Spend Dark Sky Week in Almost Heaven

Celebrated each year during the week of the new moon, International Dark Sky Week is designated to preserve breathtaking views of the star-filled night sky while educating on the effects of light pollution. Escape to the Mountain State this year between April 15-22 and find some of the most magnificent skies to exist on the east coast awaiting you. Ranked among the top 10 places that have the darkest skies and named the most under-the-radar stargazing destination in the United States, West Virginia evokes a sense of peace that’s hard to find anywhere else.

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International Dark Sky Destinations

Nestled within the heart of Pocahontas County lies nearly 20,000 acres of public land full of remote and secluded locations, all of which have received the honor of being named official International Dark Sky Destinations. Watoga State Park is the center of all Dark Sky programming, activities and events in the state and has earned international recognition from Business Insider. Being West Virginia’s largest state park, here you can find over 10,000 acres of land that feel as vast as the night sky. Stay for as long as you’d like beneath an array of glistening stars with no worries of the time- there are multiple cabin options to choose from.

Witness the spot where one of the state’s largest Civil War battles was fought come alive with a remarkable sparkle against the black canvas sky. At Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, a panoramic view of the natural nighttime twinkle can be observed from the iconic Droop Mountain Observation Tower. Retreat for a solo trip or bring along all your family and friends, there are enough breathtaking views here for everyone.

Stargazing within Calvin Price State Forest is also sure to leave you in awe. Because this spot maintains its wild nature, the untouched forest full of hardwoods and pine makes the ideal backdrop for a jaw-dropping dark sky. The lack of cities and streets nearby provides a place where the stars can thrive in natural simplicity with complete darkness all around.

More Stargazing Spots in the Mountain State

An abundance of wide open spaces surrounded by rugged mountain beauty can be found in West Virginia, far away from all sources of light pollution. For a dark sky experience like no other, take a trip to some of the state’s most iconic locations.

Catch a glimpse of stellar constellations on display at Lost River State Park. Take the hike up to Cranny Crow Overlook to see the stars rise above the five counties and two states below. Venture into the Allegheny Mountains at Blackwater Falls State Park. Paired with the sound of the rushing waters flowing from the 57-foot cascade, a stargazing trip here is one you won’t regret. Many say the stars at Spruce Knob appear to shine brighter and more clearly than almost anywhere else in the world. It’s hard to beat the 360-degree panoramic views reached from atop the Spruce Knob Observation Tower, West Virginia’s highest point standing at nearly 5,000 feet high.

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This post was last updated on December 12, 2023