Turkey Run Ridge

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF versionPDF versionShareThis

December 11

Turkey RunPre-registration is required for this event, opening Monday, Dec. 5 at 6pm and closing Saturday Dec. 10 at 12 noon.
There will be no day-of registration.

Welcome to the Turkey Run Ridge area of Prince William Forest Park for our second orienteering event of this weekend--our Sunday Day O. [See the separate announcement here for the Night-O on December 10.] Course setter Matt Smith has designed a full set of classic courses for your enjoyment. Coming just after leaves are fully off the trees, this event should afford participants excellent visibility in the woods.

We have rented all the Turkey Run camping grounds, so there will be no need to avoid any occupied areas as you run your courses. Parking will be in the Turkey Run parking lot and in the parkings spaces allotted to each camping area. Check-in will be immediately adjacent to the parking lot. When you turn in to the Turkey Run entrance road, look for a parking volunteer wearing a reflective vest for precise directions on where to go. A locator graphic is here.

Parking is limited at the site, so carpooling is recommended (and will save $). Per-vehicle park entry fee is $20; if the pay station at the entrance is not manned, entry fees can be paid at the park HQ before driving out to the check-in site at Turkey Run or via the NPS app available at this link. (NOTE: the fee for an annual park pass is $35; QOC members may want to consider purchasing an annual pass for this great park, either at a park office or a local REI. Seniors, current or former members of the US Armed Forces and some other categories of park users are entitled to a free passes for the entire National Park System. See this link for details.)

New Opportunity! Course designer Matt Smith will lead a walk on the Orange course at 1pm to discuss route choices, handrails, backstops, and other navigation tips. This is an excellent opportunity for everyone who participated in the Movin' Up to Orange event at Cabin John to reinforce what they learned at that event. The walk is open to anyone interested in tagging along, but it will be most beneficial to those who have already run the Orange course earlier in the day. The club is invested in helping those transitioning from beginner to more advanced orienteering, and this is the latest event in the developmental series. If interested, please get in touch with Matt for more details.

Custom QOC JerseysJersey Display & Size Check: Come check out the custom QOC jerseys and confirm your preferred size and style! We'll have them on display at this event from ~10am - 2pm. Orders must be placed by Dec. 15; details are here.

ARDF Radio Orienteering Courses: We will also be offering a 10-control "Fox O" radio direction finding (ARDF) orienteering course designed by Mike Kholodov, a perfect complement to your classic course for those who would like to try a new orienteering experience. Click here for more details.

Volunteer SignUps: If you'd like to help out at this event click here. You can also contact the event director (listed below).

Groups of 8 or more: although you will be pre-registering online, for his awareness please let the Event Director know of your plans and participant numbers.

JROTC units who are planning to come by bus, please contact the Event Director to let him know how many buses you would like to bring. There is limited bus parking space at Turkey Run Ridge, but we will have access to a remote parking area where buses can wait during the event.

Also keep in mind:

  • QOC will continue to use pre-registration as the ONLY method of signing up for our meets. There will be NO day-of, on-site registration. Refunds are paid only in the case of event cancellation. We are unable to handle cash transactions at the event.
  • Masks are optional at all locations connected with the event. Please continue to minimize clustering at and around the check-in, e-punch, start and finish areas.
  • Beginner instruction is available to provide an overview of the orienteering basics for newcomers to the sport or those who just want a refresher.
  • We will continue our policy of not providing WATER or food to participants at our events aside from an emergency water for first aid purposes only. So don't forget your canteens/Camelbacks/other hydration arrangements.
  • As with last season, there will be eight 15-minute check-in windows followed by two 45-minute windows. See pre-registration menu for details.
Additional Information:
  • Any youth or large groups attending, although you will be pre-registering online, please contact the Event Director (below) to let him know of your plans and numbers for their awareness.
  • The size of start teams (groups of individuals orienteering together with one e-punch) on a course must be no more than four (4) individuals (juniors and adults combined).
  • Dogs are welcome in this park but must be kept on leash at all times.
  • The rest rooms at Turkey Run Ridge will be open for our event--one adjacent to the parking lot and the other at the far end of the campground.


Prince William Forest Park, Turkey Run (Classic)

RegistrationRegistration for this event will open at 6pm on Monday Dec. 5 via this link. Registration will close at noon on Saturday Dec. 10. Pre-registration is mandatory.

