Gunston Hall

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October 17

Gunston Hall Pre-registration is required and will open on Monday, October 11 at 6pm and will close at noon on Saturday October 16, the day before the event. There will be no day-of registration.

Welcome back to Gunston Hall as we enter the peak of the autumn orienteering season!

The terrain at Gunston Hall includes forest of varying density, open fields, historic structures, and bluffs along the Potomac shore east of Lorton, VA, and we have a full set of seven classic courses designed by Rob Field (full details shown below) with some parts of the longer courses including a road crossing to Gunston Hall's property on the west side of Gunston Road.

We will also be offering a "Fox-O" radio-direction-finding orienteering course at Gunston Hall. Click HERE for more details.

The entrance to Gunston Hall (see directions below; overview map here) is about 600 meters beyond the Pohick Bay Regional Park entrance on Gunston Road. Please drive with particular caution as you enter Gunston Hall. The first 300 meters of the entrance road is curvy and hemmed in by vegetation reducing the visibility of oncoming vehicles.

Parking will be in the lot adjacent to the visitor’s center. The parking lot and the registration site right across the entrance road from it will be easily discernible as you drive in. Port-a-johns will be on site adjacent to check-in.

Guided Tour Included: The QOC fee will include an additional $5/person surcharge in addition to the regular meet fees. This surcharge covers Gunston Hall grounds fees for each participant, and it entitles participants to take one of the guided tours of the Hall offered during the day at no additional cost. [Gunston Hall staff would appreciate it if you would sign up before your orienteering run for a later tour so they know when to expect you.] Tours will be available on the hour and half hour starting at 10am, with the last tour at 4:30pm; just present your course map (before or after your run) at the front desk inside the visitors center to sign up (max tour group size ~20). To learn more about Gunston Hall, the home of the principal designer of the Bill of Rights, George Mason, visit the Gunston Hall website.

COVID Risk Reduction Protocols:

As with all 2021-2022 QOC events, this event requires pre-registration via the link below. QOC’s COVID risk reduction protocols, as also enumerated somewhat here, are in effect. Please read these guidelines carefully. Key points:

  • PROPERLY WORN MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING ARE REQUIRED at all times when near registration, epunch and any other areas or queues where volunteers and/or participants are congregating.
  • No water will be provided. Provide for your own hydration needs before, during, and after the event.
  • There is no planned, on-site beginner instruction, but beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst.
  • There will be eight 15 minute check-in windows followed by two 45min windows (as for most QOC events this season).
Additional notes:
  • Dogs are allowed, but must be on leash at all times.
  • Spikes are not allowed in the Visitor Center.
  • Please respect the out-of-bounds areas shown on your course map.
  • You're Invited! QOC veteran Sidney Sachs will host a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 8pm to review selected Gunston Hall course legs and analyze the routes various orienteers took. Please contact Sid Sachs) for the invite link.


Gunston Hall, Main parking area, Lorton, VA (Classic)

RegistrationRegistration for this event will open at 6pm on Monday Oct. 11 via this link. Registration will close no later than Noon on Saturday Oct. 16.
Who's registered? Check by clicking here. Sorting by column is possible too - just click on the column name.

Start TimesStart times will be by windows (to be defined for this event before registration opens).
ScheduleSunday, October 17
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Beatri Bennett
Course Designer:Rob Field
Location Details

Gunston Hall
Main parking area
Lorton, VA
Google Map

From southbound I-95, take exit 163 (Lorton). Go left ontoLorton 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 entrance to Gunston Hall on left (identified with orienteering sign; overview map here.)
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.1108
Yellow 4.16514
Orange 5.628014
Brown 4.519014
Green 6.325014
Red 8.540019
Blue 10.458021
Course NotesClassic

Map: The main area consists of a large field with the start and finish surrounded by woods. The woods are either very open or some shade of green. Most of the reentrants are steep. Intermittent creeks in the bottom of reentrants may be in ravines. Reentrants often have downed trees crossing them making running up or down difficult. Many new unmapped rootstocks exist, and some older rootstocks with tree trunks (x-) now consist of only the rootstock, no trunk. Indistinct trails were left as they were on the original map even though they may have changed. One week out, water features are somewhat drier than mapped, but keep an eye on the weather.

Brown, Red & Blue courses cross Gunston Road. Use of the road crossing point marked on the map is mandatory. Please heed directions from the volunteer crossing guard positioned at the crossing; please stop if so directed. Controls have been placed near the crossing to assist in channelizing runners across the proper crossing. Please move away from the controls quickly to avoid congestion at these controls. Cars are usually speeding. Please stay safe.

Those courses crossing the road will encounter a newly mapped area, with little marked beyond the contour intervals. Blue & Red will encounter many areas of unmapped green, as well as water features that are not shown on the map; however, the contours are generally accurate. This new map section consists of a plateau with 12-36" high huckleberry bushes that are not too hard to get through. Reentrants do have areas of unmapped mountain laurel.

Out of Bounds: Note the out-of-bounds areas as marked on the map. However, please also respect private land, marked with either black or burgundy stripes. Note there are some old out-of-bounds and do not enter signs which may be ignored.

CAUTIONS: You may come across an area in the woods with small flags which indicates a yellow jacket ground hole. A few areas of downed fence may not be mapped, and in areas of mapped fence there may be barbed wire on the ground. Recommend taking steps against chiggers (avoid sitting on the ground, apply insect repellent, shower afterwards). Seriously thorny greenbriar in some spots.

Course map scale is 1:10000 for orange through blue courses.

Entry FeesNote: the fees for this event will include an additional $5/per person surcharge due to venue policies.

Individual 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. A group receives one epunch. Individuals or groups desiring to compete on a second course after completing their first can do so for a reduced fee of $2/map subject to approval at the event by the Event Director.

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.
  • There is no planned, on-site beginner instruction, but beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst