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October 1

Occoquan WoodsThis Sunday event requires pre-registration, opening Monday, Sept. 25 at 6pm and closing Saturday Sept. 30 at noon.
There will be no day-of registration.

Welcome back to Occoquan Regional Park for this Sunday, Oct. 1 event, as we enter the most enjoyable part of the year for orienteering. Just to be clear up front, don't confuse this Sunday event with our Jump to Orange training event taking place the day before (Saturday Sept 30). Of course, all those who did Jump to Orange are invited to attend this event to put their new skills to use!

This park affords a combination of fast, open woods along with recreational fields (and some thick vegetation if you wander off course). Course designer, Victor Lin has designed a full set of classic courses (white through blue; details below).

Event check-in is at Shelter 4 with parking in the adjacent lot; a locator map is here.

UPDATE: The Prince William Cruisers car show will now be taking place on the large field north of Shelter 4 on the same day as our event due to the impact of Tropical Storm Ophelia. Some minor adjustments to some of the courses have been made, but there is no major impact. There will be additional parking on the sports fields adjacent to (east and south of) the Shelter 4 parking lot if needed.

If you can help at this event please email the event directors via this link. Control pickup is the primary need, but all volunteers are welcome.

Keep in mind:

  • All participants must pre-register; there is no day-of registration
  • No food items will be provided.
  • Participants are responsible for meeting all their own hydration needs before, during and after their courses.
  • Nearby Eats & Sweets! The nearby Brickmaker's Cafe is located in Occoquan Park and is open from 11 am to 8 pm, so orienteers have the opportunity to enjoy food and drinks either indoors or on their outdoor terrace overlooking the Occoquan River (mention 'QOC' to get a 10% discount!)
  • As always, please be off the course no later than 3pm and remember to download at our e-punch station even if you did not finish.
  • Beginner's instruction will be available.
  • For those new to orienteering, make sure to check out our Your First Event and Orienteering Techniques For Beginners webpages, and if they don't answer any question you have, just use our Contact Form and ask.
  • Group Leaders (of larger groups): please contact the Event Directors so they are aware of your plans.
  • Rest rooms are located near Shelter 4.
  • Dogs are allowed in the park but must be on the leash at all times.

Historical footnote: In the middle of Occoquan Regional Park is a beehive brick kiln you will pass on your left as you drive into the park. It was used by prisoners at the start of the 20th century to make red bricks. The bricks produced were used to build the nearby maximum security Occoquan Workhouse itself, and many public buildings in Washington, D.C. between 1910 and 1998. The then-adjacent Lorton Work House Prison served as home to many prisoners over the years, including approximately 168 women who were detained in 1917, the result of the pickets of the women's suffrage movement in the Washington D.C. area.

Occoquan Bee Hive


Occoquan Regional Park, Shelter 4 Parking Area, Lorton, VA (Classic)

RegistrationRegistration for this event opens at 6pm on Monday Sept. 25 via this link. Registration will close at 12 noon on Saturday Sept. 30 (the day before the event). Pre-registration is mandatory.

Who's registered? Check by clicking here. Sorting by column is possible too - click on the column name.

Start TimesStart times will be by windows (to be defined for this event before registration opens).
ScheduleSunday, October 1
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:DennisAndHelen Doherty
Course Designer:Victor Lin
Location Details

Occoquan Regional Park
Shelter 4 Parking Area
Lorton, VA
Google Map

Take exit 160B off of I-95 onto Route 123 north, follow 123 north 1.5 miles to park entrance on right. As as alternative, from exit 163 make a left at the new traffic light onto Workhouse Road, and then go left at the next two traffic lights.

Be aware that I-95 heading south after ~11am on Saturday mornings is when the express lanes reverse, usually causing a back up starting at Route 123; avoid using I-95 between exits 160 - 163 on a weekend afternoon if you can.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link

Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.12511
Yellow 2.79512
Orange 4.111514
Brown 4.113016
Green 5.718020
Red 6.921025
Blue 8.626032
Course NotesClassic

The courses are designed to utilize the best areas of Occoquan Park, featuring moderately hilly terrain with runnable forest and good visibility. Minor updates to the map were last made in 2021, but the mapping of vegetation density is not up to date. Undergrowth can be extremely thick even in areas mapped as open forest, such as the area along the fence of the closed landfill on the north part of the map (marked as out-of-bounds). The areas of dense vegetation are best avoided by following the blazed trails around or through them. Other areas with some thick undergrowth this time of the year are the low lying areas along some streams. All courses except White and Yellow will cross Mordor Drive multiple times. Mordor Drive is a paved road that is open to the public – it is lightly traveled but be sure to look both ways for traffic before crossing.

Note on Yellow course: A short 200 meter section of the blue-blazed trail that follows the stream was recently rerouted slightly higher up on the slope away from the stream (to avoid being constantly flooded by the stream). The trail is slightly different than what is mapped, but just follow the trail to go from control 5 to 6.

All courses use the same start and finish points near the event registration at the picnic shelter.

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