Clopper Lake

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September 24

Seneca Park stream

Sorry Folks, but for a variety of reasons associated with the tropical storm forecasts, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. We will reschedule it for later in the season.
We will be processing refunds for all registrants.

Orienteer near the Clopper Lake section of Seneca Creek State Park (Gaithersburg, MD). There will be 7 courses to choose from (2 beginner, 1 intermediate, and 4 advanced), and detailed park and course notes are now available below, thanks to course setter Michael Dickey.

Check in and map issue will be in a new area for us, the Pheasant Run Picnic Area. We encourage carpooling. A park map is here; the Pheasant Run Area is in the southwest portion of the park, and between Blue Jay and Bobwhite Pavilions. Check in will open about 9:45 AM and courses will open at 10:00 AM.

Free Beginner Instruction will be offered, but please reach out to the Event Director if you have a group, so we can plan accordingly. Also, make sure to check out our Your First Event and For Beginners webpages for helpful information. If they don’t answer any remaining questions you have, just use our Contact Form and ask!

For those seeking more depth, see the additional learning pages under the Getting Better tab at the top of all QOC webpages and the video mentioned at the bottom of this page.

Group Leaders:
Please see our For Group Leaders webpage if you are leading a youth or large group – even though you will be pre-registering online. Please contact the Event Director with your plans and numbers for their awareness.

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

Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash.


  • 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.
  • The park charges an entrance fee at this time of year: Maryland residents $3/person; out-of-state residents $5/person; Maryland Golden Pass holders (62+) have free entry (passes can be purchased at the entry booth if you’re eligible)
  • 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.
  • There are no snacks offered by QOC


Seneca Creek State Park, Clopper Lake, Pheasant Run Picnic Area (Classic)

RegistrationThis event has been cancelled and will be rescheduled.
Registration for this event opens at 6pm on Monday Sept. 18 via this link. Registration will close at 12 noon on Saturday Sept. 23 (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 begin at 10am. There will be eight 15 minute check-in windows followed by two 45 minute windows.
ScheduleSunday, September 24
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic: Check-in begins about 9:45am. All participants must return to the finish and download by 3pm.
Event Director:Iva Zicha
Course Designer:Michael Dickey
Location Details

Seneca Creek State Park
Clopper Lake, Pheasant Run Picnic Area
Google Map

From I-270, Gaithersburg, MD, take Exit 10 west on Rt 117/Diamond Ave. which becomes Clopper Rd. Go west about 2 miles and turn left into the park entrance. Proceed straight passing the first intersection and a parking area. If the event is being held during a time of year when it's collected, pay $3/pp or $5/pp (MD state, vs out-of-state) at the entrance gate, then bear right at the next intersection. You'll pass the lake when driving on the dam. Next turn right at the T-intersection, then take the first right on Pheasant Run Road, which loops around the picnic area. Please carpool if possible; if the Pheasant Run parking lot is full, you will need to find another picnic or pavilion area.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.8509
Yellow 4.79014
Orange 5.210511
Brown 3.59012
Green 5.816014
Red 7.118517
Blue 8.321521
Course NotesClassic

All courses: The park has been invaded by Wavy Leaf Basket Grass. I've adjusted courses to avoid it as much as possible but all courses will likely encounter some.

Yellow: The course is a bit longer than normal and has a few controls that will take competitors well off of the trails. Use of a compass and understanding of map features will be helpful! All controls are accessible following linear features, but leg protection is recommended.

Orange: Some areas are a bit greener than mapped, and open/rough open boundaries have changed in places. I've updated areas where it is most likely to impact navigation.

Advanced courses: All courses touch on the disk golf course. Please be considerate of players. These courses will see the most Wavy Leaf Basket Grass, although I moved controls away from the worst areas. Some areas will be a bit greener than mapped, so don't count entirely on mapped vegetation for navigation decisions.

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