Lake Needwood

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April 28

Glen Artney stream Welcome back to Lake Needwood! This will be our eighth event at this beautiful lakeside park, nestled within the 1,800 acre Rock Creek Regional Park. On offer is a full slate of beginner through advanced courses (white through blue), and course stats and course setter comments are posted below. This park offers a surprising array of family recreational opportunities as well ā€“ from kayak rentals to the Go Ape! Treetop challenge course (see below).

Standard event timing: register between 10:45 - 1:15, start any time between 11 - 1:30, and be back before 3pm.

Driving directions are below; we will be in Shelter C (Just up hill from Shelter A, near the restrooms). And BTW, leashed dogs are welcome!

Youth or large groups: 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.

Links to park info and nearby attractions:

  • scenic Lake Needwood itself in this panoramic photo by fearless mapper Nadim Ahmed of part of the lake.
  • info about fishing and boat rentals (kayaks, canoes, rowboats & paddle boats).
  • schematic Park map showing Shelter Cā€ (yellow circle at the bottom of map, near the boat dock.) and parking areas. An interactive aerial map of the entire park.
  • a Go Ape treetop adventure course is also in this park.


Lake Needwood, Circle Parking Area, Derwood, MD (Classic)

RegistrationNo advance registration required. Just show up and have fun!
Start TimesStart any time between the specified times (usually 11am - 1:30pm).
ScheduleSunday, April 28
11:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Dagmar (Dasa) Merkova
Course Designer:Michael Dickey
Location Details

Lake Needwood
Circle Parking Area
Derwood, MD
Google Map

Get to Avery Rd from either Norbeck Rd (Rt 28) or Muncaster Mill Rd (Rt 115). From Avery Rd, turn onto Needwood Lake Dr, go 0.3 miles, then turn left on Beach Dr. The first right then leads to Needwood Lake Circle, and by continuing to follow QOC signs you should be led to the pavilion/shelter in use for the event, most likely towards the S end of the lake.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.16010
Yellow 2.96512
Orange 5.214013
Brown 4.314512
Green 6.326014
Red 7.826521
Blue 9.431525
Course NotesClassic

This course is physically and navigationally more challenging than many of our yellow courses. This is not a good course to send a young orienteer out solo on a first move up from white. It is, however, a good course for someone who no longer feels challenged by yellow courses but feels that they may not quite be ready for orange. The course includes a creek crossing between controls 3 and 4, but there a logical crossing just before #4 where you can keep your feet dry. Other controls require some thought and route choice, although for most there are well defined linear features. There is a bridge between 5 and 6 which would be a logical part of your route.

Orange and Advanced courses:
For the most part the woods are open, although there is substantially more deadfall and a number of unmapped rootstocks after the last year's rain and storms. For Red and Blue, on the east side of Rock Creek north of Southlawn Lane the barberry is expanding and is not well mapped, but I've placed controls where logical route choices will avoid the worst of it. Orange and Advanced courses will cross Southlawn Lane, and Green, Red, and Blue will cross Avery Road. The traffic on Sunday shouldn't be to bad, but be careful crossing, particularly on the east side of Rock Creek.

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.