Balls Bluff

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October 21

Balls Bluff

Late-Breaking News! We **WILL** be employing a shuttle to move runners from the parking area at Ball’s Bluff Elementary School to the registration site at Edwards Landing AND then on to the start and finish area which is now located at the the park's main parking lot. A 24-passenger bus will be on station at Ball’s Bluff Elementary School at 10:30am to begin shuttling runners. We will have guides to facilitate bus movement and help runners deal with the last-minute change at the elementary school and on the bus. Registration remains at Edwards Landing with the e-punch station set up near the start/finish.

QOC is returning to Ball's Bluff Regional Park for the first time since December, 2016, and, as it happens, our meet is scheduled for the 157th anniversary of the Battle of Ball's Bluff, fought on October 21st, 1861.

Given that October 21st also marks the 213th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, it is fitting that the event is generously being hosted by the cadets of the Loudoun County Public Schools Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) who will be stepping up to fill all the volunteer positions for the event. QOC's Tom Strat is designing a full set of classic courses for the meet.

Our registration site will be in the pavilion of the very small Edwards Landing Municipal Park, which abuts the south end of Balls Bluff, so make sure to read the driving and parking directions. Please do not park in the minuscule Edwards Landing Park parking lot unless you are a meet volunteer, nor on Powhatan Court, the narrow cul-de-sac immediately outside of Edwards Landing Park.

CHANGE TO PARKING GUIDANCE. PLEASE READ (but see also update above):
The primary parking area for this event is the Ball's Bluff Elementary School parking lot. See overview map here. The walk from the parking lot to Edward Landing park, where the event registration is being held, is a little over half a mile. Although parking is legal on the main through-streets in the vicinity of Edward Landing Park such as Hunton Place, Graywood Way, and Wood Edge Drive, the local authorities have asked that we instead park at the elementary school. In order to maintain good relations with those who grant permits to use Edward Landing park, we should make every effort to comply with their guidance, treating the half-mile walk as a warm-up. The walk should take about 10-12 minutes. There will NOT be shuttle service between the elementary school and the registration site for this event. Those with special needs/circumstances or who are unable to find an open parking slot at the elementary school can park nearer Edward Landing along the above-mentioned streets. Organizational buses (and all other vehicles) can drop off passengers at the mouth of Powhatan Court near the event site and then move to the elementary school to park. Portable toilets will be on site.

Ball's Bluff has undergone restoration over the last several years to more accurately reflect its 1861 condition, and attendees will have the opportunity of touring the battlefield area and the associated National Cemetery above the Potomac River. Free Battlefield tours are conducted by expert volunteer tour guides from the group, Friends of Ball's Bluff, every Saturday and Sunday at 11AM and 1PM from early April through the end of November, so orienteers can take part in a guided tour out of the park main parking lot (not Edwards Landing) either before or after they run their courses. Tours include about one mile of walking on woodland trails and last from one to two hours. Those wishing to take tours on their own may pick up a brochure at the visitor's kiosk in the main parking lot.

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.


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

RegistrationNo advance registration required. Just show up and have fun!
Start TimesStart any time between the specified times (usually 11am - 1:30pm).
ScheduleSunday, October 21
11:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Bill Johns
Course Designer:Tom Strat
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 1.55012
Yellow 1.98010
Orange 3.613012
Brown 4.217012
Green 5.620015
Red 726019
Blue 8.429026
Course NotesClassic

Balls Bluff features ridge and valley terrain, which can be quite steep in places. The woods are mostly very runnable, although vegetation tends to be thicker in the northern sections. The flood plain along the Potomac River was recently inundated and is quite muddy now. All private property (mapped as olive green color) is out of bounds. Some mapped rootstocks have decayed considerably. Many new rootstocks have appeared, and only some of them have been added to the map. The contour interval is 3 meters.

Black circle on the map may indicate a bench, sign, or other man-made object. Black circle as a control description always indicates a bench.

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 you should join online in advance 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) can be purchased from online vendors 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.