Directions to Rappahannock Astronomy Club Events

Big Meadows, Shenandoah National Park

Big Meadows is an open area with a campground, restaurant and lodge in Shenandoah National Park. It is a dark sky sight at the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Skyline Drive.

Historically, the Big Meadows Star Gaze and other astronomy events have been held at Big Meadows. It is necessary to contact the National Park Service rangers before using the area at night or for a group.

A smaller space is nearby at the Milam Gap parking area, approximately 1.5 miles south of Big Meadows. Milam Gap is a more sheltered site.

  • Street address is Skyline Drive, mile marker 51.2.
  • Park phone number is (540) 999-3500.
  • There is no direct email address. The park provides a contact form.
  • Coordinates for Swift Run Gap, the park entrance closest to Big Meadows:
    Latitude 38.357744. Longitude -78.545594 (38° 21′ 27.8778″ North, 78° 32′ 44.1378″ West).
  • Directions: From Fredericksburg:Enter Shenandoah National Park (fee required) and the Skyline Drive.
    Go to mile marker 51. Big Meadows is on the west side of the drive.
  • Map
  • Clear Sky Clock for Big Meadows

Caledon State Park

Caledon is a fairly dark sky, rural park. Located along the Potomac River northwest of the Highway 301 bridge in King George County, Virginia.

RAC hosts a star party here in most months of the year.

  • Street address is 11617 Caledon Road (Route 218), King George, Virginia 22485.
    A GPS that knows addresses will take you to the gate.
  • Park phone number is 540-663-3861.
  • Email address is [email protected]
  • Latitude 38.333999. Longitude -77.142639 (38° 20′ 2.3958″ North, 77° 8′ 33.5004″ West).
  • Directions: From Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia: Take I-95 exit 130, Route 3 east thru Fredericksburg, Route 218 east for about 20 miles to the park entrance on left, before you reach Route 206. From King George, or to keep to bigger roads: Take Route 3 east to King George, turn left (east) on Route 206 at King George Middle School toward Dahlgren, turn left (west) on Route 218, go a little more than a mile to the park entrance on right.From Maryland: Take Highway 301 south, cross the Potomac River, turn right on Route 206, turn on Route 218, go a little more than a mile to the park entrance on right.
  • Map
  • Clear Sky Clock for King George Observatory, near Caledon State Park.

Lake Anna State Park

Lake Anna Park is a fairly dark sky, rural park located along Lake Anna in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, 25 miles southwest of Fredericksburg and 60 miles northwest of Richmond.

  • Street address is 6800 Lawyers Road, Spotsylvania, Virginia 22551-9645. A GPS that knows addresses will take you to the gate.
  • Park phone number is 540-854-5503.
  • Park email address is [email protected]
  • Latitude 38.118281. Longitude -77.819955 (38° 7′ 5.8116″ North, 77° 49′ 11.8374″ West).
  • Directions: From western Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia: Take I-95 exit 118 at Thornburg, Route 606 approximately 4 miles to Snell, Route 606 becomes Route 208, stay on Route 208 west approximately 11 miles, turn right on Route 601 (Lawyers Road) approximately 3 miles, park entrance is on the left. From Route 522 south: It is best to go past the sign for the park at Route 612 and continue to Route 208, turn left on Route 208 east approximately 8 miles, crossing Lake Anna, turn left on Route 601 (Lawyers Road) approximately 3 miles, park entrance is on the left. From eastern Fredericksburg, southern Fredericksburg, and King George: Take Route 208 west from Fredericksburg through Spotsylvania and Snell,
    turn right on Route 601 (Lawyers Road) approximately 3 miles, park entrance is on the left.
  • Map
  • Clear Sky Clock for Belmont Observatory, a location close to Lake Anna State Park.

Motts Run Reservoir

Motts Run Reservoir is operated by Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation.
It is an open space near urban Fredericksburg.

