Fountainhead East

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January 7

FountainheadPre-registration is required for this event, opening Monday, Jan. 1 at 6pm and closing Saturday Jan. 6 at 12 noon.
There will be no day-of registration.

Fountainhead East is once again QOC's New Year lead-off event! We will have access to all of Fountainhead East (minus the archery range area) including the mountain bike course area. Check-in will be at shelter 1 and e-punch registration at the small shack at the south end of the parking lot adjacent to shelter 1 that our e-punch team customarily uses. Start and finish will be in the general vicinity of the parking lot and the bike course entrance. And for a graphic overview, click here.

This season, Francis Hogle and his course-setter course students, who are designing and setting the event, will be producing a full set of classic courses for your enjoyment. A collective QOC thanks to all those who have volunteered to learn the art and craft of course setting from Francis and perhaps set their own courses for future QOC events! Please provide them with your feedback after you finish your course.

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

The mountain bike course will be completely closed to biking for our event day, so the area will be free of all non-orienteering activity except a few hikers and dog-walkers.

Note that the Northern Virginia Archers' archery area is clearly marked as off-limits on all maps. The boundaries of the archery course are delineated on the ground with Do Not Enter signs.

Post-Event Social: After your run, meet fellow orienteers at Squisito Pizza and Pasta - Lorton for a bite to eat. Located here just five miles east of Fountainhead.

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.
  • 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 Director so they are aware of your plans.
  • Port-a-johns will be located at the west end of the main parking lot near Shelter 1.
  • Dogs are allowed in the park but must be on the leash at all times.


Fountainhead Regional Park, Main parking area, Fairfax Station, VA (Classic)

RegistrationRegistration for this event opens at 6pm on Monday Jan. 1 via this link. Registration will close at 12 noon on Saturday Jan. 6 (the day before the event). Pre-registration is mandatory.

Who's Registered? Check by clicking here.

Start TimesStart times will be by windows (to be defined for this event before registration opens).
ScheduleSunday, January 7
10:00 am - 3:00 pmClassic:
Event Director:Jana Seidlova
Course Designer:Francis Hogle
Location Details

Fountainhead Regional Park
Main parking area
Fairfax Station, VA
Google Map

One route among several: Take I-95 south of the Beltway, exit at Lorton Road (exit 163), go west 2.1 miles (4th stop light) and at the end of the road take a right onto Route 123. Drive 1.3 miles to Hampton Road, then turn left just past the fire station and drive 3 miles to the park entrance on the left.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link
Course DetailsClassic
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 1.3958
Yellow 1.5909
Orange 3.11159
Brown 3.21658
Green 4.721511
Red 6.632014
Blue 8.438018
Course NotesClassic

White thru Brown will be 1:5,000 scale and Green thru Blue will be 1:10,000.

Fountainhead East was formerly a real estate development that went under decades ago in a bust. Some hints remain, but they are very subtle (previously cleared dirt roads, a few of which might still look like feint rides along ridge tops). Fountainhead park acquired the property and subsequently developed it as a mountain bike park. Most trails are very visible and are very circuitous. Mountain bikes will not be present for our event. The bike courses have changed in a few spots over the years; so, advanced courses might find a new trail or two (unmapped) and a trail or two that have been abandoned, still visible but leaf covered and less so. The terrain is fabulously clear of undergrowth with some mountain laurel and a few hollies – quite fast. Thickets have thinned considerably, and some are now brown in appearance rather than green. Very little is impenetrable. Orange will encounter a section previously covered by deadfall that is in the process of regenerating. That section appears more like our normal fare. Elsewhere, there is some unmapped deadfall but generally scattered in isolated bits. The terrain is somewhat steeper than our usual fare.

All courses are shorter than would be expected to accommodate some additional climb above 4%. White and yellow appear shorter than normal because their terrain is cut by gullies and reentrants, and the line features followed are circuitous as a result – and differ significantly from the straight-line distances quoted. All advanced courses have a remote finish with trails easily heading back to parking. White, yellow and orange have a finish near parking. All starts are also quite close to parking.

Advanced courses are designed such that realistic choices are readily available. However, lacking planning and(or) execution, very steep sections can be encountered as well.

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