Travel Directions to HLCO are given below. Please note that (1) the observatory is NOT at the park headquarters and (2) parking along the highway near the observatory is strictly prohibited (your car will be towed immediately).
Latitude: N 33° 40' 19.7''
Longitude: W 83° 35' 46.0''
Click the map for a larger version.
Take I-20 east to exit 105 (formerly exit 49), the exit for Rutledge. Turn left after getting off of the freeway (if coming from Augusta, turn right). Continue on this road until it ends at a T intersection. Turn left, then immediately right (after about 100 feet). Go over the railroad tracks, and through downtown Rutledge; there is a stop sign in a barrel at the intersection, a landmark you can't mistake. Stay on this road; it will eventually enter Hard Labor Creek State Park, which is marked by a wall on either side of the entrance. After entering the park, you will pass a golf course on the left. Continue on the road, which will eventually bend left, cross a bridge and bend right; there will be a lake on the left as you cross the bridge. The road will go up a hill.....just past the top of the hill (about 50 yards), there is a dirt road going off to the right. This road leads to the observatory, and should be marked by a sign. Follow the dirt road to the observatory. There is plenty of parking at the observatory, or along the long dirt road to the observatory. Do NOT park on the highway. Please be courteous and turn off your headlights when you get to the observatory to avoid blinding the other visitors.
There are signs along the way that point to Hard Labor Creek State Park; you can follow these if you get lost. If you miss the access road to the observatory, you will eventually leave the park and end up at a stop sign; turn around and head back. You can also look at the map to help you find the Observatory.
We highly recommend that you use our directions or the map to get to the site. If you would like to use a GPS, enter the following coordinates (latitude: 33 40 19.7; longitude: W 83 35 46.0), that should get you to the entrance of the driveway.
The trip to the observatory is approximately 50 miles from downtown Atlanta, which takes about an hour (if you obey the speed limit).