Mason Neck

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December 18

Mason Neck Pre-registration is required for this event, opening Monday, Dec. 12 at 6pm and closing Saturday Dec. 17 at 12 noon.
There will be no day-of registration.

Looking for a last chance in 2022 to get out in the woods? Join us as we return to Mason Neck for the first time in almost two years.

Orienteering in Mason Neck provides a distinctive navigation experience due to the flatness of this coastal plain terrain. The park's subtle contours (2.5 meter contour interval rather than the standard 5 meters) and relatively few features present a change from the usual spur and reentrant terrain typical of our area. At Mason Neck you'll enjoy fast running and the chance to develop your compass skills and pace counting. Runners have their choice of a full set of classic courses (details are now below) designed by Mark Thomsen that take advantage of the parks unique topography.

Check in will be on the west side of the main parking area. Follow QOC signage from the turn off of Gunston Road.

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

Also keep in mind:

  • QOC will continue to use pre-registration as the ONLY method of sign-up for our events. 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.

Additional Information:

  • There is a park entry fee of $10 per vehicle that is collected at the park gate.
  • Any youth or large groups attending, although you will be pre-registering online, please contact one of the Event Directors (below) to let them 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 no longer than 6 feet at all times.
  • The rest rooms at Mason Neck are adjacent to the check in area and will be open for our event.


Mason Neck SP, Mason Neck SP, Lorton, VA (Classic)

RegistrationRegistration for this event opens at 6pm on Monday Dec. 12 via this link. Registration will close at noon on Saturday Dec. 17. 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 18
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Gary Quam
Event Director:Ginny Quam
Course Designer:Mark Thomsen
Location Details

Mason Neck SP
Mason Neck SP
Lorton, VA
Google Map

From southbound I-95, take exit 163 (Lorton). Go left onto Lorton Rd at the end of exit ramp. Go under the 2nd overpass and turn right onto Lorton Market St., 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 5 miles to the right turn on High Point Road (it's about 1.2 miles after the Pohick entrance). Once in the park ($10 entrance fee per vehicle), follow the signs towards the Visitor Center. The registration area will be to the left just before the Visitor Center; look for the banner.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 22510
Yellow 3.73012
Orange 5.97513
Brown 4.45010
Green 66511
Red 7.77015
Blue 9.29018
Course NotesClassic

Get excited about the full suite of courses at Mason Neck, including a Blue Course!

Terrain Overview: Mason Neck offers an expansive open forest with 2.5m contours for navigation. Point features are mostly knolls and rootstocks. The map won't reflect every rootstock you'll see, but the rootstocks containing controls are mapped. Expect minimal climbing. Marshy areas are likely dry but check the weather before arriving.

Course Guidance: Success at Mason Neck favors these skills: 1) Precise navigation and 2) distance estimation. Intermediate runners should stick to Orange and below. White/Yellow/Orange courses offer route choices and chances to practice advanced skills with little consequences.

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