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This is a public site, owned by the Army Corps of Engineers and managed by the Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC), one of 4 agencies managing land around Jordan Lake. There are a number of grassy areas, as well as paved parking lots. There are several different potential observing areas, as well as potential hazards from the lake and non-observers, so a trip during daylight is advisable. The skies are "pretty dark", and from some locations Omega Centauri has been observed, so the southern horizon is quite low.
Jeff Polston comments:
There are two ramps/directions to go once you turn into Farrington Point. One is to the left and one is straight ahead. When I've observed out there in the past, I've gone to the parking lot to the left. If you setup in the parking area straight ahead, you are sure to be bathed in light from any cars entering the site, but the site to the left is protected until they decide to head down that way. One positive aspect of the straight ahead site is that you get better east/west horizons.
It also seemed that during minimal boating activity, most boaters preferred to go straight ahead. On the negative side it seems that most people just out cruising (teenagers, etc), seem to prefer to go to the left.
I prefer the site to the left for the reasons above and because you also get a good southern horizon.
You can read about one of Jeff's observing sessions at the site.
The site is open 24 hours, 7 days per week. In theory it is for boat access, and in the past some WRC personel have given astronomers a hard time. However, the site has been used many times for observing sessions, so be polite but firm (and offer looks at exciting objects) and you probably won't have any trouble.
In order to make sure we don't become unwelcome guests, please be courteous: no alcohol, loud radios, or loose dogs, clean up after yourself, and generally "be good".
|Click on map to go to MapBlast page for custom directions or zoomable map|
Take one of 15/501 or 54 to the intersection of 15/501 and 54 in Chapel Hill
Continue on 15/501 to SR1008 Mt. Carmel Church Road (it's Culbreth Road on the other side of the street) and turn LEFT.
Stay on SR1008 while it becomes Farrington Road as you pass into Chatham County and past the funny merge with Farrington Mill Road (if ever in doubt, just keep heading south).
The boat ramp is on the RIGHT just before you cross the lake. It's not terribly well marked, but if you're crossing the lake, you've gone too far, and you need to go back.
As mentioned in the description above, the prefered location to set up is the area down the left fork inside the park area.
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Thanks to John Amoroso, Jeff Polston, and Ray Porter for corrections and info to make this page better.
© 2000 Jon Stewart-Taylor, all rights reserved. Jeff of course maintains copyright to his own text.