Maps & Courses
Prince William Forest is a large park used for numerous prior national events because of its premier terrain. The terrain is typical of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge/Valley region, consisting of mixed pine and hardwood forest. The woods tend to be fast with good footing, but with sections of slower deadfall that add route choice complexity. There are few trails on the Pine Grove map and no trails on the advanced courses of Oak Ridge. The numerous ridges range from 20-30 meters in height; the few rock features in the park are generally small. There are small streams, and one large creek bisects the Pine Grove map.
The Oak Ridge area of Prince William Forest (PWF) used for Day 1 of the Royal Romp had some early usage by QOC in the 1960. After that it went unused for decades. As the name implies, it is basic ridge and valley terrain but often with broad or subtle contours. It’s mostly open forest but it does have significant areas with green vegetation or deadfall. More recently, upon remapping of the area, a National Ranking Event (NRE) was held there in December 2020. For the Royal Romp the 2020 mapping was significantly expanded. The expansion includes super-fast and open flatter terrain that’s a delight! Shuttles are required to reach the Oak Ridge site, so factor shuttle time into your planning. There are only three porta-johns at Oak Ridge so we recommend using the bathrooms before getting on the shuttle.
Pine Grove and nearby areas of Prince William Forest have been used for orienteering by QOC for decades. It’s still a favorite for many. Like Oak Ridge, the Pine Grove area terrain is classic ridge and valley terrain with mostly open forest and some areas of significant deadfall. Unlike Oak Ridge, the contours surrounding Pine Grove tend to be steeper and more twisted. The map has been updated in 2021. The Day 2 courses utilize a variety of both the flat and technical areas. The courses favor both major and mini route choices. The competitive Day 2 orienteer will balance swiftness, good route choice decision-making, an ability to follow a bearing, and be able to apply multiple technics.
Courses (course and map notes are below)
Distances listed are approximate and subject to change.
Day 1 - Classic - Course Stats
White: 3.1k in length, 60m climb, 13 controls
Yellow: 3.2k, 70m, 10c
Orange: 4.6k, 110m, 10c
Brown X: 4.3k, 90m, 9c
Brown Y: 4.0k, 110m, 8c
Green X: 5.7k, 150m, 9c
Green Y: 5.9k, 145m, 10c
Red: 7.9k, 190m, 10c
Blue: 12.3k, 250m, 14c
Day 2 - Classic - Course Stats
White: 2.5k, 65m, 12c
Yellow: 2.4k, 75m, 9c
Orange: 5.3k, 180m, 14c
Brown X: 4.0k, 160m, 10c
Brown Y: 4.0k, 165m, 9c
Green X: 6.3k, 265m, 11c
Green Y: 5.9k, 175m, 14c
Red: 8.2k, 315m, 14c
Blue: 11.0k, 395m, 21c
All classes (M/F21+ and older) will run courses as specified in the OUSA Class Structure (URL: http://orienteeringusa.org/rules#A11). Brown & Green age classes are split as follows:
Brown X: M65+, M70+, M75+, M80+, M85+, M90+, M Brown
Brown Y: F18, F55+, F60+, F65+, F70+, F75+, F80+, F85+, F90+, F Brown
Green X: M-18, M50+, M55+, M60+, M Green
Green Y: F-20, F35+, F40+, F45+, F50+, F Green
Common Map Notes
Maps: 1:10,000 for Orange/Brown/Green/Red/Blue; 1:7,500 for White/Yellow. ISOM 2017.
Older, smaller rootstocks have been removed. Root stocks are 1.5 meter or larger when mapped and use the green X symbol. The majority of root stocks were checked in in the last 6 months. It only takes one root sticking up higher than 1.5 meters to be mapped. Mapped root stocks having small root balls but one root sticking up may appear below the mapping threshold from a distance. There are other root stocks close to 1.5m that are not mapped.
Green Slash is mostly downed trees/branches. Some of the smaller areas are mapped as “walk” instead of “slow run” so they can be seen on the map. The smaller areas can be run through but the larger areas will slow a person down. A fallen trunk symbol is not used. Instead, the large difficult to cross trunks are mapped using green slash symbol. Virtually all of the deadfall was mapped as low vegetation. However, there are many instances of it being too tall to see over or too tall to run through.
