Hemlock Overlook

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February 26

Kincheloe Parking areaPre-registration is required for this event and will open at 6pm on Monday February 20 and close at noon the day before the event, Saturday Feb. 25.

For our Hemlock event this season, parking and check-in will again be at Kincheloe Rd Soccer Park adjacent to the southern end of Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, as the former Adventure Links area at the north end of the park continues to be unavailable for parking and administrative set-up. Click here for a printable graphic overview of the soccer park and road access to it. While the parking lot is easily accessible and expansive, it is also in need of regrading, and driving through it is a little bumpy. Use minimal speed inside the gate.

For this event, Keg Good and Lydia Andrews have prepared a full set of classic courses White through Blue. Keg will offer a non-walking Yellow to Orange presentation at 1:30pm – bring a camping chair.

You may encounter orange (bow) hunting signs or hear gunshots. Not to worry, there is no hunting on Sundays and the shooting range is across Bull Run. Running/walking across the soccer fields is allowed as there will not be any soccer games on Sunday.

As usual, everyone must be out of the woods and back at the registration/finish area by 3:00pm when we will begin picking up the controls. See the course notes below about the remote start/finish and allow yourself time to get back to the registration area and download regardless of whether you finished.

Volunteer SignUps: If you'd like to help out at this event click here. You can also contact the Event Director.

Any large groups planning to attend the event or anyone with questions please contact the Event Director.

Main Street Pub Your Map = A Free Drink! After your run, join other orienteers and volunteers at the Main Street Pub in Clifton VA, just a few miles north of the event (map link). Event volunteers are likely to show up after 3 pm, but feel free to show up earlier. Bring your map to get a free (non-alcoholic) drink with any purchase, courtesy of Sean, the Main Street Pub manager.

Keep in mind:

  • 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. Refunds are paid only in the case of event cancellation.
  • 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, beginner instruction has resumed to provide an overview of orienteering basics for newcomers to the sport or those who just want a refresher.
  • There is no water on the course. Participants are responsible for their own hydration. A very limited supply of bottled water for emergency use will be on hand with the Meet Director; but it is vital to stay well hydrated. Please come prepared!
  • There will be no snacks offered by QOC.
  • For this event (as with most others this season) there will be eight 15-minute check-in windows followed by two 45-minute windows.
  • There are no pavilions or park shelters at this check-in/parking site.
  • Bring appropriate clothing for winter conditions.
  • 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).
  • Port-a-johns will be on site.
  • Pets are permitted in the park but must be leashed at all times.


Hemlock Overlook Regional Park, Kincheloe Soccer Parking, Clifton, VA (Classic)

RegistrationRegistration for this event opens at 6pm on Monday Feb. 20 via this link. Registration will close at noon on Saturday Feb. 25 (the day before the event). 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, February 26
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Beatri Bennett
Course Designer:Lydia Andrews
Course Designer:Keg Good
Location Details

Hemlock Overlook Regional Park
Kincheloe Soccer Parking
Clifton, VA
Google Map

From Clifton VA, take Main Street (route 641) south for 1 mile. Then GO STRAIGHT and continue on this road (now called Kincheloe Rd) for another 1.2 miles. The soccer parking area will be on your right.
A printable graphic overview is available here.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 1.52511
Yellow 2.710010
Orange 41859
Beige 2.3807
Brown 4.318010
Green 51959
Red 6.630013
Blue 10.154017
Course NotesClassic

Map Notes:
In general, at this time of year Hemlock is at least one shade of green lighter than mapped. In some cases, it looks dark in the woods but is quite passable. The exception - an area where the forest is dark (machete-wielding) green - is not in use. During course setting I was wondering if I would be spending the night stuck in it.
Newer rootstocks were added as found when they are least 2 meters high or extremely prominent. All root stocks are green x’s. Old rootstocks can be as small as 0.3m (~1 foot). Rock piles/cairns may be only 0.3m high. If used for controls, the leaves have been cleared off somewhat.
Black x’s are man-made items such as benches, metallic trash, and the many challenge courses/obstacles used for team building. Black o’s, while on the map, are not in the area used by the courses.
Selected map corrections were noted by the course setters and incorporated by Daniel Heimgartner.

Course notes:
Expect muddy feet, even on the white(beginner) course.
White course will be a true beginner course. If you are not sure between white and yellow, go for the yellow.
White and yellow will have clues in English.
Yellow: make sure you know what a spur looks like in the terrain. Ask someone before starting out if you are not sure. Also know what a root stock and cairn are.
Yellow and above have a 900m walk to the start. As you can guess, you will be re-traversing the distance back to the finish for a long run in. Follow the survey flags to the start.
Make sure to STAY OUT of the hatched areas entirely.
Most courses exceed the recommended climb (as measured 'straight-line'). You can infer that the terrain is steep, and I am trying to give you route choices.
Most leg lines were not bent for uncrossable areas. Nevertheless, please don’t try to swim or wade Bull Run. You can also expect the logical route choices on Green and Blue to be longer than stated since you will not be swimming.
Red and Blue courses have a two-sided map. In an effort to make the trails less enticing, there are plenty of controls. The Blue course may pass by the restrooms; expect them to be locked.

Venue History:
Peggy Dickison was the original mapper, and there have been occasional updates.
Two A-meets (National Ranking Events) have been held at Hemlock: Day 1 of the Intercollegiates (~15 yo Megan Schneebaum as event director, Keg Good as Course Setter), and a US O Team fundraiser (Keg Good as Event Director, Tom Bruce as Course Setter) as part of a 6 day (DVO, QOC, and SVO) event. Initially we could not use the soccer fields and there were only two well defined soccer fields and some wet overgrown fields with plow furrows. Since then, many trails have been rerouted, old road beds have nearly disappeared, and vegetation has grown up and fallen down.

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