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January 21

McKeldin Continue to challenge our January weather by coming orienteering! We hope to see lots of folks out to experience McKeldin's hilly terrain and the challenging courses (white through blue; see below) set by course designer Kim Jepsen. Event timing will be standard (register any time between 10:45 - 1:15, start any time between 11 - 1:30, and finish and download no later than 3pm). Updated course notes are posted below.

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.

If you are considering trying a harder level course than usual, you might want to consider it carefully since McKeldin is known for its rather steep terrain.

Carpooling is encouraged as a courtesy to other park users due to limited parking space. All vehicles must park in designated parking spots. There are only about 80 parking spaces near the registration area, although more may be found going south and east in the park.

Note: There is a park entrance fee ($2 per vehicle for MD residents and $4 per vehicle for others, $10 per bus (a bus that holds more than 9 passengers). Bring exact change since the park entrance fee will likely be collected using an honor system, and a ranger may not be on duty to provide change. Please remember to pay the fee – our future use of the park will be compromised if there is a gross mismatch between number of participants and collected fees.


Patapsco Valley State Park, McKeldin Area, Shelter 501, Marriottsville, 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, January 21
11:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Anne Jepsen
Course Designer:Kim Jepsen
Location Details

Patapsco Valley State Park
McKeldin Area, Shelter 501
Marriottsville, MD
Google Map

From I-695/I-70 West take I-70 to Marriottsville Rd. (Exit 83). Go North on Marriottsville Rd. for 4 miles to the park entrance on the right. After paying park entrance fees, follow O-signs to shelter #501.

From I-70 East take Rt. 40 (Exit 82, Balt. Natl. Pike) to Marriottsville Rd. Turn left. Park entrance is 5 miles on the right. After paying park entrance fees, follow O-signs to shelter #501.

Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.76511
Yellow 3.210510
Orange 4.417012
Brown 4.619512
Green 6.123517
Red 7.327021
Blue 8.835525
Course NotesClassic

The McKeldin area has some of the steeper terrain amongst our venues and as a result, the courses have a little more climb than usual. The terrain is generally runnable with good visibility, but has some areas with deadfall and and barberry bushes that may slow you down; this is especially the case in the NW and northernmost parts of the map, visited by all the advanced courses. The rootstocks on the map tend to be old and decaying; where a severely decayed rootstock has been used for a control, this has been indicated with the ‘decayed’ symbol. A number of newer rootstocks around the terrain, some of them in close proximity to a control, have not yet been mapped.

Update: A few controls on the advanced courses are placed quite close together. Please make sure that you check the control numbers so you do not accidentally mispunch.

Also: There is only one control with drinking water on today's courses. However, drinking water is placed centrally on a couple of footpaths - look for the “cup” symbol.

The Yellow course has an off-trail section following a linear feature, although a longer, on-path route option exists; also, the yellow course has an option for a good short-cut through the terrain to practice following a bearing before moving up to an orange course. The Orange course has one or two course legs where a short precision compass bearing will be required, but they are not overly difficult. The advanced courses use a newly mapped section in the northernmost part of the park, courtesy of John Blaisdell. Also, the advanced courses all cross Marriottsville Road which carries high-speed traffic, so please use caution when crossing the road.

Map Scales: White 1:5000, Yellow 1:7500, All others 1:10000. Contour interval 5m for all course maps.

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
  • If you wish to become a QOC member do so online via this webpage (which also explains the member benefits).
  • 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.