Cunningham Falls

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October 4

Pre-registration required; there is NO day-of registration.

Charcoal PlatformWelcome to the fourth edition of Platformpalooza, which is "an orienteering celebration of that rare in our area but nevertheless humble remnant of the era before fossil fuel dominance, the charcoal platform" (a grassier than usual for this event Scottish examplar of this trace of human impact on the landscape is pictured to the right). Thanks to course setter Michael Dickey, course stats and comments are below for the seven courses (white through blue).

Speaking of collecting fees, we believe the park levies a per vehicle entry fee - $3 for MD residents, $5 for out-of-staters, childrens in booster seats no charge. These fees may have increased. If a ranger states the park is too crowded to enter and tries to turn you away at the gate, since we have a permitted event, you can tell the ranger on duty you are attending our event in order to be let in.


Cunningham Falls St. Park, Manor Area (Classic)

RegistrationAdvance pre-registration (with payment) is required for all remaining 2020 events - details to follow. For this event, registration will open at noon on Monday, Sept. 28, and will close at 6pm on Saturday Oct. 3 (the night before the event).
Start TimesParticipants will register in advance for a specified 45 minute check-in window (including map pick-up), starting at 9:45am until the final window from 1:15-1:30pm. Each window will be limited to 15 "starts" (solo individuals or groups).
ScheduleSunday, October 4
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Dagmar (Dasa) Merkova
Course Designer:Michael Dickey
Location Details

Cunningham Falls St. Park
Manor Area
Google Map

From US-15, 11 miles north of Frederick MD and 2.7 miles south of Thurmont, turn west onto Cunningham Falls Park Rd. After entering the park, keep following the road around to your left, past the parking lots, playground, visitor center and aviary, then park in the large parking lot at the bottom of the incline south of the aviary. Registration will be in the pavilion near the northeast corner of that parking lot.
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2708
Yellow 2.79014
Orange 421511
Brown 3.317510
Green 5.128510
Red 6.338512
Blue 7.749515
Course NotesClassic

This map has been updated considerably since our first event here, but it still does not have the level of detail that most of our maps do. There are boulders and rootstocks that are not yet mapped, but the ones that are mapped are there. We've updated the map with some features that competitors are likely to see, but there will be features that you may come across that are not mapped. Some mapped vegetation is based on field checking, but most is still based on LIDAR data; green areas are generally accurate, but some types of vegetation that result in slower running don't show up on the map.

This is steep and rocky terrain; even areas that are mapped as open and runnable will not be as fast as most of our maps. Courses are a bit shorter than normal, but this is not an event to move up a level.

Yellow course notes: The yellow course duplicates much of the White course but has two sections that while they include easy to follow linear features may be a bit more challenging than most of our yellow courses. Those sections are controls 5-6-7 and then 9-10-11. It will be worth understanding the mapped linear features and paying attention to them.

Entry FeesIndividual Entries

Note: juniors = under 21

Club Member, adult Club Member, junior Non-Member, adult Non-Member, junior
$10 $5 $20 $5

Group Entries

Participants are welcome to orienteer together as a group (up to the maximum for that event; usually 4). Each member of a group is charged their individual rate as shown above, up to a group total of $30 (maximum), and each receives a map. Individuals or groups 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 will be loaned one 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 (such as car keys) when borrowing a compass or epunch.
  • Free beginner instruction is always available - just ask at the registration table. While COVID-19 policies are in effect, please check out instructional videos online such as those mentioned above in lieu of in-person/at-event instruction.