Shawnee State Park Copperhead Fire Tower in West Portsmouth (photo by Brian Prose)

13 Great Stargazing Spots in Ohio

Visit these parks across our state that open a world of opportunity for exploring the universe without ever leaving the ground. 

1. Burr Oak State Park
Visit the Astronomy Field within the Scout Camp area for unobstructed views. The Astronomy Field is accessible on foot and open to the public. Camping is allowed by permit and approval by park manager. Burr Oak Lodge: 10220 Burr Oak Lodge Rd., Glouster 45732,

2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The south end of the park offers the most unobstructed views. Visit Kendall Hills, Indigo Lake or the Everett Covered Bridge, which are open to visitors 24 hours a day. Visitor Center: 6947 Riverview Rd., Peninsula 44264,

3. Fry Family Park
The International Dark-Sky Association named this Stark Parks site as Ohio’s first Urban Night Sky Place. The certification is given to parks near cities that work to optimize the night-sky experience. Open daily until 11 p.m. 2533 Farber St. SE, Magnolia 44643,

4. Dillon State Park
The Sky Deck offers night-sky views as well as astronomical information on reference panels. Access the Sky Deck on foot from the campground parking lot. Camping is not required to access the deck. Campground: 5265 Dillon Hills Dr., Nashport 43830,

Night sky at John Glenn Astronomy Park in Logan (photo by Mike Balonek)
5. John Glenn Astronomy Park
Situated within Hocking Hills State Park, this site offers public programs on Friday and Saturday nights from March through November (weather permitting) and offers a place to stargaze set far away from city lights. Visit website in advance for free parking pass. 20531 St. Rte. 664, Logan 43138,
6. Malabar Farm State Park
Located high above the rest of the park, the horse staging area is the best place to stargaze at this Richland County spot. Follow signs on Bromfield Road for the horse staging and picnic areas. Access to the horse staging area is on foot. 4050 Bromfield Rd., Lucas 44843,

7. Middle Bass Island State Park
Enjoy the high visibility of stars over Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie. Take in views from the state park campground, where there are primitive campsites available for all-night viewing. 1719 Fox Rd., Middle Bass Island 43446,

8. Mohican State Park
Set up for stargazing at the Mohican Mountain Bike Trail staging area across state Route 3 from the campground or the Mohican Fire Tower area for the best open-sky visibility. Parking is available on-site. State Park Entrance: 3116 St. Rte. 3, Loudonville 44842,

Night sky at Observatory Park in Montville (photo by Jim Marquardt)
9. Observatory Park
Recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association as a Silver Tier Dark Sky Park, this location offers free viewing programs for the public at 8 p.m. on select nights during the summer. The site is open daily until 1 a.m. 10610 Clay St., Montville 44064.

10. Oak Openings Preserve
Metroparks Toledo’s Oak Openings Preserve campground has an open field for unobstructed views of the night sky. Because the preserve is closed at night, stargazing is only open to campers and overnight guests at the cabins and lodge. Lodge address: 5440 Wilkins Rd., Whitehouse 43571,

11. Shawnee State Park
Visit the Shawnee State Park Lodge and walk out to the playground for night-sky views or set up in the area surrounding Copperhead Fire Tower for stargazing within Shawnee State Forest. Shawnee State Park: 4404 St. Rte.125, West Portsmouth 45663,

12. Stonelick State Park
Head out solo or with the volunteer group from the Cincinnati Observatory to view the remote, dark skies at Stonelick State Park beach. 2895 Lake Dr., Pleasant Plain 45162,

13. The Wilds
Expansive night sky hangs over the pastures at The Wilds. Stargazers must be overnight visitors to enjoy views from outside the lodge, cabins or yurts. 14000 International Rd., Cumberland 43732,