Visit Dark Sky Parks in the Mountain State

Enjoy sparkling and spacious starry views by visiting some of the darkest and most magnificent skies to exist on the East Coast, found right here in the Mountain State. Being within a day’s drive away from more than half of the country makes West Virginia an easy weekend getaway with a dark-sky experience like no other. With many remote and secluded locations, you’re sure to encounter an array of glistening stars on display in our Almost Heaven atmosphere. The naturally dark skies of West Virginia evoke a sense of peace that is hard to find elsewhere.

Where to go

Nestled within the heart of Pocahontas County lies nearly 20,000 acres of public land—all of which have received the honor of being named official International Dark Sky Destinations. Watoga State Park, Calvin Price State Forest and Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park all can be found within these limits beneath a sparkling night sky.

Watoga State Park

Highlighted by major publications like National Geographic, Travel + Leisure, Outside Magazine and Business Insider, Watoga State Park is the center of all Dark Sky programming, activities and events in West Virginia. Along with countless community partnerships and projects, this is the perfect place to catch a spectacular sky on any given day. In 2021, Watoga State Park received an International Dark Sky Park designation – making this destination a must-visit for the ultimate star-gazing roadtrip. Being West Virginia’s largest state park, here you can find over 10,000 acres of land, which feel as vast as the night sky. You will find yourself entering the peaceful universe of skyglow in this state park. Stay for as long as you’d like with no worries of the time, there are multiple cabin options to choose from.

Calvin Price State Forest

Stargazing within Calvin Price State Forest is also guaranteed to leave you in awe. Because this spot maintains its wild nature, its untouched forest full of hardwoods and pine serves as the ideal backdrop for a jaw-dropping dark sky. The lack of cities and streets nearby in turn provides a place where the stars can thrive in natural simplicity. With complete darkness all around, the stars appear to shine brighter and more clearly than almost anywhere else in the world.

Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park

At Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, a panoramic view of the natural nighttime twinkle can be observed from the iconic Droop Mountain Observation Tower. The spot where one of the state’s largest Civil War battles was fought continues to come alive with a remarkable sparkle against the black canvas sky. Come alone or bring along the whole crew, there is enough depth and breathtaking views for everyone.

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This post was last updated on May 29, 2024