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September 21

Occoquan in SummerQOC is returning to Occoquan Regional Park for the 2019-2020 season! This event is indeed scheduled for Saturday; our apologies for a mistaken email that implied otherwise.

Occoquan affords a combination of fast, open woods along with recreational fields (and some thick vegetation if you wander off course); course stats and course setter comments are now posted below.

Event timing is our standard: register any time between 10:45 - 1:15, start any time between 11 - 1:30, and make sure to be back and to have downloaded by 3pm.

Event registration for this season will be at Shelter 3 (not shelter 4 as in the last several seasons); a Locator Map is available to help guide you. Restrooms are located between the two parking lots across the road from registration in Shelter 3.

Beginner Instruction: There will be beginner’s instruction, as always, as well. If you are interested and don’t see who is giving it, ask at the registration table. A QOC member will show you how to read a map, teach you how to use a compass with your map and give you hints on how to navigate your choice of course. Besides that, just wear a smile and the clothes you would for a hike or run in a local park. Bring a compass, if you have one, or borrow one at the event.

Please note that there has been a good deal of additional construction and upgrading at Occoquan. Those who have not been to the park recently will see a large new event center building as they break out of the wooded entry drive and into the open park area. The entry road has been slightly re-routed to make room for the event center and another new parking area built for it. In addition the paved walking trail has been extended and upgraded as well. The new Brickmaker's Cafe is located in the event center and is open Saturdays 11 AM to 8 PM, affording all the opportunity to enjoy casual fare with great views of the nearby Occoquan River.

Additional information:

  • Dogs are welcome, but please keep them on a leash at all times.
  • Full restroom facilities will be available a short walk away from our registration area.
  • There are no entrance or parking fees at this venue.
  • GPS watches will be available for loan from Jon Torrance for those who wish to track their routes.


Occoquan Regional Park, Shelter 3, Lorton, VA (Classic)

RegistrationNo advance registration required. Just show up and have fun!
Start TimesStart any time between the specified times (usually 11am - 1:30pm).
ScheduleSaturday, September 21
11:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Rick Oliver
Course Designer:Sidney Sachs
Location Details

Occoquan Regional Park
Shelter 3
Lorton, VA
Google Map

Take exit 160B off of I-95 onto Route 123 north, follow 123 north 1.5 miles to park entrance on right. As as alternative, from exit 163 make a left at the new traffic light onto Workhouse Road, and then go left at the next two traffic lights.

Be aware that I-95 heading south after ~11am on Saturday mornings is when the express lanes reverse, usually causing a back up starting at Route 123; avoid using I-95 between exits 160 - 163 on a weekend afternoon if you can.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link

Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 1.76510
Yellow 3.214013
Orange 4.525515
Brown 4.32759
Green 5.229012
Red 6.136512
Blue 8.745517
Course NotesClassic

As noted before, this season, registration for our Occoquan meet will be at Shelter 3 (not shelter 4 as in the last several seasons). In terms of course map scales, white will be at 1:5,000 scale and all other courses (including yellow) will be 1:7,500. Course setter Sidney Sachs set courses in the shade of the woodland part of the Occoquan map as much as possible.

If you were not at the event last year you may notice that a major construction project in the park two years ago resulted in significant modifications to the athletic fields and other open and built-up areas of the park. Most of the baseball and soccer configurations have been removed, leaving open fields, and the multi-purpose trail has been extended to form a complete loop the open fields. New parking lots and drainage infrastructure have been added. These changes are reflected on the map.

Most of Occoquan Park--both the open fields and the woodland area lying on both sides of Mordor Road--is very open and runnable. Deadfall, a big problem in other parks, is minimal in Occoquan. There were many more decayed root stocks to take off the map than there were new ones to add. The only severe undergrowth is concentrated along the sides of and between the trails in the area due north of the start. There is scattered refuse, especially around the fringes of the woodland area, that is not shown on the map.

Please conduct any road crossing with caution! Although traffic density is generally low, and speed humps are in place to restrict vehicles to 20 mph, there is always the chance of someone driving fast and not looking for runners.

This relatively small orienteering area (around 1 square kilometer) that we are using is almost never used by the general public. It is divided in the middle by a road to the Fairfax County Trash area. All courses except the beginner course will cross this road. All of our earlier events at Occoquan were on Sundays when the trash area was closed. Saturday, however, it is open and normally has a lot of traffic, mainly trucks, that must go slow (about 15 mph) because of the speed bumps. You shouldn't have trouble crossing the road but please be careful to look both way before crossing. After crossing the terrain on the east side of the road, there are no trails so pace count is highly recommend. This is one of the reasons there will be a 50 meter pace count set up near the registration area. Please also note some of the hills and re-entrants are very steep. One of the controls that I was going to place in a re-entrant is very deep so I moved it to the very top.

Please note the White course will not be completely on trails. At one point, it will go uphill 65 meters. It will be flagged with little orange flags. The next control will be along the top of the ridge line for about 200 meters. The course setter believes going along ridge line will be an easy linear feature to navigate. To help you, he suggests that you use the 50 meter pace course before starting to get your pace count. Then on the leg along the ridge line, he suggests that you count your paces to the control at the end of the leg. It should be a few steps more than four times whatever you have for a 50 meter pace count.

The Yellow course also has a control on the top of a different hill. Also several legs use other types of handrails then trails. At the ninth control be careful crossing the gully.

Occoquan Park is known for chiggers. Please protect yourself accordingly with long sleeves, long pants, repellent, vinegar or sulfur powder.

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.