Fountainhead West

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October 22

FountainheadPre-registration for this event is required and will open on Monday, Oct. 16 at 6pm and close at noon on Saturday Oct. 21.
There will not be day-of registration.

Welcome back to a peak Autumn event at Fountainhead West, one of QOC's favorite venues. Matt Smith has put together a full set of classic courses, and we're changing up the start/finish/bussing scheme from the last few years. 

This year, check-in, e-punch, start and finish for the White and Yellow courses, and the finish for Orange and the advanced courses, will all be at the Bull Run Marina where everyone will be parking. Orange and advanced courses will take an approximately 15-minute shuttle bus ride to a drop-off point at the end of Wolf Run Shoals Rd (Kegley House). Please keep this in mind when pre-registering for your start window.  Orange, Red, and Blue courses will run/walk (not bus) back to the finish at Bull Run Marina. 

Advanced starts will be remote, at a location accessed from the bus drop-off point at the end of Wolf Run Shoals Rd to avoid some of the more familiar terrain near Kegley House. Brown and Green courses will finish near Kegley House and again take the shuttle to return to Bull Run Marina. Volunteers will be on hand at the shuttle boarding locations to help answer any questions.

In order to access some of the best orienteering terrain in the park, as outlined above, we will be hiring buses and shuttling participants to the remote start area. To help cover the added cost of running the shuttle service, a $5 surcharge will be added per person to the regular meet fee for participants on Orange-Blue courses.

Volunteer SignUps: If you'd like to help at this event, click here or contact the Event Director.

Main Street Pub Your Map = A Free Drink! After your run, join orienteers and volunteers at the Main Street Pub in Clifton VA, just a few miles north of the event (map link). Bring your map and mention QOC to get a free (non-alcoholic) drink with any purchase, courtesy of the manager, Monica!

Other points:

  • There will be one port-a-john at the parking area and another at the bus drop-off point at the end of Wolf Run Shoals Rd (Kegley House.)
  • While leashed dogs are permitted in the park, they will not be allowed on the shuttle buses.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 and ask.
  • Group Leaders (of larger groups): please contact the Event Director so they are aware of your plans.
  • Masks continue to be optional on our shuttle busses.


Fountainhead Regional Park, Bull Run Marina, Clifton, VA (Classic)

RegistrationRegistration for this event opens at 6pm on Monday Oct. 16 via either: Registration will close at 12 noon on Saturday Oct. 21 (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 22
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Paul Hession
Course Designer:Matt Smith
Location Details

Fountainhead Regional Park
Bull Run Marina
Clifton, VA
Google Map

From the Fairfax County Parkway, take Burke Lake Rd (Rt 645) west for 4.3 miles. Turn left on Maple Branch Rd, and go 0.8 miles then turn left onto VA 612/643. In 0.6 miles go slightly right to stay on VA 612. In less than 1 mile and before either the marina or the bridge over the Occoquan, turn left into the parking area on the south side of Old Yates Ford Rd.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.41008
Yellow 4.116010
Orange 5.22259
Brown 4.922513
Green 6.129517
Red 7.835016
Blue 8.337021
Course NotesClassic

Fountainhead West is some of our best terrain, and so much of the woods are in really great shape and very runnable. Of course a lot of the best area is up on the peninsula between our two access points. However, sometimes the areas closest to parking get a little less exciting; so this year, we're going to park at the Marina end (Park&Ride) and Advanced courses + Orange will shuttle to the other end.

Start and Finish for White and Yellow will be near parking on the Marina end. Blue, Red, Green, Brown, and Orange will shuttle to Kegley House (Wolf Run Shoals Rd) and have a walk to the remote start at the Coe Creek Bridge (about 500m straight-line, or 900m if you take the trail around the spur instead of up&over.) Blue, Red, and Orange will finish back at the Marina/parking end. Green and Brown will finish back at Kegley House and return to download at the Park&Ride via shuttle.

Blue, Red, and Green maps are 1:10,000 scale; Blue and Red have a map-flip.
Brown, Orange, and Yellow maps are 1:7,500 scale; Orange has a map-flip.
White map is 1:5,000 scale.
All maps have 5m contours.

Add'l Notes:

Vegetation is moderately well mapped and almost always easy to go around if you choose not to go through. Rides are generally easy to follow but not always the most runnable, with scattered deadfall across them. With leaves on the ground, junctions and turns are sometimes easy to miss. Safety bearing is NORTH (you will either find a trail that continuing north will take you back to parking or you will find civilization. Also, wherever you are in the park, if you keep going uphill you will almost always find a trail [or ride] you could follow North back to parking.)

Yellow: If the flag is not visible from the handrail, the feature you are looking for will be.

Orange: This should be a good challenge for Orange runners, especially in the first 1/2 of the course. there are good catching and collecting features to help and almost always easier-longer routes available. This terrain is good test/practice contour reading. There is a lot of open terrain beyond the course - so it is not recommended for those who are typically Yellow skill-level or for first-time on an Orange course.

Advanced: Check your codes - some of the technical areas have controls from multiple courses in close proximity; (if you're following someone, they might not be going where you want to go.) There are lots of erosion gullies; many of which along routes you might select. Some are navigational aides, some are obstacles. Most of them are rather deep and you will have to choose whether around or through is the better choice for you.

Entry FeesAll courses other than white & yellow will have a $5/pp surcharge as discussed above.

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 the at-event beginner instruction, beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst