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Dark Sky Sites East of the Mississippi

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#1 petrus45

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

What are your favorite dark sky sites East of the Mississipi (you know, that part of the light pollution map where there are just a few spots of black)?

The only one area I have been able to locate so far that is anywhere near me (Ohio) is in Monongahela National Forest in WV, i.e. Spruce Knob and Dolly Sods.

I'd love some other recommendations.

#2 George N

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:01 PM

Cherry Springs State Park in PA (the very best)

New York’s Adirondack Mountains (where I spend about a quarter of my time)

Both of the above feature SQM readings of around 21.7 on many nights.

NY’s Catskills (central portion in particular)

Many rural locations in NY. For example, near me in south-central NY, just 6 or 7 miles out of town, an SQM often gives 21.1 or so.

Stellafane can be very nice, but light pollution in the north.

Maine looks great.

#3 George N

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

Oh….. and friends highly recommend the Carolina outer banks….

#4 teast

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:09 PM

I've had a reading of 21.94 at my brother-in-law's home in the Mississippi Delta outside Greenwood.

-Tom

#5 Tony Flanders

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:17 AM

What are your favorite dark sky sites East of the Mississipi (you know, that part of the light pollution map where there are just a few spots of black)?

The only one area I have been able to locate so far that is anywhere near me (Ohio) is in Monongahela National Forest in WV, i.e. Spruce Knob and Dolly Sods.


I'm not sure what part of Ohio you're in. Certainly if you're in eastern Ohio, Monongahela is going to be closest.

There are plenty of others, including the Great North Woods all the way from Wisconsin to Maine (though largely in Canada), the spine of the Appalachians down to northern Georgia, and the Ozarks. But some of those are so far from you that if you're going to travel that far, why not drive west?

#6 Achernar

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

The region around the Coffeeville dam and the Conecuh National forest are the two nearest dart sites to my area. Both are just about as dark as you can get anywhere east of the Mississippi river. However, they pale in comparion to the western end of Oklahoma.

Taras

#7 Phillip Creed

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:26 AM

If you're in Eastern Ohio, I'd also consider Calhoun County Park, WV, about 4 miles south of Grantsville, WV, off SR-16. If you know your travel time to Marietta, OH, add about 1 hr 15 min.

Our group used to go to Spruce Knob. Since we discovered Calhoun, we haven't been back. Skies are comparable to Cherry Springs, and there's a renovated barn on site that doubles as a community center that can be rented out for the night so you can sleep in a climate-controlled environment.

Clear Skies,
Phil

#8 petrus45

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:41 AM

If you're in Eastern Ohio, I'd also consider Calhoun County Park, WV, about 4 miles south of Grantsville, WV, off SR-16. If you know your travel time to Marietta, OH, add about 1 hr 15 min.

Our group used to go to Spruce Knob. Since we discovered Calhoun, we haven't been back. Skies are comparable to Cherry Springs, and there's a renovated barn on site that doubles as a community center that can be rented out for the night so you can sleep in a climate-controlled environment.

Clear Skies,
Phil


Great tip! I am in SW Ohio, and have been contemplating a camping trip to Spruce Knob, possibly with a side trip to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, but your suggestion would save almost 3 hrs driving each way. Cedar Creek Park is also near-by and in the dark zone.

#9 Phillip Creed

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:17 PM

Don't go to Cedar Creek State Park to observe. It's 3 miles SW of a federal prison (FCI Gilmer) that will throw up a massive amount of local light pollution.

Calhoun County park is in the next county over, and a good 20+ miles away from the prison.

I've been to the darkest skies in Ohio, including Hocking Hills, the AEP rec lands south of Zanesville, the Zaleski/Lake Hope region of Vinton County, the Pike State Forest area near Waverly, and Wayne National Forest NE of Marietta (the patch of "blue zone" in SE Ohio), to name a few.

They're all good sites, but Calhoun County Park easily beats them all.

Clear Skies,
Phil

#10 petrus45

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:12 PM

Don't go to Cedar Creek State Park to observe. It's 3 miles SW of a federal prison (FCI Gilmer) that will throw up a massive amount of local light pollution.


Wow, talk about a double whammy - nearby prison AND light pollution.






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