Lake Needwood

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May 22

Permit approved - and course details are now available as well.

Welcome back to Lake Needwood! This will be our tenth event at this beautiful lakeside park, nestled within the 1,800 acre Rock Creek Regional Park. On offer is a full slate of beginner through advanced courses (white through blue), and detailed course setter comments are now below.

Weather Alert: With a forecast for summertime temperatures (90 degrees!) on Sunday, please remember to bring your own water with you and keep yourself well hydrated on the course. Per our covid posture, there will not be water stations on the course. A limited amount of water will be available at the shelter for emergencies should the need arise.

ARDF Radio Orienteering Course:
Update: Due to forecast afternoon thunderstorms, we will only offer the 10 AM option for FoxO. Please contact Mike Kholodov for more information. We will also be offering a ten-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.

We hope you can come out for one of the last events of the season. Check-in will be in Pavilion C near the playground and restroom building. This is in the center of the loop formed by Needlewood Lake Circle and Beach Drive. Driving directions to the main parking area are in the location details below. If the weather is nice the parking lots may fill up. If that occurs there is additional parking along the road, just make sure you park in one of the marked spaces.

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).
Other points:
  • Any large groups planning to attend the event or anyone with questions please contact the Event Director.
  • 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).
  • Pets are permitted in the park but must be leashed at all times.
  • You're Invited! QOC veteran Sidney Sachs will host a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, May 24 at 8pm to review selected course legs and analyze the routes various orienteers took. Please contact Sid Sachs for the invite link.


Lake Needwood, Circle Parking Area, Derwood, MD (Classic)

RegistrationRegistration for this event opens at 6pm on Monday May 16 via this link. Advance registration is required. Registration will close at noon on Saturday May 21 (the day before the event).
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, May 22
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:David Rager
Event Director:Reiko Rager
Course Designer:Joe Barrett
Course Designer:Angie Barrett
Location Details

Lake Needwood
Circle Parking Area
Derwood, MD
Google Map

Get to Avery Rd from either Norbeck Rd (Rt 28) or Muncaster Mill Rd (Rt 115). From Avery Rd, turn onto Needwood Lake Dr, go 0.3 miles, then turn left on Beach Dr. The first right then leads to Needwood Lake Circle, and by continuing to follow QOC signs you should be led to the pavilion/shelter in use for the event, most likely towards the S end of the lake.
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.8559
Yellow 3.76011
Orange 3.911011
Brown 3.71607
Green 5.72109
Red 6.725012
Blue 7.929015
Course NotesClassic

Thorn bushes have grown up in certain areas, especially the south end of the park. Most of the sections are less dense, so it is fairly easy to weave ones way through them. But where they have grown close together provides more of an obstacle.

The main river is cross-able at the moment, but you will get wet. However, most legs have a semi-reasonable route to use a bridge/road to cross, in case of heavy rains before the event.

Due to the layout of the park, one is never very far from a major linear feature (road, creek, lake edge, etc), so choosing this event to try one of the advanced courses for the first time isn’t a bad idea.

Be careful crossing the roads. They are marked with a red X on the map in the sections that are forbidden to follow along.

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