Night sky over Bear Lake at Shawnee State Park in West Portsmouth (photo by Brian Prose)

Stargazing in Ohio

Stargazing is one of humanity’s oldest hobbies. Here are some of the best places to enjoy the night sky in Ohio, plus advice for making the most of your adventure.

When you leave the city and head to the fields and back roads of the Buckeye State, that's where the stars really begin to shine. From ancient civilizations to modern times, people have turned their attention to the night sky to find our place in this vast universe. Our guide to stargazing in Ohio takes you to some of the best destinations in our state to marvel at the twinkling lights, from John Glenn Astronomy Park in Hocking Hills State Park to Observatory Park, which is recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association as a Silver Tier Dark Sky Park. We also turn to the pros for essential stargazing tools for beginners and tips on how to capture the beauty of the night sky on your smartphone. (Yes, really!)

Whether you stay close to home or make it a road trip, use this Ohio stargazing guide to join in an age-old tradition and turn your gaze toward the skies above.

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.

Landscape of building and night sky at Observatory Park in Montville (photo by Andrew Gacom Photography)
Visit Ohio’s First International Dark Sky Park in Geauga County: Rookie stargazer Jason Brill tells how a visit to Observatory Park in Montville offers a connection across space and time.

Man stargazing at John Glenn Astronomy Park in Logan (photo by Brad Hoehne)
Visit the Best Stargazing Spot in the Hocking Hills: John Glenn Astronomy Park director Brad Hoehne shares his inspiration for helping set aside a place where everyone can share in the splendor of the night sky.

Man operating stargazing gear (photo by iStock)
4 Essential Stargazing Tools for Beginners: Taking in the night sky doesn’t have to involve an out-of-this-world investment. If you want to get into this stellar pursuit, here is what you need to get you started.

Person doing smart phone photography of night sky (photo by iStock)
How to Get Stunning Night-Sky Photos with Your Smartphone: A seasoned photographer shares his advice for getting the best results with a tool nearly all of us carry around all the time.

Night sky at Mohican State Park in Loudonville (photo by Zakk Sheehan)
Why We Should All Be Stewards of the Night Sky: Photographer Zakk Sheehan tells of his long fascination with photographing starry nights and how he hopes capturing their grandeur helps inspire awareness of its fragility.