From I-195 exit 3 in Elkridge MD, take US 1 South. Then take the first right, and very soon afterwards the first left into Patapsco State Park. Follow road to park entrance, pay the weekend park entrance fee ($2/vehicle in-state, $4/vehicle out-of-state), and then go left at the T intersection. The Avalon parking/registration area is just after the road curves to the right after crossing the river (near the large playground), and will be in one of the two pavilions.
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 3.27510
Yellow 4.312514
Orange 4.815511
Brown 3.916010
Green 5.522013
Red 7.232013
Blue 8.737015
Course NotesClassic

Course notes:
The start (400m walk) is on the other side of the river from registration. All courses will cross the river. Participants are required to use either the road bridge or the swinging bridge (Red/Blue) to cross the river. Courses are set so it is logical to use the bridges.

The railroad tracks are active! Beware of trains. Red and blue courses will cross the tracks. The red course has an option of running along the tracks but this isn’t recommended. Orange, White/Yellow/Orange will use a tunnel under the tracks. Green/Brown courses are not affected by the railroad. Sometime trains park on the tracks; in the event this happens do not cut through the train - either take a tunnel under the tracks or go around the train.

White/Yellow/Orange courses use park roads. They also go through the car tunnel under the railroad which is narrow. Be careful of cars. To enforce use of the tunnel there are one or two duplicate controls on the white/yellow courses so be sure to punch them each time on your course.

All the courses are quite physical with some very long steep sections. Spiked shoes are recommended as it can get quite slick on the steep slopes.

Brown/Green/Red/Blue: Because of all the trails, the courses were not very technical. To add challenge, I removed all the footpaths and small footpaths from the maps used by the advanced courses. You will definitely see trails but without them on the map use them at your own risk. Indistinct trails and rides are still on the map. There are some odds and ends pieces of trail which may be confused with other symbols.

Red/Blue: Because the courses are on both sides the river it wouldn’t fit on a single page. There is a map on both sides of the paper.

Map Notes

  • Root stocks are mostly 2+ meters tall. I updated the map and added new ones and removed the old ones so they should be fairly accurate.
  • Even though it is winter, check yourself for ticks. I got one on me while vetting. No poison ivy.
    • Rock: there is a lot of variation in rock. In some rock areas the rocks are quite large. The more isolated rocks tend to be smaller than a meter. If it was distinct then I mapped it.
    • Rocks larger than a meter in some direction were mapped.
    • Larger rocks are at least 2 meters high.
  • Stony ground varies. Most rock is smaller. It is hard to see under the leaves some times.
  • The woods are very open with excellent visibility. The footing can be excellent to poor. The leaves can make the footing treacherous, especially on the slopes.
  • Trails: This is a heavily used park with lots of bicycles. The bikers have moved a lot of trails. I updated the ones I found but it is possible I missed a few.

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.
  • If you have access to a smartphone, you may become a member at the event by joining online via this webpage (which also explains the member benefits). Membership is completely optional. If you wish to join or renew, we strongly recommend joining (or renewing) online before the event rather than at it to save time and because it's easier.
  • 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.
  • Former QOC members who have let their membership lapse pay non-member fees.
  • 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.