One of my favorite areas, I'm not sure what the deal is with orienteering access. I have not been off the trails. The land is owned by a private trust, which may or may not complicate the issue. The official trail map was produced by a long-time QOC member (former prez?). http://www.sugarloafmd.com/images/maps/102709_trai...
Barney has to wear an Elizabethan collar just for sore feet?
That's to keep him from licking them raw..
Poor Barney. Get well soon!
It's been years since Dan and I went for a hike there but I don't remember it as positively for orienteering potential as you apparently see it now - a lot of steep hillside with what I remember as not enough mappable features over much of the terrain to make it truly interesting. Some potential safety issues associated with the cliffs too. I don't know offhand whether anyone has actually sounded out the trust about off-trail access, though it's hard to believe Diana would have made a trail map without finding that out somewhere along the line.
Hiking boots for Barney! Poor guy!
Years ago (probably about 30, shockingly enough ...) a group of us from QOC went on a recon mission to Sugarloaf to check it out. (I remember that it was a Thursday, and about 30 years ago I didn't work on Thursdays, hence my timeframe.)
At that point, we all agreed it wasn't suitable. I don't remember the details, but steepness, rocks, thick veg, and logistics (parking) all were involved. If the vegetation has improved, maybe it's worth another look.
The place I always have wanted to map is Catoctin, and we did try, but the fact that Camp David is there made it unrealistic. I used to train there a lot. The woods were gorgeous, but I think the Feds have been culling the deer herd that kept the undergrowth at bay and they're not as nice as they used to be. More like adjoining Cunningham Falls SP (another place we checked out as a club ... promising around the lake & campground but the rest of the park was unusable.)
Catoctin park rangers have a black and white topo map with a few permanent sites/markers that they use for training classes... (We picked one up last year on our convoluted way home from the Flying Pig at Carter Caves.)
I just read a news article
Don't know what they teach now, but years ago they used milk jugs nailed to trees and emphasized the compass. :-( We actually got one of the instructors to join the club and he came to a handful of meets. I'm sure these instructors are completely different people by now.