Gunston Hall

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September 18

Gunston Hall Pre-registration is required and will open on Monday, Sept. 12 at 6pm and will close at noon on Saturday Sept. 17, the day before the event. There will be no day-of registration.

Welcome back to Gunston Hall, the historic home of George Mason, father of the US Bill of Rights, for the first QOC event of the 2022-23 orienteering season!

Gunston Hall has an extremely varied terrain package for its size, with flat, occasionally dense terrain in the south, typically steep re-entrant/spur complexes running down to the shoreline in the eastern part of the park, more gently rolling terrain with patches of mountain laurel west of Gunston Rd, and open fields surrounding the Hall itself and its outbuildings. We have a full set of seven classic courses designed by Tavia Sullens, with some parts of the longer courses including a road crossing; full details and course setter comments are below.

This mix of terrain types and its compact overall size make Gunston Hall is a great place for groups and those who are new to orienteering. And this fall, we are happy to announce that we will once again have beginner instruction for all those who would like a brief introduction to the basics of the sport. QOC also looks forward to hosting the Northern Virgina Senior Olympics orienteering championships at this event.

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.

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 has several 90 degree curves and is 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.

New! Junior Training: After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, we are excited to relaunch our junior training program at this event. QOC is welcoming all junior members and guests age 10 to 21 and their parents to join us at 10am to meet the coaches and each other. Coaches John Cumings, Adam Smith, and Alexa Merka are planning to offer free training at events about twice a month through the end of the year. This session should run approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Junior training is a great way to build team camaraderie, learn more about orienteering and improve your skills in a safe, fun, and welcoming environment. Please contact John or Adam if you plan to attend - they are looking forward to this!

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 Residual Measures and Updates:

As we enter the 2022-23 season, QOC has understandably made adjustments to our COVID policy from last season. Key points:

  • 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. We've decided to do this, not because of the residual COVID threat but because it simplifies administration of our events and reduces the number of volunteer required for each meet. As always, refunds are paid only in the case of event cancellation or if a participant contracts COVID.
  • 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.
  • As mentioned above, this season, we will be bringing back beginner instruction 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 stockage of water for first aid purposes only. So don't forget your canteens/Camelbaks/other hydration arrangements. As with last year there will be eight 15 minute check-in windows followed by two 45min windows.
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.


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

RegistrationRegistration for this event opens at 6pm on Monday Sept 12 via this link. Advance registration is required. Registration will close at noon on Saturday Sept. 17 (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, September 18
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Charles Carrick
Event Director:Paul Collinson
Course Designer:Tavia Sullens
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 1.7158
Yellow 3.19011
Orange 4.311512
Brown 3.71909
Green 5.128516
Red 6.127018
Blue 8.129021
Course NotesClassic

All runners should take note of the out of bounds areas, especially the smaller areas about the main house and the smaller houses to the west.

If conditions remain fairly dry as we approach the event, streams and erosion gullies should be expected to be on the drier side.

There is some barbed wire in the vicinity of ruined fences, some of which has been streamered. As always, caution is recommended near ruined fences.

All courses that cross the road (Green, Red, Blue) include controls on either side of the road crossing to ensure that everyone crosses in the same place. The indistinct trail on that portion of the map that parallels the erosion gully has what appears to be a new section (also indistinct) that continues on in the SW direction.

ALSO/UPDATE: The light green to the West of control #116 is darker green than it appears on the map, and the light green South of control #113 has become continuous.

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.
  • 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