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Top Spots For Stargazing In Connecticut

August 3, 2013 8:00 AM

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(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle via Getty Images)

(Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle via Getty Images)

When it comes to stargazing, David Mestre, Director of Space and Science at the Discovery Museum and Planetarium in Bridgeport, Connecticut, said that the best places to watch meteor showers are the darkest places – especially in places like Kent and Northwest CT. The Perseids Meteor Shower is scheduled to be quite a show of “falling” stars this year and will take place from August 10–13. Not only is the best place to see this shower of stars in the dark, but the best time is between 2 a.m to 4 a.m. “We have a telescope at the planetarium, but for this event, nothing is better than the human eye. A telescope focuses on one spot, but the eye can see all around. If you use a telescope, you just might miss the whole thing,” said Mestre. Therefore, mark your calendars and pick your space for a truly star-studded event.

Mohawk State Forest
20 Mohawk Mountain Road
Goshen, CT 06756
(860) 491-3620

“The top of the hill at the Towers is where you’ll get a 360-degree view of the sky,” said Michael Shaw who is a maintainer at the Mohawk State forest. This is where he watches the fireworks on the 4th of July and where he intends to watch Perseids come August. This stargazer plans on sharing the starry night experience with his grandchildren.

Kent Falls
159 Macedonia Brook Road
Kent, CT 06757
(860) 927-3238

If ever there was a place for stargazing, it is Kent Falls. One of the most romantic sites in rural Connecticut, there’s plenty of open sky overhead at this location. Situated in a deeply forested area, the sky opens up just as one approaches the falls. “Native Americans fished and camped by the falls,” which are quite spectacular. One can only imagine the drama that will occur when these rapid-flowing falls are in sync with a shower of falling stars.

Related: Top Holiday Escapes Near Connecticut

Mount Tom State Park
Route 202
Litchfield, CT 06759
(860) 567-8870

Considered one of the best places to take in the view of all kinds of landmarks, from the top of MT Tom, there is a 360-degree view of the area. The view also reaches far and wide enough to include a view of Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut. Located on the top of this mountain is a tower, but it can be a threatening climb since “there are no railings.” However, if you are sure-footed and unafraid of heights, then this, one of the oldest parks in Connecticut’s park system, may well be the perfect place for observing Perseids.

Burr Pond State Park
384 Burr Mountain Road
Torrington, CT 06790
(860) 482-1817

Burr Pond State Park is also a good place to pack a late-night snack or early-morning breakfast in order to catch the star shower on August 10-13. It is an historic site that was once the location of busy sawmills, which grew where native trees for lumber once grew and rendered a clearing that is enjoyed today by hikers and picnickers alike. Here is a place that will be open enough to fill the eye with hundreds of stars.  Named for Milo Burr, “who placed a dam across the confluence of several mountain streams,” this state park became a valuable site to the Union Army during the Civil War.

Haystack Mountain State Park
Route 272
Norfolk, CT 06058
(860) 482-1817

No one will be looking for a needle at Haystack Mountain State Park. Instead, all eyes will be looking at the sky for the Perseids Meteor Shower. Once again, campers and hikers will be glad to know that there is a “34-foot-high stone tower at the summit” of this mountain, which is 1,716 feet above sea level and plenty high for stargazing. Visitors can see the stars as well as Long Island Sound, the Berkshires and “peaks in Massachusetts, New York and the Green Mountains of Vermont.”

Related: Top Flying Adventures In Connecticut

Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at

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