Cunningham Falls

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April 16

Mark Easter Sunday on your calendar as the date of the first ever orienteering event in Cunningham Falls State Park, near Thurmont, MD! Due to both park and terrain restrictions, this event will be limited to advanced orienteers - no beginner or intermediate courses will be offered - and online pre-registration will be required.

Course stats , subject to possible modification as the park reviews the courses, are below. Other details will be posted soon, as will a link to the online registration for the event..


Cunningham Falls St. Park, Manor Area (Advanced-Only Event)

RegistrationOnline pre-registration will be required for this event.
Start TimesYou may start your course at any time between 11:00am and 1:30pm. Please allow 15 minutes or more to walk to the start from registration - it will be a 1.4km hike with 200m climb.
ScheduleSunday, April 16
11:00 am - 3:00 pmAdvanced-Only Event:
Event Director:Jon Torrance
Location Details

Advanced-Only Event
Cunningham Falls St. Park
Manor Area
Google Map

From US-15, 11 miles north of Frederick MD and 2.7 miles south of Thurmont, turn west onto Cunningham Falls Park Rd. Immediately after the park entrance and stop sign, go left towards the Manor Visitor Center; park in a lot on the right near our registration area.
Course DetailsAdvanced-Only Event
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
Brown 4.412
Green 5.515
Red 7.219
Blue 9.223
Course NotesAdvanced-Only Event

This event will take place on a new LiDAR-derived map of a portion of Cunningham Falls State Park covering a large part of the east-facing side of Bob's Hill, adjacent to the park's Manor Area parking on the west side of Route 15 and the Catoctin Furnace, on the east side. The map is an slightly improved basemap - trails and a certain number of point features, mostly boulders and rootstocks, encountered during scouting and course setting were surveyed by GPS and added to the LiDAR-derived features - so it's fortunate that the LiDAR data is of high quality. In addition to producing reliable contours, it shows the plentiful charcoal platforms - which used to supply the Catoctin Furnace - ditches, slopes steep enough to possibly justify mapping as cliffs, and areas with significant mountain laurel quite well. The mountain laurel in the area the courses visit is generally runnable at reduced speed and with lessened visbility; the surrounding white woods are runnable though there is more deadfall and small rock underfoot than on most QOC maps, so don't expect to move quite as quickly through them as you often can.

The terrain, consisting as it does of a single large hillside with relatively few handrails, will challenge orienteers' distance estimation and compass skills more than typical QOC spur and reentrant terrain. Though a sufficiently skilled orienteer could manage without a compass - despite the paucity of other handrails, there will never be any difficulty distinguishing which directions are up and down on the map or in the terrain.

Note that in order to keep the climb on course manageable, there will be a 1.4km hike to the start from registration, with 200m of continuous climb en route. Please plan the timing of your arrival in the park and departure for the start accordingly.

Entry FeesIndividual Entries

Note: juniors = under 21

Club Member, adult Club Member, junior Non-Member, adult Non-Member, junior
Epunch Owner $5 $5 $10 $5
Epunch Borrower $10 $5 $15 $10

Team or Group Entries

Participants are welcome to compete together as a single team entry. Teams containing one or more nonmembers are charged the nonmember individual rate. Teams containing one or more adults are charged the adult individual rate. For teams to receive member or junior rates, all members of the team must be members or juniors, respectively. Each extra team map beyond the first is an additional $2. Individuals or teams desiring to compete on a second course can do so for a reduced fee of $2/map.

Important Notes
  • This event will not offer on-site registration and payment. Both will have to be done online in advance..
  • Most of our events use an 'epunch' timing chip for electronic timing. Individuals or groups without their own epunch pay a higher entry fee (see above), which includes the loan of an epunch for that event. Loaned epunches that are lost incur a $40 replacement fee. Epunches (also known as SI-cards or finger sticks) are usually available for sale at each event 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 (driver's license or car keys) when borrowing a compass or epunch.
  • For additional safety, whistles are available for sale at $1/each.