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, December 11
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:John Baker
Course Designer:Matt Smith
Location Details

Prince William Forest Park
Turkey Run
Google Map

Take I-95 to exit 150 (150B from points north). Head west on Joplin Road (VA-619) and take the second right for the park entrance. Turn left 0.5 miles from the park entrance, onto Scenic Drive. Bear left at the split in the drive following signs for the Turkey Run Education Center, then turn right at the sign shortly after the split for the Turkey Run Education Center & Campground. Driving time inside the park is ~15 minutes.
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.58012
Yellow 2.91059
Long Yellow 516515
Orange 5.616011
Brown 4.81459
Green 5.918011
Red 7.923014
Blue 10.732014
Course NotesClassic

Map scales are 1:5000 for White, 1:7500 for Yellow, Orange & Brown, and 1:10000 for Green, Red & Blue.

The 2022 "Day-O" at PWFP Turkey Run Ridge has an extra-full set of 8 classic courses in one of our favorite areas. In a different part of the park from our upcoming National Ranking Event, the contours are varied, the route choices will hopefully be fun and challenging, visibility is generally great and most parts of the white-woods are runnable. The club is working to update the map and while the full-update is still coming, several recent improvements have made a big difference. Many of the most dense deadfall areas are mapped (especially in the north) and may factor in your route selection. Where deadfall is not mapped, courses either avoid areas or are manageable (some paths/gaps through or bounce off/around edges, etc.)

While there is forecast to be some rainfall this week, as of last field-check the area was fairly dry and seasonal watercourses are generally low or dry. There are branches of the Quantico Creek South Fork that will be crossed by most courses; bridges connected to a track/path are mapped according to the updated standard (shown by centering a track dash on the crossing.) Vegetation and undergrowth is down for the season and most route-selections will avoid heavy vegetation challenges. Rough-open land is generally rough but passable, however with dead/dry/dormant tall grass and vegetation is typically slower than white-woods.

This event will have a Yellow-Short and a Yellow-Long courses.

The Yellow-Short is particularly short but still with a fair amount of climb and a short number of controls. All of the handrails are trails, roads, or clearing/paths. Most of the legs do not climb much, but the course overall does go down to the creek and back up.

The Yellow-Long course is well suited for those who want to run or stretch out their total distance without getting into advanced navigation. The course does get off-trail and uses a creek as a handrail. Remember, you don't have to walk in a creek or on the bank to follow a creek. This course will require a couple creek crossings to avoid steep banks and stay on whichever side is flat & easy/runnable. I have been able to keep feet-dry walking the course. There may be small areas of deadfall to navigate around or through but in the creek valley it's easy to keep sight of that handrail. This could be a great opportunity for those working on transitioning to Orange to get off-trail and have some high-confidence navigating experiences.

Most courses will stay within the Scenic Drive loop and will not cross the generally trafficked road but some courses do cross the Turkey Run Rd accessing the Campground/Registration/Start/Finish area. While it is only likely to have cars driven by fellow orienteers going slowly, everyone please do be aware and cautious when crossing and while driving. The Red and Blue courses will cross Scenic Drive. Please be additionally careful watching for cars and bicyclists.

Safety Bearing: Since courses will be within the Scenic Drive loop, going far enough in any direction will eventually take you to the loop road...however NW could take a really long time to get there. Two significant dirt/forest roads bisect the area roughly north-south with a big 'X' (Old Black Top/Turkey Run Rd and Taylor Farm Rd.) When in doubt, East will get you to a road (dirt or paved) closer to the the finish.

UPDATE (Dec. 9):

On Advanced Courses, most of the deadfall that could impact route selection is mapped as green, and while there are often lanes through that can be found (and there may be conversation(s) about whether a darker shade of green should have been here or there) in almost all cases, Green is Green: if it's mapped green it will often be navigable, but will almost always slow you down. Sometimes things in the green can get thick and your mileage may vary deciding to go through; Fortune favors the bold, but I hear Mr. Murphy does too.

There are a lot of Permanent Control Markers now (wood posts with orange painted tops and big white numbers,) and they are very sparsely mapped. If you see one and don't think it's on the map it's probably not (i.e. it is not reliable to [re]locate with.) None of them should impact navigation, except possibly on the first control on the Green course.

The Blue course goes to an area that has some '301 Uncrossable' body of water mapped. These areas aren't currently bodies of water; and while there are some banks that are steeper than others, none of the area should be considered out-of-bounds/uncrossable.

The only prominent man-made feature used as a control location is on the White and Yellow(s) courses and is the campground amphitheater.

Weather forecast is looking pretty good. Current report will be cloudy in the morning and there's a small chance of barely any rain (20-30% of 0.01in) clearing by midday. The ground is great for running, marshes have some but not a lot of water and nearly all the woods are carpeted in leaves and very runnable.

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.
  • In addition to free on-site beginner instruction if needed, beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst