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Phil Harrington


There's nothing more exciting than planning a vacation! And as amateur astronomers or just interested night-sky naturalists, we immediately wonder if there will be dark skies at our destination. I have often seen posts on one of the on-line astronomy forums that begin "My family and I will be on vacation for the next two weeks and I plan on bringing along a telescope. Does anyone know of a dark-sky site near...?"

With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to compile a continent-wide directory of dark-sky sites for those times that you (and I) may be away on holiday. Do you know of a good observing location, far from lights? Is it publicly accessible? If so, take a moment to answer the questions below.

As I receive replies, I'll add them to the directory, sorted by location. That way, the next time you're away from home, you just might be able to find nearby dark spot.

A couple of requirements:

  • First, I ask for your name and e-mail address to confirm the information before I will post it on the directory. Your name/address will NOT appear in the directory nor will it be bought, sold, traded, copied, posted on, or otherwise given to any mass-mailing listing or other spam-generating service. If you get junk e-mail, it won't be because you participated in this survey!
  • Next, the observing site must be publicly accessible - NO PRIVATE PROPERTY. This way, people can come and go as they please without restriction. Having said that, one question asks if there are any restrictions on the site. For instance, here on Long Island, amateurs can go into selected state parks after hours, BUT only after paying for an annual star-gazing permit.
  • Finally, tell a little about the site's conditions. What is the naked-eye limiting magnitude? How are the horizons?  That sort of thing.

With all this in mind, let's begin!

Dark-Sky Site Survey

Your name (for confirmation purposes only):

Your e-mail address (for confirmation purposes only):

Observing site


Contact person:

Telephone number:

Web site:  

Restrictions (permit  required, residency, etc.):


How are the sky conditions?

Typical naked-eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night:

At the zenith:
Best horizon (direction and approximate altitude cut-off):

Worst horizon (direction and approximate altitude cut-off):