Cunningham Falls

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October 24

Pre-registration is required and will open on Monday, October 18 at 6pm and will close at noon on Saturday October 23, the day before the event.
There will be no day-of registration.
Charcoal Platform

Welcome back to Cunningham Falls for the fifth 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). Course stats will be available soon.

The park charges a per vehicle entry fee - $3 for MD residents, $5 for out-of-staters. 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, please tell the ranger on duty you are attending our event in order to be let in.

Registration procedures and COVID Risk Reduction policies will follow those outlined in our first event of this season; basically, masks are required other than when you're orienteering.

Cunningham Falls is more rugged than many of our other venues, and as a precaution, QOC has again partnered with the Maryland and Mid-Atlantic Wilderness Rescue Squad to provide on-site first response in the event of participant injury. The on-site responders will almost certainly arrive faster than calls placed to 911, so, unlike other QOC events, call the Rescue Squad first if there’s a serious injury. Their emergency number will be printed on each map.

As always, please be off the course no later than 3 pm and remember to download at our e-punch station even if you did not finish. We want to make sure of everyone’s safety and status.

New to orienteering? Make sure to check out our Your First Event and For Beginners webpages, and if they don’t answer any remaining questions you have, just use our Contact Form and ask away!

There will not be any full, on-site beginner instruction, and beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst before arriving at the park.

However, there will be a volunteer on hand to ensure that first-time orienteers know how to get to the start and use the e-punch.

Youth Group Leaders (other than JROTC): please see our For Group Leaders webpage and then contact the Event Director so we can answer questions and coordinate any logistical issues.

Other notes:

Pets are allowed in Cunningham Falls Park.


  • there is no water on the course. Participants are responsible for their own hydration. A very limited supply of bottled water for emergency use will be on hand with the Meet Director; but it is vital to stay well hydrated. Please come prepared!
  • post-event snacks are no longer provided
For more information on how our events are run in line with our COVID-19 guidelines, please peruse the details in the announcement for the first event of our season.

Detailed course notes will be provided below before registration opens.


Cunningham Falls St. Park, Manor Area (Classic)

RegistrationAdvance registration will be required. The date and time that registration will open will be posted here; usually, registration will open at 6pm on the Monday before the event.
Start TimesStart times will be by windows (to be defined for this event before registration opens).
ScheduleSunday, October 24
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Craig Shelden
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.
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. 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