  • Street address is 6242 River Road, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22407.
  • Phone number is 540-372-1086.
  • There is no direct email address. Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation provides a contact info.
  • Latitude 38.315565. Longitude -77.555287 (38° 18′ 56.0334″ North, 77° 33′ 19.0332″ West).
  • Directions: From Fredericksburg:Take Route 3 west from Fredericksburg. Approximately 1 mile west of I-95, turn right on Bragg Road (at a stop light) go approximately 1 mile, turn left on River Road, pass Clore Brothers Outfitters, after cresting hill, continue 0.5 mile, park is on left with gravel entry road.
  • Map
  • Clear Sky Clock for Stafford, a location near Motts Run.

National Museum of the U.S. Marine Corps

The museum is located along Interstate 95, close to Quantico Marine Base.

    • Street address is 18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
      Triangle, VA 22172.
    • Phone number is 877-635-1775.
    • Email address is [email protected]
    • Latitude 38.544139. Longitude -77.343361.
    • Directions: From Fredericksburg: Take I-95 north to exit 150.
    • Map


Old Mill Park

Old Mill Park is operated by Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation.
It is an open space on the Rappahannock River inside urban Fredericksburg,
on the edge of historic Old Town.

  • Street address is 2216 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401.
  • Phone number is 540-372-1086.
  • There is no direct email address. Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation provides a contact info.
  • Latitude 38.315835. Longitude -77.467951 (38° 18′ 57.0054″ North, 77° 28′ 4.623″ West).
  • Directions: From downtown or Old Town Fredericksburg: Take Sophia Street north from William Street. Sophia ends in a left turn at
    Pitt Street. Follow Pitt one block west, then turn right on Caroline Street.
    Follow Caroline 3 blocks, then watch for the park entrance on the right.
  • Map
  • Clear Sky Clock for Stafford, a location near Fredericksburg.

Shiloh Schools

Shiloh Schools is a historic property of Northumberland Preservation, Inc.
in Northumberland County, VA.

  • At the intersection of Routes 605 (Balls Neck Road) and 606 (Shiloh School Road) in Northumberland County.
  • Latitude 37.7675796, Longitude -76.329832 (37°46′5″N, 76°19′51″W).
  • Directions: From Kilmarnock: Take Route 200 north of town. Turn onto Shiloh School Road and go to the end of the road.
  • For more information contact Northumberland Preservation, Inc. at P.O. Box 65, Wicomoco Church, VA 22579.

Stratford Hall

Stratford Hall is the historic home of Revolutionary War hero Light Horse Harry Lee
and the birthplace of Civil War General Robert E Lee. It is a dark sky site located on the Potomac River in Westmoreland County.

  • Street address is 483 Great House Road, Stratfordn>, Virginia 22558.
  • Phone number is 804-493-8038.
  • Email address is [email protected]
  • Latitude 38.316037. Longitude -77.466685 (38° 18′ 57.7332″ North 77° 28′ 0.0654″ West).
  • Directions: From Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia, and King George:Take I-95 exit 130, Route 3 east through Fredericksburg approximately 40 miles, pass Westmoreland State Park, turn left on Route 214 (Stratford Hall Road), proceed to the Oval in front of the Great House, park at the administration office on on the road at the Oval.
  • Stafford Hall Website
  • Map
  • The closest Clear Sky Clock to Stratford Hall is at King
    George Observatory
    .

Westmoreland State Park

Westmoreland State Park is a fairly dark sky, rural park. Located along the Potomac River downstream from Caledon, in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

  • Street address is
    1650 State Park Road, Montross,Virginia 22520-9717
    .
    A GPS that knows addresses will take you to the gate.
  • Park phone number is 804-493-8821.
  • Email address is [email protected]
  • Latitude 38.161125. Longitude -76.865002 (38° 9′ 40.0494″ North, 76° 51′ 54.0072″ West).
  • Directions: From Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia: Take I-95 exit 130, Route 3 east through Fredericksburg about 40
    miles into Westmoreland County, turn left on Route 347 to the park entrance. From Tappahannock and Richmond: Take Highway 360 east through Tappahannock to Warsaw,
    turn left on Route 3 west (third stop light),
    about 6 miles past Montross turn right on Route 347 to the park entrance. From Tidewater: Take Highway 17 north to Tappahannock, turn right on Highway 360 east,
    then follow directions from Tappahannock.
  • Map
  • The closest Clear Sky Clock to Westmoreland State Park is at King George Observatory.