3 Western New York Dark Sky Destinations
Escape the bright lights of the city and enjoy the magic of our dark skies. Let the Milky Way galaxy wash over you, see stars, planets, shooting stars & more - right here in Western New York & the Finger Lakes!
Letchworth State Park
Located Niagara Falls and the Finger Lakes, Letchworth State Park is a New York State Parks jewel, and is one of the most wonderful places to explore the night sky. Some of the best spots to enjoy your evening are on the south end of the park, and include the Upper Falls/Genesee Arch Bridge, Inspiration Point and Archery Field Overlook. There's also plenty of camping and overnight accommodations in the park, so spend the week or weekend exploring! A friendly reminder, the park opens at 6AM, and closes at 11PM. The dark evening sky is spectacular all year long, so put it on your must see list!
Beaver Meadow Audubon
Beaver Meadow is the perfect spot to enjoy the beauty of nature at night! The trails are open 24/7, 365 days a year. So explore the evening whenever you want. Watching the moon rise above the Beaver Pond behind the visitor center is pure magic, and in the spring and summer the woods are filled with the sounds of life.
Also, the Buffalo Astronomical Association maintains a Dark Site Observatory at Beaver Meadow. The Observatory includes a variety of instruments, including a 20-inch Obsession telescope, one of the largest public observation telescopes in Western New York! The Observatory is open to the public the first Saturday evening of the month, from April through October - so come enjoy the night sky like never before!
Better yet, you can spend the entire night in The Beaver Meadow Cabin! They have one (yup, just one!) cabin that you and your family can have all to yourself. It includes:
- Living room, dining area, 2 bedrooms with 1 double bed, 1 twin bunk bed, and a futon. Sleeps 4 or 6 with the pull-out couch
- Electric base board heat
- A small fridge, coffee maker, microwave oven, toaster oven, hot plate and gas grill
- There is a stone fire pit, and wood is included
- Access to men's and women's bathrooms with private showers
- For more info and to book your overnight stay, visit here
Carlton Hill Multiple Use Area is a 2,500-acre hidden gem! It's a mixture of open fields, hardwood forests, and tall conifer trees which make it a diverse and magnificent place to explore, night or day. With several hills overlooking the landscape, it is the perfect place for a dark sky visit. Watch the full moon rise above the horizon, and pitch a tent near one of the parking areas for a full night of remote and uninterrupted stargazing!
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