Directions to Regular CAS Meeting and Observing Locations
From the North (D.C. Area):
Take Highway 29 South towards Charlottesville. Continue past the Albemarle/Charlottesville Airport. UVa Sports Complex signs will guide you in the right direction. Pass the 250/29 Bypass, staying on 29 Business (also called Emmet Street). Turn right onto Ivy Road (250 Business). Turn left onto Alderman Road. Just before the football stadium, turn right (West) onto McCormick Road. At the first stop sign on McCormick Road, bear a little to the left to continue on McCormick Road. At the top of the hill there are large water storage tanks and a second stop sign. Turn right at this stop sign and continue up the hill to the observatory.
From All Other Directions:
Take Interstate 64 (East or West) towards Charlottesville. Take the Highway 29 exit to Charlottesville. You will be on the 250/29 Bypass. Get off at Fontaine Avenue (29 Business). Head north to the first traffic light. Turn left there onto Maury Avenue, which becomes Alderman Road at the 4-way stop. Continue past the stadium to the next traffic light, which is McCormick Road. Turn left (west) onto McCormick Road. At the first stop sign on McCormick Road, bear a little to the left to continue on McCormick Road. At the top of the hill there are large water storage tanks and a second stop sign. Turn right at this stop sign and continue up the hill to the observatory.
Ivy Creek Natural Area:
Ivy Creek is on Earlysville Road just North of the Rio Rd/Hydraulic/Earlysville Road intersection and just South of the Reservoir.
From the 29 North area, take Rio Road West toward Albemarle High School. Turn right onto Earlysville Road. Go about 1/2 to 1 mile. The entrance will be on the left (west) side of the road.
Route 29 South, just North of Nelson County.
From Charlottesville take 29 South. After you pass the interstate 64 overpass keep going for about 13-14 miles. When you see Rt. 633 you’re very close. When you see Rt. 805 (immediately after 633), take a left across the 29 median strip and turn into Fan Mountain Rd. You will cross railroad tracks — please use caution.
Fan Mountain Road is a narrow, winding gravel/dirt road. It is 3 miles to the top.
On Skyline Drive just North of Big Meadows.
Take 29 North to Route 33. Take a left (west) on Rt. 33. Take Rt. 33 to the top of the mountain. Turn right into the Shenandoah National Park entrance (there is a bridge you go under just prior to the entrance). Almost immediately you will see the toll gates which will hopefully say “pay when you leave” in the window. If you arrive before dark, you will have to pay an entrance fee.
Turn left (north) onto Skyline Drive, going towards Big Meadows. It is 15 miles (about 30 minutes) to Big Meadows. Upper Hawksbill Parking Area (not Hawksbill Gap) is at milepost 46.7, about 4.5 miles north of Big Meadows.
On Skyline Drive just South of Route 33.
Take 29 North to Rt. 33. Take a left (west) on Rt. 33. Take Rt. 33 to the top of the mountain. Turn right into the Shenandoah National Park entrance (there is a bridge you go under just prior to the entrance). Almost immediately you will see the toll gates which will hopefully say “pay when you leave” in the window. If you arrive before dark, you will have to pay an entrance fee.
Turn right (south) onto Skyline Drive. Go 4-5 miles, just past milepost 70, until you encounter the Eaton overlook on the right side of the road.
Spy Mountain Overlook:
On the Blue Ridge Parkway at Mile Post 26 (26 miles South of Afton Mountain) is Spy Mountain Overlook. During the Spring this is one of the few locations to view Omega Centauri from in Central Virginia (But the weather and date needs to be just right to see this Southern Hemisphere object). There is ample parking and a elevated grassy area that prevents any headlights from the drive being much of a bother.
Blue Ridge Observatory (Private):
From US 33 near Stanardsville, take Route 810 South to Dyke.
From I64 near Crozet, take Route 810 North to Dyke.
From Charlottesville or the Airport, take Earlysville Road North, following signs to the Blue Ridge School.
Once in Dyke:
Dyke is indicated by Snow’s general store and a sign for the Blue Ridge School to the West. Take this turn (627) 3.6 miles to Wyatt Mountain Road (632), a gravel road to the left. This road is quite steep and narrow. After 2 miles (at Stone Mountain Vineyards), Wyatt Mountain Road becomes Shifflet Road (676) for .5 miles where you take a sharp right onto Flattop Mountain Road. (The sign is missing, but you will see a mailbox with Dean Wilder’s name on it). Follow Flattop Mountain Road 2.4 miles past the mailboxes to lot 57 on the top of the mountain. Don’t be discouraged by the menacing signs.
Dogwood Ridge Observatory (Private):
401 Forest Ridge Drive. Near Kidds Store between Scottsville and Palmyra. Phone 434-286-2320.
From Charlottesville take Route 20 South to Route 53 toward Monticello.
Left on Route 53 East, 3.2 miles to Route 795.
Right on Route 795 South, 2.6 miles to Route 620.
Left on Route 620 South, 12.2 miles to Kidds Dairy Road (669).
Right on Kidds Dairy Road, 0.4 miles to Forest Ridge Drive.
Right on Forest Ridge Drive, 0.6 miles to 401 Forest Ridge Drive (on the left).
North Garden (Private):
Take Rt. 708 (Red Hill Road) east from its intersection with Rt. 29. (Coming from Charlottesville, this is about 5 miles south of the Rt. 29/I-64 intersection). Go about 2.9 miles east on Rt. 708 (carefully, it’s a twisty road). Take the first right, onto Rt. 631, Old Lynchburg Road. There’s a small brick church on the right where you turn. Go 1.9 miles. House is on the left. There’s a gray mailbox with the number (3129). Park along the driveway or on the grass.
Preddy Creek Observatory (Private)
3457 Preddy Creek Road (434-975-2888, Ed Walendowski).
Take 29 North just past GE and the Bamboo house and turn right onto Rt641. Make an immediate right onto Rt 600 (Watt’s Passage). Go 2.3 miles and turn left onto 747 (Preddy Creek Rd – Gravel). Go 1 mile. The driveway is on the right. There is an address sign “3457” on a tree. The driveway forks almost immediately. Take the left fork (longer).
Note: If you reach Jurlando Rd., you have gone too far. Just turn around and the next driveway on the left is it.