Directions to Occoquan:
10450 Van Thompson Rd, Fairfax Station, VA 22039 (Google Map)
- Take I-64 West towards Richmond
- Take Exit 200 to merge onto I-295 North toward Washington DC
- Pick up I-95N toward DC
- Stay on I-95
- Take the Occoquan Exit 160B off I-95 for 123N toward Occoquan/Lake Ridge
- Travel apprx. 4 miles and turn left on Hampton Road.
- After 8/10 of a mile, the road will fork slightly, go left on Van Thompson Road.
- Follow Van Thompson to the entrance of Sandy Run Regional Park.
Special Information for those who’ve never been to Occoquan:
- It’s about 3 or 3.5 hours drive.
- Parking fee from $10 -$20 – Cash.
- There is food at the regatta site, but the club will also have food available for your family.
- Weather. Stay up on the forecast. Plan on driving rain, scorching sun and chilly wind all on the same day. Layers work best. So do blankets. If you’re driving, you might want to throw in some old towels and a trash bag along with your travel gear. If the kids are wet, they’re muddy and it can be hard on your auto interior. To that end, tell your rower to bring a change of clothes or at least a couple of pairs of dry socks. Be Prepared!
- Bring a camp chair – you can get them for around $7 at any discount store. Seating is sketchy so you can be on your feet for about 6 hours.
- In the Spring: if you plan to hike to the bleachers, you won’t need the chair, but bring something soft to sit on as the bleachers are concrete and get hard after watching a few races.
- There is a shuttle that charges $2 each way if you are too tired to walk the .5 miles back and forth to the bleachers.
- Binoculars help if you want to catch a glimpse of your child rowing.
- Spring sprint races will bring your rower’s boat with a few yards of where you’re standing.
- Fall races mean you’ll be picking your child out from a distance.
- The Occoquan site has one pretty steep hill and a rocky trail to and from the bleachers (you only go to the bleachers in the Spring). There are two ways to get to the bleachers so ask someone there (one is shorter but steeper and the other is longer but prettier right along the river).
- There are no pets allowed.
- They almost always sell regatta t-shirts and the kids usually want to buy them. Those run around $14 – $30
- The club will provide food for your family.
- If you’re sending your rower with another parent, please make sure you give them enough cash to buy meals on the road.
- There are bathrooms onsite, at least one is handicapped accessible. Rarely do they have purell in the dispensers. Bring your own.