5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains, VA 20198
Observing Location Coordinates: N 38° 49′ 45.0″ W 77° 48′ 45.4″
Coordinator: Mike Ball
Covid-19 Special Notice: Great Meadow is available for use by our members and their guests if not indicated otherwise on the NOVAC member observing calendar. Setup your observing site no closer than 20 feet from other observers and maintain a six foot separation from others not in your group. Use the porta-toilet at your own risk. If you do use the porta-toilet, bring hand sanitizer so you can sanitize your hands after leaving the porta-toilet.
Great Meadow Site Events
Due to Covid-19 no NOVAC public events are scheduled at Great Meadow.
Check the NOVAC member observing calendar for dates Great Meadow cannot be used by our members (off limits to NOVAC)
Where to set up at Great Meadow:
Note: We now have two options to choose from. In winter or after rainfall, the area in the gravel parking lot may be the better choice.
Click the map below for a high resolution map with the route to the observing area “A” shown in RED.
Click the aerial image below for a larger version, showing an alternate designated observing area “B” circled in yellow. This observing area is a gravel parking lot and may be a better option when the field is wet/muddy.
Via I-66 West from DC — The exit from I-66 is exit 31 (The Plains exit; 9 miles past Haymarket), left turn (head south) onto HW 245 (Old Tavern Road). Go approximately 1.9 miles to the Pass Gate entrance on the left side. The Pass Gate entrance is across the road from where Old Winchester Road intersects Old Tavern Road. If you intersect HW 17 you have gone too far.
Note that all of the numbered gate entrances will be locked. Only the Pass gate at the intersection of Old Tavern RD (Rt. 245) and Old Winchester RD (Rt. 845) is open. The Pass gate entrance is directly across from the Old Tavern Corner Store.
Observing site option “A”
- After turning into the Pass gate take the first (immediate) left turn.
- Proceed on the gravel-dirt road for .2 miles and turn right.
- Proceed on the gravel-dirt road for .33 miles to the observing area. For this 0.33 mile stretch, you go down a hill to the race track rail (fence) and veer left on the road which will take you around the race track rail (rail will be on your right) to the observing area. You go past a sign on the left that says “Rail Side Tents #120-132 Parking. The observing area is in a little valley between the road you are on and the road to the east. If you go past a sign on the left that says “Rail Side Tents #133-138 Parking” you have gone just past the observing site.
- You may park on the grass unless it is extremely wet and muddy.
Observing site option “B”
- After turning into the Pass gate take the first (immediate) right turn.
- Proceed on the gravel-dirt road to the gravel parking lot where you can set up to observe.
Great Meadow Key Points
1. Access to the observing site is available only on scheduled dates.
2. No camping.
3. Use either observing site option “A” or “B” as listed above.