Top Stargazing Spots in Louisville

August 24th, 2022 by

Stargazing is a relaxing and beautiful pastime, but finding ideal spots for the hobby can be challenging. Luckily, Louisville, Kentucky, has some prime spots that are perfect for stargazing. Here we’ll take a sharp gaze at the best spots for stargazing in and around Louisville.

Beckley Creek Park

One of the most important aspects of a solid stargazing spot is its distance from heavy artificial light sources. Beckley Creek Park has that bit covered. Its wide open spaces are ideal for all who love to view the night sky and the universe beyond in all of its glory. Stargazers would do well to set up next to the old stone wall. It is just the right height to lean equipment against and the perfect waiting spot for those waiting their turn for a view of the heavens.

Beckley Creek Park has more to offer than a pristine field area ideal for stargazing. It features a fair number of picnic spots, fishing lakes, and trails, both paved and natural. If you visit the park just before sunset, you can catch the farmer’s markets before they close and get your hands on some delicious local produce to enjoy while you stargaze. The Gheens Foundation Lodge sits at one end of the park, so if you want to get a group of stargazers together for a small event, Beckley Creek Park is the perfect place for you.

Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park

If you prefer mixing your stargazing with boating, swimming, and hiking, Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park fits the bill. Weekends of romantic stargazing and other fun activities can be set up with a simple lodge or cottage rental. The lake has many docks and boat inlets and a large number of native fish species, so a fishing and stargazing excursion is simple to work out. It may seem like an odd activity combination, but a fishing boat is a great way to search for the perfect bank or rock formation to set stargazing equipment up on.

There are a few open-sky spots on the 1.5-mile walking trail. Expect it to be moderately challenging, but nothing too difficult to carry equipment through. Other activities available at Buckhorn Lake Resort Park include basketball, miniature golf, bird watching, and swimming.

Daniel Boone National Forest

Of all of the locations on our list, Daniel Boone National Forest has the largest number of ideal spots for stargazing. This is because the national forest is absolutely massive, stretching out over 21 counties across eastern Kentucky. The Daniel Boone National Forest’s best spot for stargazing is also its highest single point, at Tater Knob, 1,388 feet above sea level. The southern part is higher up at 2,000 feet, but finding open zones in that largely flat area can be challenging, while Tater Knob sticks up above the surrounding forest.

The forest’s trails stretch out over 600 miles and touch 250 recreation sites, most ideal for stargazing. Use this official interactive map to pick out the spots you’d like to visit. An unplanned trip to a forest this massive can make finding a good spot to set up difficult.

Mammoth Cave National Park


picture of the Mammoth Railroad Trail in Mammoth Cave National Park

Photo by John Manard | Licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0

Mammoth Cave National Park is so clear of artificial light and other interference that stargazing can be done there without equipment in most areas. The park has an incredible range of wide open areas ideal for setting up stargazing equipment. If you are a novice stargazer, you’ll surely enjoy the park’s Park Ranger-led stargazing program, which is repeated throughout the year. This program will take you and fellow stargazing enthusiasts to the absolute best stargazing spots in the park, so you won’t have to plan ahead as heavily as you would at the Daniel Boone National Forest.

This is also a great program to take advantage of if you want your children to embrace your love of stargazing. Young ones who participate in the program can become official Junior Ranger Night Explorers. We’re dead serious about how magnificently clear the sky is above Mammoth Cave National Park. The view is so clear, in fact, that the International Space Station can be seen passing overhead at regular intervals.

Long Run Park

Long Run Park is another grand spot for stargazing with a wide range of other available activities. It is over 400 acres wide, so you’re sure to be able to find an impressive range of open spaces ideal for viewing the stars. If you want to picnic while you’re at it, set up near one of the many picnic shelters in the park. If you have light equipment, bring your bike along. There are many places perfect for stargazing along the sides of Long Run Park’s paved biking lanes.

The highest point on that track is 78 feet above the rest, so set up there if you can. The golfing area is also a great clear sky zone to stargaze in, but make sure you don’t set up on the hole zones. Other activities available at Long Run Park include fishing, canoeing, and baseball.

Heading out over the water is also a fun and effective way to find a good spot to stargaze, assuming your equipment is portable enough to fit into the bottom of the craft. The bridge over the lake is also a nice place to set up when the park isn’t busy.

There you have it: our view of the best stargazing spots available in and around Louisville, Kentucky. We hope you have a fantastic trip and experience no matter which area you choose to stargaze in, but please do so responsibly. Never go into the large National Park areas alone or without means of communication. If you know of any other great clear spots for stargazing near the city, please let us know. We’ll gladly add them to our list.