Mapped cairns in the park are typically well below 1m.
Ditches tend to be shallow.
Some mapped intermittent streams are predominantly dry unless in heavy rain.
There are some old trails and road cuts. Generally, they are not mapped (as rides or roads) unless they are deep enough to be mapped as a ditch.
Following current mapping standard, large steep earth banks use the Uncrossable Cliff symbol.
There is an abundant use of form lines that makes the terrain look steeper than it is in reality.
Leaf covered hillsides can be slippery. Spiked shoes are recommended.
Royal Romp Day 1 Course Notes
Mappers: Main map by Jon Torrance 2020. Extensions north and south, and updates to the main map by Ted Good 2022/2023.
Boulders are small: often less than the 1 meter.
Stony ground will not slow you down. It is small scattered rocks and generally not very noticeable.
Roads with purple X’s are hazardous and not allowed routes.
White/Yellow use a separate start and finish location. There is a limited trail system so participants will see controls that are not theirs. Be sure to check the codes.
White/Yellow/Orange: Along the trails, there are wooden bridges without railings that cross some minor water channels. The old “bridge” symbol was used so they clearly stand out on the map.
The east side of the map is Quantico Creek. The width of the creek and the area on the east side of the creek are not mapped other than contours. No courses use the east side the creek.
Royal Romp Day 2 Course Notes
Walk to start: 400m from the event center.
Mapper: Jon Torrance 2021/2022. Updates by Nadim Ahmed 2022/2023.
Mapped gullies may have streams.
Telephone poles from old power lines were mapped with pieces of the powerline symbol but they look like small crosses (old grave symbols).
Mapped rock follows ISOM 2017 standards of being at least 1m. Mapped boulders and cliffs are generally scarce. Needing to move around or over the deadfall will pose a challenge as one tries to keep on a bearing. Competitors will generally do best going around deadfall mapped as Slow Walk. When left with no choice, using the map to find the shortest way through is usually best. After the remapping of the park in 2021, a 2022 winter storm knocked additional tree branches to the ground. Updates have been made to account for the heaviest of the new deadfall. It generally consists of scattered branches that are 4-8 inches thick. Most of it will rot away in a year or 2. Where less an obstacle these branches are unmapped, even in forest mapped White as Fast Run Forest.
On the Orange course, a distinct/prominent tree (open green circle symbol) is used for a control location. The control is on a noticeably large deciduous tree.
A variety of rides are mapped. Some are shown as strips of Open Land—these may have tall grass but the grass is usually not thick enough to prevent fast running. The White and Yellow courses have an option to utilize a more traditional ride through forest that is mapped Open.
Blue, Red, Green and the Orange courses cross South Fork Quantico Creek. The Brown courses do not cross this creek but do cross other streams. Under normal conditions, South Fork Creek has crossable sections. More often, there are deeper pools and steep creek banks for which the uncrossable stream bank symbol was used. Because the creek is often not crossable most course crossings are designed to utilize bridges. One suspension bridge is narrow and bouncy. Two-way foot traffic on it requires etiquette. The Green X, Red, and Blue courses have options to cross South Fork Quantico Creek without a bridge, by using mapped bare rock. Getting across with dry feet on the bare rock is possible but unlikely. Vetters experienced calf deep crossing on a day after rain. If heavy rain precedes the event, water conditions may necessitate crossing via an upstream bridge.
Heavy rain prior to the event may leave temporary standing water in flat areas but these are not mapped as intermittent marsh.
There are some instances of old telegraph wire on the ground. These have been flagged where found.
Several out of bounds areas (campground, maintenance area, ranger residence, other) have been designated by the park. They are shown on the map but are not flagged. Some may be sections in open forest. Under penalty of disqualification, please use the map to keep an appropriate distance from all of these areas, especially where there are easy to identify buildings and roads.
The event arena may be congested. The walk to the start or to the bathrooms may cross a competitor’s path. Competitors and spectators are asked to maintain awareness. Those not competing should yield to competitors who are racing.