Intro to Orienteering

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August 13

IntroQuantico Orienteering Club (QOC) invites you to join us for a free INTRODUCTION TO ORIENTEERING event at Lake Fairfax Park on Sunday, August 13th. Come spend a day in the woods with us to experience this fun, family-friendly sport.

Pre-registration is required and will open Monday, July 31 at 6pm and will close Saturday, August 12th at noon. There will be no day-of registration.

We encourage you to check out our For Beginners webpage to help you prepare for your adventure. If you have questions, please use the Contact Form.

We will meet at Shelter G, at the north end of the park near the Water Park. Check-in will open at 9:45 AM, with free instruction sessions every 30 minutes from 10:00 until 11:30. Register for the time that works best for you and plan to be there at least 15 minutes early to get checked in. You will learn the basics of orienteering from experienced instructors and then apply your newly acquired skills on one of two beginner-level orienteering courses. Participants can orienteer solo or in small groups of up to four people.

Everyone will have until 1:30 PM to complete their courses. Remember to download at our e-punch station even if you did not finish the course. The only equipment you’ll need to bring is active clothing/sportswear, a comfortable pair of athletic shoes, and a watch. Free loaner compasses will be available, but please bring your own if you have one. You will want to bring water, as there won’t be any out on the courses or at the check-in area.

Event notes as well as course setter comments are now posted below ('Course Notes' section).

Free CookiePost Event Social: meet after the event if you wish at Not Your Avg Joe’s, located in Reston VA here, just a 5 minute drive west of Lake Fairfax. Bring your map and get a free cookie with any purchase, courtesy of their manager Matt!

Group Leaders: If you are bringing a group of 10 or more, please contact the Event Director in advance so we can better accommodate your needs.


  • There is no water on the course. Please come prepared!
  • Pets are allowed but must be on-leash at all times.
The Courses
Both the White and Yellow courses are for beginners. They will follow linear features such as roads, trails, edges of fields, or streams. Checkpoints for the White course will be set on the linear feature. The longer Yellow course checkpoints will be placed either on or a short distance from linear features. Going off trail is allowed on both courses, but legs on the Yellow course are set to encourage it.


Lake Fairfax Park, Canopy G, Reston, VA (Free Beginner Event)

RegistrationRegistration for this event opens at 6pm on Monday July 31 via this link. Advance registration is required. Registration will close at Noon on Saturday Aug 12 (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 TimesCheck-in will open at 9:45 AM, with free instruction sessions every 30 minutes from 10:00 until 11:30. During the online pre-registration process, you will choose one of these 30 minute windows.
ScheduleSunday, August 13
10:00 am - 12:00 pmFree Beginner Event:
Event Director:Don Fish
Course Designer:Charles Carrick
Location Details

Free Beginner Event
Lake Fairfax Park
Canopy G
Reston, VA
Google Map

Take Beltway Exit 47A (Route 7 or Leesburg Pike) west. Turn south (left) on Baron Cameron Drive. Proceed about 1/4 mile and make a left onto Lake Fairfax Drive. Shortly after entering the park, take the first right towards Canopy G and the parking lot just beyond it. [If you pass the Water Park you've gone too far!]
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link
Course DetailsFree Beginner Event
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.69013
Yellow 3.511515
Course NotesFree Beginner Event

  • Lake Fairfax is a popular Fairfax County park especially because of the Water Mine water park feature which attracts many people on summer weekends; our courses will stay away from the water park environs and use the woodland areas and trails, sometimes crossing athletic and other open fields
  • There are no stream crossings except on bridges.
  • In addition to the two port-a-johns near our training site at Canopy G, there are several other port-a-john locations in the park convenient to your course routes; their locations will be annotated on your maps
  • There will be some mountain bike traffic on multi-use trails used by our courses. The bike presence is usually moderate, but understand that others will be using the trails besides us.
  • Course maps will have a key for map symbols printed on the reverse side for easy reference
  • At this time of year, you may wish to apply insect repellent liberally. There will be cans of repellent on hand for your use.
  • Both White and Yellow follow different trail loops departing from and returning to Canopy G
  • White:All controls are immediately visible on trailsides or in open areas along the route
  • Yellow: Some controls are up to 50 meters or so off trail, allowing orienteers to venture off the trail loop for short distances and experience an additional navigational challenge; there are route choices on several legs

Entry Fees

This event is free.

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.
  • Compasses are available at no charge, but if lost incur a $15 replacement fee.
  • Beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst.