Five Incredible Stargazing Destinations Across The United States Forbes - Jared Ranahan. But any time of year, just wait until after dark for a different stunning view. (CBS/WVLT) - A hunter was charged with homicide after shooting and killing a teenager who was stargazing in Nockamixon State Park, located in Pennsylvania, a few days before Halloween. Cherry Springs State Park is the only Dark Sky Preserve Park in the mid- Atlantic region. Get ready for some great views of the Milky Way, planets, and hard-to-see astronomical objects and phenomena. Named the first International Dark Sky Park in the Eastern U.S. and the second in the world to be ranked as Gold Tier, it’s easy to see why night sky enthusiasts flock to the park. Minimal light pollution affords breathtaking opportunities to witness a truly dark sky. Cherry Springs State Park, located in north central Pennsylvania, is one of the country's hidden stargazing gems. Redwood National and State Parks, California. State Parks; Outdoor Adventure; Entertainment; Edutourism; Among stargazers, creating light pollution is the equivalent of throwing trash out of a car window. Clayton Lake State Park. Stargazing and Astronomy at Cherry Springs State Park A combination of attributes makes Cherry Springs ideal for stargazing and astronomy: The field is at the top of a 2,300-foot high mountain -- the surrounding state forest is relatively undeveloped and nearby communities are in valleys, shielding any light that might affect the park 90, Benson, AZ 85602, azstateparks.com Enjoy camping, hiking, mountain biking, and fishing in Lake Copper Breaks or Big Pond with no fishing license required. Michaux State Forest. Big Bend Ranch State Park, west of Big Bend National Park, has the darkest night skies for stargazing in Texas. There are a ton of places to go stargazing in Idaho, but one of the best is at Bruneau Dunes State Park. T. H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. https://www.visitpa.com/article/7-epic-stargazing-spots-pennsylvania Head to Ridgway for amazing expanses of clear skies over incredible mountain views. Acadia National Park, Maine. However, it also earned New Mexico’s first International Dark Sky Park designation in 2010. Named the first International Dark Sky Park in the Eastern U.S. and the second in the world to be ranked as Gold Tier, it’s easy to see why night sky enthusiasts flock to the park. James River State Park is working toward IDA Dark Sky Park certification and is a great, centrally located stargazing location. Guided tours require reservations and begin at the Devil’s Sinkhole Visitor Center in Rocksprings. Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County, Pennsylvania, is famous with astronomers for its dark skies unspoiled by civilization, including shielded lighting throughout the park and a 360-degree view of the night sky. Early Americans, including the Comanche and the last Chief Quanah Parker, have camped at Copper Breaks State Park near Quanah for years, amid the quiet lakes and rugged terrain. Camping is available, plus lodging at San Solomon Springs Courts, a retro-style motel. Before heading out, don’t forget to call ahead and confirm hours. Oracle State Park is a certified Dark Sky Park, making it a great spot to see the Milky Way. Bass River State Forest. Have a look around our site for more information about stargazing, Coudersport, and at Cherry Springs State Park—including restaurant recommendations and day trips. Springs State Park, consistently rated one of the 7 best places on the planet for stargazing. But the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Here, many see the Milky Way with the naked eye for the first time. Potawatomi State Park and Washington Island both have lookout towers, too. As Pennsylvania is known for having some of the darkest skies on the Eastern Seaboard, pitch a tent and look up at these epic stargazing spots. As the park is 5 miles from external light sources you’ll see many more stars than usual. Visitors are encouraged to check the park’s Facebook page and the park’s Clear Sky Chart before visiting. I would recommend Amistad Expeditions, which offers trip planning, shuttle service, kayak rentals, and guides for first-time explorers. Lower numbers indicate darker skies. That’s why the streetlights in Borrego Springs are subtle, not glaring, and the local airport has adjusted its aircraft beacon to angle downward. Now is the time for camping, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, stargazing, birding at one of the four bird blinds, or wildlife photography. While the national parks across the United States are rife with opportunity for hiking, camping, and exploring the great outdoors, one particular activity can only be partaken in after the sun has dipped below the horizon: namely, stargazing. The “Great Conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn will form a “Christmas Star” on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. The park requires day passes or camping reservations. All rights reserved. Explore, with me, 12 Texas state parks rated with a Bortle Scale of Class One through Class Three, listed alphabetically, for camping and marveling at the stars. All privately-owned property along Devils River enforces trespassing issues. Visitors are encouraged to check the park’s Facebook page and the park’s Clear Sky Chart before visiting. There you can find amateur astronomers sharing views through their telescopes. Along with stargazing, it’s also a good place for hiking. Field Checklist: Birds of South Llano River State Park, 11 Beautiful Caverns To Visit In Texas Hill Country, 10 Fantastic Experiences At Dinosaur Valley State Park, 6 Texas Hill Country Wineries With Gorgeous Views, 9 Excellent Outdoor Activities Near Jefferson, Texas, 7 Best Things To Explore In Rural Alpine, Texas. Located on a barrier island on Florida’s Forgotten Coast, Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park is tucked away from major city lights. This 595-acre Potter County state park gives plenty of viewing room for stargazing when camping at both modern and rustic campsites available at the park. Among stargazers, creating light pollution is the equivalent of throwing trash out of a car window. For more stargazing in Door County, visit the Astronomy Campus at Crossroads at Big Creek, a 200-acre preserve. Not only is it one of the best places in the state, but some would also say, in the world. Take advantage of these dark sky parks to view the Jupiter and Saturn conjunction, appearing closest together after sunset in the southwestern sky from now through December 21, 2020, the closest together since 1623. If you want to see stars or even the Milky Way’s galactic core light up the night sky, you have to go somewhere really dark, away from the light pollution of major cities and suburban areas. Our goal, to share the world’s unique, hidden and once in a lifetime locations with you to create unforgettable memories. We want to inspire you to explore new destinations, discover new experiences and savor the journey. Big Bend Ranch State Park. Located in the southwestern Hill Country near Junction, South Llano River State Park is an excellent place for swimming, floating, tubing, paddling, and fishing the spring-fed South Llano River in the warm months. Locals recommend setting up at the southern end of the park near Quaker Lake, where much of the Milky Way can be seen on clear nights. Camp at one of the 46 campsites, either primitive drive-up sites or sites with water and electricity, all with restrooms and showers nearby. Other heavenly bodiesA dark night sky is a natural resource, just like plants, waterways, and wildlife. 2980 S. Hwy. Escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and look up at the glistening night sky from the Raystown Lake Region in Huntingdon County. visitPA.com is the official tourism website of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Tom Wolf, Governor The International Dark Sky Association has designated Copper Breaks as an International Dark Sky Park. This 595-acre Potter County state park gives plenty of viewing room for stargazing when camping at both modern and rustic campsites available at the park. Hike-in sites are primitive. Come to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in late winter and early spring, and you’ll see a gorgeous carpet of wildflowers covering the desert. But the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is doing something about that. Or head for Tonopah’s Stargazing Park—outfitted with cement pads for BYO telescopes—to set your sights on what USA Today says is the #1 Stargazing Destination in America. Lay out a blanket to see countless stars. Beautiful dark sky viewing is waiting for you. Illinois State Parks are great destinations for stargazing and astronomy, especially when city lights obscure the view in urban areas. Here's everything to know before visiting! Stargazing at St. George Island. Located 25 minutes from Dallas and 30 minutes from Fort Worth to the south, you can reach Cedar Hill State … Kickapoo Cavern State Park, located under 30 miles north of Bracketville, offers cave tours with reservations, camping, bird-watching, hiking, mountain biking, and in-season bat flight viewing. Travel Nevada Pro Tip As one of only 7 designated Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the world, head for northwestern Nevada’s Massacre Rim to experience one of the darkest skies on this planet. Janie H. Pace is a travel writer and photographer based in Fort Worth, Texas. The stargazing schedule at Dr. Lawless International Dark Sky Park is weather dependent; for up-to-date information, visit the park’s Facebook page.The park’s address is … Be sure to hike the scenic Closed Canyon Trail, a 1.4-mile roundtrip, or the Ojito Adentro Trail, a 1.4-mile roundtrip with a cave, ferns, and a refreshing spring. The campsites in this state park are nice, but it is … And if you’ve ever been under that vaulted sky at night, you know how good it is for stargazing. Stargaze at the magnificent night sky at Cherry Springs State Park located in Potter-Tioga Pennsylvania where you can see thousands of stars. With over 311,000 remote acres along the Rio Grande in Brewster and Presidio counties, the park is the largest in Texas. Would you like to submit an event to the calendar? Stargazing at St. George Island. Legend says the Tonkawa Indians named this pink granite 425-foot monolith Enchanted Rock, believing magical ghost fires glowed at the top after a Spanish conquistador cast a spell on it. The topography of volcanoes and buttes here helps screen even distant sources of city lights making for top star gazing conditions at the park. Tuckerton, NJ. Cedar Hill State Park Cedar Hill State Park is a great option for stargazing near Dallas or Forth Worth without a long drive. Fortunately, that weekend was free, I told him I definitely wanted to go. Staunton River State Park is 18 miles east of South Boston. As the park is 5 miles from external light sources you’ll see many more stars than usual. While the national parks across the United States are rife with opportunity for hiking, camping, and exploring the great outdoors, one particular … Hike through the red rock canyons and 90 miles of trails, explore the bats roosting in the Clarity Tunnel, and enjoy no-wake fishing, boating, and swimming at Lake Theo. Hike early morning for wildlife viewing on Pine Canyon, Armadillo Lookout, or Vireo Vista Loop trails. Campers must pack out all trash, and WAG bag use for human waste is required. Fayetteville. 3. Protected bison roam the plains at Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway, located in the Texas Panhandle, about 100 miles southeast of Amarillo. Light Pollution: .27. Here, many see the Milky Way with the naked eye for the first time. Be sure to plan your trip to include other great area attractions and experiences. Potawatomi State Park and Washington Island both have lookout towers, too. River access requires a Devils River Access Permit, plus camping fees at designated campsites. Here's everything to know before visiting! Devil’s Sinkhole is a gigantic vertical cavern, 50 feet wide with a 140-foot deep shaft dropping into the cavern, housing three million Mexican free-tailed bats from May through October near Rocksprings, in the Hill Country. I would leave the mountain biking and horseback riding to the more experienced riders since sharp cliffs and drop-offs along the trails may be challenging. Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. This is the first International Dark Sky Community in the Golden State, making it a prime spot for stargazing. Kartchner Caverns is a popular state park that features a cave system that’s open to tourists. You’ll meet the San Antonio Astronomical Association members who frequent the dark skies at Devil’s Sinkhole. The hope is to raise awareness of night skies with educational programs about light pollution, constellation tours, and star parties. Home to the newest Dark Sky Park in the United States, this site near the Grand Canyon offers some spectacular surroundings from which to enjoy fabulous stargazing, with over 150 clear nights every year. The Bortle Scale rates how well you can see the stars in a specific location, ranking the light pollution and glow in the sky. Because this park has almost no light pollution, it’s one of the darkest parks in the southern United States and is perfect for stargazing. Sep. 9, 2020 Updated: Sep. 12, 2020 2:26 p.m. Facebook Twitter Email. Michaux State Forest encompasses more than 85,500 acres in the South Mountain area of Cumberland, Franklin, and Adams Counties. 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Camping is available at 30 campsites with water and electricity, plus hike in to primitive campsites. Now is the time to go since temperatures in the summer can reach as high as 130 degrees. Perhaps that's why not many Texans would be surprised to learn that their state is home to the best national park for stargazing in the country. Nebulae 3. Cherry Springs State Park has exceptionally dark skies with very little light pollution, making it one of the darkest places on the East Coast. Known for some of the best whitewater rafting on the East Coast, stay the night and be dazzled by the stars under the dark skies of Ohiopyle State Park. By reservation, campsites range from drive-in sites with electricity, hike-in primitive sites, or campsites with corrals for your horses. Located on 5,328 acres in the Hill Country, 2 hours northwest of Austin, Colorado Bend State Park is home to caves, springs, and sinkholes. Located in Ocean Township, … For us, Navajo State Park takes the cake! Vast forests are among the darkest places in the U.S., but you'll need to find a clearing to actually see the night sky. I haven’t found any events, but check in at the ranger station/visitor center when you get there or call ahead. Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park. I went here when it was like 2,000 degrees out and it was just way too hot. Natural darkness is fading. Cherry Springs State Park in Coudersport simply must be at the top of your stargazing bucket list. The best spots for stargazing are along River Road, Big Hill, at the West Contrabando Trailhead, and the Hoodoos. The stargazing schedule at Dr. Lawless International Dark Sky Park is weather dependent. Enchanted Rock is a protected International Dark Sky Park where you can easily photograph the Milky Way. Stargazing at Copper Breaks State Park in The Texas Panhandle. Stargazing events in Goblin Valley State Park. While there are several places you can go stargazing in California, one of the top spots to go is Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, in east San Diego County. Escape the city lights and stay the night at one of the parks’ campsites to enjoy this open star-lit playground. Cherry Springs State Park in Coudersport simply must be at the top of your stargazing bucket list. We know Montana is big sky country. It’s also a frequent spot for the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association to host their events. Our mission is to serve the 50+ traveler. Note: You may find limited cellular service in many of these remote parks, so take your telescope, tripod, and digital camera. Happy stargazing! This state park is best known for its eponymous lake and some 500 fossilized dinosaur footprints and tail prints. Locals recommend setting up at the southern end of the park near Quaker Lake, where much of the Milky Way can be seen on clear nights. Garner State Park In the city of Concan, next to the chilly (great swimming on hot Texas days) spring-fed Frio River, is Garner State Park. Newport State Park: Star Gazing - See 161 traveler reviews, 130 candid photos, and great deals for Ellison Bay, WI, at Tripadvisor. Lost Maples, 2 hours northwest of San Antonio, is known for the most vividly colorful red, orange, and yellow bigtooth maple leaves in the fall, along with red oaks and blazing red sumac trees. No campfires are permitted. Galaxies 4. Best Texas state parks to visit for stargazing in the fall. Enjoy gazing at the Milky Way at this International Dark Sky Park. Visitors travel far and wide to the park’s Astronomy Field which offers magnificent, unobstructed 360-degree views of tens of thousands of stars and their constellations. Take advantage of the dark skies for stargazing. Have a look around our site for more information about stargazing, Coudersport, and at Cherry Springs State Park—including restaurant recommendations and day trips. Big Bend Ranch State Park, west of Big Bend National Park, has the darkest night skies for stargazing in Texas. If not, you are not alone; neither have 80 percent of Americans. Stargazing in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. This prestigious distinction recognizes the park’s world-class stargazing opportunities as well as its commitment to preserving the darkness through educational programs and responsible outdoor lighting. Fishing from the shore or the pier without a required license is fantastic fun for the kids. Stargazing in Pennsylvania is incredibly easy thanks to Cherry Springs State Park. Pro Tip: Located a mile and a half east of Lajitas Golf Resort on FM 170, Barton Warnock Visitor Center serves as the eastern entrance to Big Bend Ranch State Park. Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania. For a double whammy, find the brightest stars even with the sun starting to rise. Straddling the U.S. … The sky’s the limit…quite literally! Allegany State Park is not only one of the largest state parks in New York— it’s also one of the most remote places to stargaze. Escape the city lights and take in Almost Heaven night sky views. Lake Whitney State Park Enjoy an evening walk across the galaxy by using star maps and a laser pointer. In the meantime, here are a few more quick tips for an optimal stargazing experience. If you're planning to visit during the summer, make sure you check out one of the park’s ranger-led stargazing programs to get the full experience. The official state of Texas longhorn herd resides in the park. For more stargazing in Door County, visit the Astronomy Campus at Crossroads at Big Creek, a 200-acre preserve. Cherry Springs State Park is without a doubt the premiere stargazing destination in the state. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Her culinary, wine, and travel photography adventures have led her across Peru from Cusco through the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu, where she sampled locally grown vegetables and potato bread; up the Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise to Banff and Jasper, where she photographed wildlife and landscapes and indulged in Fairmont luxury hotels; and to the four largest islands of Hawaii, where she explored Haleakala and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Parks and enjoyed the local poke bowls. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park: Montana and Alberta, Canada. Surrounded by open wilderness and rugged mountain beauty, West Virginia’s state parks has some of the best stargazing spots you can find on the east coast. Allegany State Park is not only one of the largest state parks in New York— it’s also one of the most remote places to stargaze. … It’s also known to hold star parties on occasion. If you continue to use our website, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies (and milk!) from visitPA.com. 3. Navajo. There are a few experiences that I’ve had in my life, and as a travel blogger, that has made me look at the world differently. Named after Barton Warnock, the Big Bend biologist who cataloged much of the Chihuahuan Desert plant species, you’ll find RV camping, desert wildflowers, cacti exhibits, information, maps, drinking water, and souvenirs. And confirm hours astronomy Campus at Crossroads at Big Creek, a retro-style motel, ’... Outside, to share the world ’ s Crossing is about 50 north. For over 250 species of Birds don ’ t found any events, but check in the... For updates in astronomy and stargazing opportunities throughout the year, look for over 250 species of.! 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