New Moon Weekends
A number of our club members and guests meet regularly at Withlacoochee River Park during New Moon weekends. Except for the February New Moon weekend, everyone interested in viewing the night sky is welcome to these events. The schedule is displayed on our Club Calendar.
NOTE: The February New Moon week is set aside for our annual star party. You must be registered to attend. Please go to Annual Star Party for more information.
You may join us for just an evening, stay overnight, or camp for the weekend. There is plenty of room for RVs and tents with 30-Amp and 20-Amp outlets, and water. An RV dump station is located at the entry/exit of the field.
The park closes at dusk, so you must arrive before then. We will have the gate-code so you may depart whenever you are ready. However, we cannot give out the gate-code to anyone who is not already inside the park.
Reservations: The activity field is reserved for astronomy viewing on New Moon Weekends and other club sponsored events. Personal reservations are not necessary except for the February New Moon weekend as discussed above.
You must display Friends-Of-The-Park Pass on your dashboard to be on the activity field.
Please check with the park rangers at (352) 567-0264 if you would like to observe at other than scheduled times as the activities field may be booked for other events.
Restrooms, with showers, are located approximately 300 yards from the activity field. The code for the restrooms is the same as the gate code and is only given out to folks that are on the activity field and RV campground.
We do accept donations to help our club meet its educational goals. We are an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization so your donation may be tax deductible.
Activity Field Fees
The club provides a portalet on the activity field for the months of October through March. While there is no cost if you are not staying overnight, a $5 donation to help offset those costs would be appreciated. We are an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization so your donation may be tax deductible.
For those who do not wish to camp, we have bunkhouse space available for $15/night.
Non-member camping fees are $25/night with electric or $10/night without. Club members receive a discounted rate of $15/night with electric or $10/night without.
Camping fees must be paid in advance online or upon arrival. NO EXCEPTIONS!
- Please check in with the club’s designated representative upon arrival and prior to setting up.
- Our designated representative will first verify your payment.
- He/She will then help you with parking/setup so that your setup will be within the area assigned to you.
- You may be required to relocate if you setup prior to checking in with the club’s representative.
- Please use the graphic below for parking guidance on the main row (row of seven posts on the north side of the viewing field).
Note: Please help us out by seeking out the club’s representative so he/she does not have to find you.
New Moon Weekend Rules
- You must arrive prior to dusk because the gates lock and your headlights will interrupt those already set up for viewing.
- The Friends-Of-The-Park Pass must be displayed on your dashboard.
- Park facing northeast if you plan to leave during the night.
- Pay the designated representative prior to setting up on the activity field if you did not pay online prior to arrival.
- No white lights.
- Campfires are not allowed on the activity field.
You may email Jack Fritz for more information.
Withlacoochee River Park
12449 Withlacoochee Blvd
Dade City, FL 33525
Directions from Tampa:
From Tampa take I-75 North to SR-52. Take 52 East all the way through Dade City until it dead ends at the railroad station on the 301 Bypass. (Note: SR-52 will make 2 right hand turns at traffic lights along the way, one after St. Leo and one when entering Dade City). Be sure to go all the way to the dead end at the old railroad station. Do not turn on US-301, go all the way to the dead end. Turn left on US-301 Bypass and go about ¾ mile and turn right on River Road, across the railroad tracks. You will see a sign saying “County Park 4.7 Miles.” It’s a very winding, paved road, take your time.
When you get to the fork in the road, you will take the road to the right (Auton Rd.). (There's a sign saying "County Park" directing you to the right) Go about 150 feet to the park entrance on the left (Withlacoochee Blvd.). Enter the park and go about ½ mile until you see a sign that says, “Big Ma's Way”, and turn right onto the field.
You can also go North on US-301 from Tampa and take the bypass when you get to Dade City.