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Dark-Sky Sites:




Town: Between LaGrange and West Point

Observing site:  Old Potts Road.  This site is on government land owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers and is primarily used as hunting ground during hunting season.  There is a large grassy field off the main road (Old Potts Road).

Point of Contact:  Phillip Hosey

Restrictions:  There may be restrictions during hunting season.  The rangers may want to know what someone is doing out there in the middle of the night. The contributor writes that he has spoken with them before about using the area for astronomy and they say it's no problem.  Just don't leave any trash behind when you leave.

Directions:  On US 29 between La Grange and West Point, turn onto Lower Glass Bridge Road, there will be multicolored bait and tackle store on the corner.  Cross the bridge and go about a mile or so and you will see a dirt road to the left, there should be a sign.  This road is Old Potts Road, turn onto it and follow until it forks.  Take the left fork.  Follow this for 3/4 mile or so until you come to a turn off to the left into an open field, this is where we usually set up.  The grass can be very tall in the spring and summer, so we usually setup on the road.   Click here to go to to create a map.

Current weather: Click for Lagrange, Georgia Forecast

How are the sky conditions?  This is probably one of the darkest places between La Grange and West Point.  There is no local lighting at all.

Typical naked-eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night:
     At the zenith: Better than 6.0
     East: 5.0- 5.5
     West: 5.0- 5.5
     North: 5.0- 5.5
     South: 5.0

Best horizon:  East and northwest

Worst horizon:  South

Comments from contributor  Naked-eye limiting magnitude at the zenith is better than 6.0, but that will vary with the amount of humidity in the air.  There is a light dome due south that comes up to about 25 degrees above the horizon, but it's decent on either side of it.  The best directions are NW and east.  Light from LaGrange is minimal, but because West Point and the dam are due south of this location they produce the light dome in the south.  In the East you can see the summer Milky Way as it rises above the trees, about 20 degrees above the horizon.  East, North and West have a naked-eye limiting magnitude of around 5.0- 5.5 below about 30 degrees and goes up to 6.0 or better at the zenith.  The only real drawback to this site is that due south is the worst horizon as far as light domes go, but it's not too wide, so if you catch an object before it enters or after it leaves the dome, it's much better.

I did a sky fog limit test (film astrophotography) and determined this site allows some very decent exposures, times especially overhead.  Of course, near and in the light dome presents a problem, but everywhere else is pretty good.

Errors in this listing?  Click here to submit corrections.

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Town: Oakman

Observing site:  Doll Mountain

Address:  Doll Mt. Campground


Oakman GA 30732-0096

Point of Contact: Park Attendant

Phone: (706) 276-4413


Restrictions: Park is usually open from early April till end of October (when bow hunting season begins)

Directions: From Ellijay, Georgia, Take Old Hwy 5 South to Hwy 382. Follow Hwy 382 South then turn Right into campground access road directly across from volunteer fire station. From Atlanta - I-75 north to exit 293 (Hwy 411). Take Hwy 411 North to Hwy 136. Turn Right on 136 and follow to Hwy 382. Turn Left on Hwy 382 and follow to campground access road directly across from volunteer fire station.   Click here to go to to create a map.

Current weather:  Click for Oakman, Georgia Forecast

How are the sky conditions?  Overall conditions were good. The clarity really depends on humidity, and only being 90 miles or so north of Atlanta, the south sky really takes a hit.

Typical naked-eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night:
     At the zenith: 6
     East: 5.5
     West: 5.5
     North: 5
     South: 4

Best horizon: Typically East is the best bet. Trees cover most low elevation views and depending on which part of the park you are viewing from you may get ass low as 10 deg. from horizon.

Worst horizon: Viewing to the south is the worst. Atlanta's lights (90 mi. away) can spoil 20-30 deg. in the southern sky if humidity is high.

Comments from contributor: Most large openings in the park, such as parking lots and boat ramps have sodium vapor type lighting. This light is not too intrusive because of the dense vegetation. Along the improved park roads field of view can be quite limited, but there are several places (and campsites) that are worth a visit.

Errors in this listing?  Click here to submit corrections.

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