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Dark-Sky Sites:

Ohio

 

  Sites:


Town: Glouster

Observing Site:  Burr Oak State Park--Group Campsite

Address:  5250 Beach Rd.

Zip: 45732

Contact:  Park naturalist

Phone:  (740) 767-2112 (Lodge), (740) 767-4878 (Park Office)

URL:  http://ohiodnr.com/parks/burroak/tabid/719/Default.aspx

Restrictions:  The group campsite must be reserved to allow vehicular access. Contact the park for reserving the site.

Directions:  From McConnelsville, go west on SR-78 past the town of Ringgold, where SR-555 meets SR-78.  Continue west on SR-78 another 10 minutes or so until you see signs for the group campsite.  Turn right, go down the hill, and then near the bottom follow the signs to the group camp.  Remember, you must reserve the site to get the gate unlocked.  There is a security light at the front but as you drive back further into the field it is has no effect on the viewing even in wintertime.  Park Map | Campground Map | Google Maps

  Current weather:  Click for Glouster, Ohio Forecast

 

 
Typical naked-eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night:
     At the zenith: 6.5
     East: 6.5
     West: 6
     North: 6.5
     South: 6

Best horizon:  The southern horizon is very close to a true horizon.

Worst horizon:  Trees become an issue with the western horizon, but if you position yourself right you'll lose less than 10 degrees.

Comments from contributor:  I came across this site in the daytime in March 2004 but was unable to evaluate it at night until February 2006.  It exceeded my expectations; it is a true Ohio dark-sky site, as oxymoronic as that may sound!  For those familiar with Ohio stargazing spots, the overhead sky is easily as dark as the Hocking Hills or the AEP Recreation Lands, and perhaps slightly darker.

The field is huge, almost 600 yards long, and rises as one goes further west. There is a security light at the east end, but the field slopes up and is divided into three distinct sections, all separated by fortuitously-positioned lines of trees.

The far end is marked as "Astronomy Field".  This is a wonderful site for large groups to set up in; it is easily large enough to host a star party.

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Town: Graysville

Observing Site:  Lamping Homestead Picnic Area, Wayne National Forest

Address: Off of SR-537, 1.5 miles from the junction with SR-26.

Contact:  Wayne National Forest, Marietta District

Phone:    (740) 373-9055

URL:  http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/wayne/ and http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/wayne/recreation_sites/trails/lamping_homestead.html

Restrictions:  You can't drive onto the picnic area, but you can use the parking area in front of it.

Directions:  From the west/north:  From Cambridge, OH (I-77/I-70 junction), follow I-77 south to Exit 25 (SR-78).  Follow SR-78 for 29 miles to Woodsfield, then take SR-26 south for 12 miles, go a few miles past Graysville, and turn right on SR-537, go 1.5 miles until you see the sign for Lamping Homestead.

From the south, take I-77 into Marietta, follow SR-26 out of town for about 35 driving miles, turn left on SR-537 after you drive through a town called Cline.

Take the road down to the creek, but just before crossing the bridge, turn left into the picnic area and go up the hill.  Click here to go to Mapquest.com to create a map.

Current weather:   Click for Graysville, Ohio Forecast

 

 
Typical naked-eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night:
     At the zenith: almost 7
     East: 6.7
     West: 6.5
     North: 6.5
     South: 6.7

Best horizon:    East or West

Worst horizon:    The northern horizon loses 20 degrees from trees; the south loses 10.  The SW has a very faint light dome from Marietta. Everything else is DARK.

Comments from contributor:  Darkest sky I have ever seen in Ohio.  The only blemish, the small Marietta light dome, is outshined by the Zodiacal light on a spring evening.  It is close to some primitive, walk-in campsites, but trees should block lights from lanterns/fires.  Site is located only 25 feet in elevation above a creek bed, so there is some potential for dew/fog if there is no wind.

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Town: Pleasant Plain

Observing Site:  Stonelick Lake State Park

Address: 2895 Lake Drive

Zip:  45162

Phone:  (513) 575-5556

URL: http://ohiodnr.com/?TabId=789

Restrictions:  No restrictions.  The park has approved this as a dark-sky site and astronomers are granted privilege of using the site after hours.  But please call ahead to confirm.

Directions:  Take US 50 (Milford) East to St. Rt. 131.  Go about 7 miles to tractor dealer and make a left on Rt. 727.  Go 2 miles and turn right at brown Park Sign.  Follow road to the beach.  Best site is just to the left before reaching the beach, across from beach parking lot.  Watch out for deer.   Park map | Google maps

Current weather:   Click for Pleasant Plain, Ohio Forecast

 

 
Typical naked-eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night:
     At the zenith: 6.5
     East: 6.5
     West: 6.5
     North: 5.8
     South: 5.8

Best horizon:    North and East

Worst horizon:   West and South, due to tall trees

Comments from contributor:  Overall a good site with parking, grass and limited light pollution.  Auroras have been seen if conditions are right!  FOTO (Friends of the Observatory in Cincinnati) can be contacted for more information but it is not necessary to contact them prior to going to Stonelick.  The calendar of events is listed on their website, including star party dates and other event information, along with a map of how to get to Stonelick.

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