Pohick Bay

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May 6

Locator MapWelcome to Pohick Bay Regional Park orienteering event. Registration and start/finish (see the locator map on the right.) Event timing is our usual: register any time between 10:45 - 1:15, start any time between 11 - 1:30, and be sure to check back in before 3pm. We will operate out of the Eagle's Nest Veranda (pictured below), down the hill from our usual area and located right on the Pohick Bay shoreline. It is important to note that, because of an acute shortage of parking spaces on what park authorities anticipate to be a VERY busy day at Pohick, we will use the same parking lot as in previous years. Please park in the lot identified by signage and then walk down along the footpath next to the access road to the shoreline and the Eagle's Nest for registration. The trail head is clearly identified at the Northeastern corner of the parking lot. Traffic may be heavy so please use the trail and not the road. The Eagle's Nest Veranda is equipped with its own rest rooms.

A full set of courses from beginner (white) to advanced (blue) will be available thanks to course setters Alexis Merka, Jan Merka and Jana Seidlova. The start and finish will be somewhat remote from the registration site in order to avoid running through potentially high traffic and picnic areas.

Other event details you should know about:

  • When you arrive at the gate, tell the attendant that you are there for orienteering and you will not have to pay the entry fee.
  • NEW! Bring food or drinks to picnic on the veranda after your run! We will have use of a refrigerator, and tables and chairs for you to relax in and enjoy the view from this shady veranda.
  • The park's refurbished boat ramp will be available for those who want to bring their boats, and kayaks may be rented as well; full rental details here.
  • There is also a children's play area just 50 meters from our registration pavilion.

Eagles Nest Veranda


Pohick Bay Regional Park, Eagle's Nest (Classic)

RegistrationNo advance registration required. Just show up and have fun! On-site registration from 10:45am to 1:15pm.
Start TimesYou may start your course at any time from 11 am to 1:30pm.
ScheduleSunday, May 6
11:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Dagmar (Dasa) Merkova
Event Director:Iva Zicha
Course Setter:Jana Seidlova
Course Designer:Alex Merka
Course Designer:Jan Merka
Location Details

Pohick Bay Regional Park
Eagle's Nest
Google Map

From southbound I-95, take exit 163 (Lorton). Go left onto Lorton Rd at the end of exit ramp. Go under the 2nd overpass and turn right onto Lorton Market St (Z-pizza is in the shopping center on the left), then go about 1.5 miles to the traffic light at Route 1. Go straight through light (the road name changes to Gunston Rd) and go about 4 miles to the park entrance on left. Let the entrance staff know you are part of the orienteering event so you don't pay admission.
Park in the large lot on the right just beyond the mini-golf course and near Pavilions 1 and 2. Then find the trail head that is clearly identified at the northeastern corner of the parking lot, and walk down it to the shoreline and to the Eagle's Nest pavilion where registration will be. Traffic on the road may be heavy so please use the trail as indicated.
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White Classic 2.47
Yellow Classic 3.38
Orange Classic 3.811
Brown Classic 5.113
Green Classic 5.715
Red Classic 6.314
Blue Classic 716
Course NotesClassic

Thanks to Jon Torrance's mapping efforts, we now have a hugely updated map but that includes changes:

There are now three shades of green on the map, a full 50% increase. Generally, the green on the old map corresponds to the current medium and dark green, just what used to be blobs are now much more complicated shapes - Norway viewed from a high altitude aircraft, with fjords visible, versus Norway viewed from the moon. The light green, where it occurs on the current map, is pretty much all new, and mostly not worth going to much effort to avoid. Medium green will likely be worth going around where it occurs in quantity, and dark green should be avoided at all costs.

Rootstocks at least 1.5m high are mapped with green X, the same as at Mason Neck last month.

The map uses the ISOM 2017 symbol set so no surprise there. However, to adhere with that standard, the north lines are now 300m apart.

There are power lines along Gunston Rd and leading to the Wilson Scout Camp that aren't on the map because they run right next to roads and don't provide any navigation information significant enough to make up for cluttering the map up.

The depiction of small watercourses has changed enormously from the old map. Where they used to be mapped as crossable watercourses regardless of how deep and steep-sided a channel they may have carved, sections that are truly difficult to cross on that account are now mapped as erosion gullies instead. The map reading is harder than it used to be since the brown erosion gully symbol doesn't stand out against a background of contours depicting steep-sided valleys as well as the colour blue does but the upshot is that a lot of information useful for route choice is now explicitly on the map rather than having to be guessed from the surrounding topography and/or remembered from past encounters with the terrain.

Most of the earth banks are now converted to impassable cliffs, with or without tags, which makes it more visibly obvious that it's a good idea to go around them so don't expecting to see things that look rocky.

Avoid camp sites that have tents or people. And, of course, respect the marked out-of-bounds areas.

Map scale is 1:7,500 for White and Yellow courses, 1:10,000 for Orange to Blue courses and contour interval is 5 meters.

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.