Top 5 Locations To Stargaze in Lake County

By: Jonathan Jones 05/30/2021

"There's a starman waiting in the sky. He'd like to come and meet us, but he thinks he'd blow our minds." Staring fondly into the eyes of a constellation is a wondrous sight and there are many different locations to stargaze in Lake County, but there are many elements to factor into your date with the night sky. has many tools to detect if it is a good night to stare at the sky. In summary, according to the website, to stargaze, individuals can search the astronomer's forecast. The observer must take into consideration the cloud cover, transparency, astronomical seeing, darkness (sans light pollution), wind speed, humidity, and temperature. Another measurement of seeing a myriad of sky twinkles is by checking your area's Bortle Scale. The Bortle scale is a nine-level scope that measures the night sky's brightness of a particular location. It quantifies the astronomical observability of celestial objects and the interference caused by light pollution. (Who would've thought looking at cool clusters of stars could be so complicated?).






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SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM visits the remote Alaska’s HAARP facility and their magnificent Class 1 dark skies in our new @skyglowproject video! It was a huge honor for @skyglowproject to be one of the first civilian night shoots ever allowed at this facility, thanks for making an exception for us! “The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program was initiated as an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Its original purpose was to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance.” - From Wikipedia Here’s a little sneak peek. #timelapse #timelapseart #timelapsevideo #alaska #haarp #astroworld #astro #astrophotography #astrophoto #stars #darksky #lightpollution #bortlescale #ionosphere #uaf #universityofalaska #longexposure_shots #nightimages #nightshooterz #nightshooters #nightpics # #astro_photography_ #astro_photography #longexposure #longexpohunter #longexpo #amazing_longexpo #nightphotography #night_excl

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Continue here to check the breakdown of The Bortle Dark-Sky Scale. Let's not forget that if you live anywhere close to these venues, you have a frontrow seat to the cosmic action. So what're you doing tonight, and how's the weather? If you're trying to "make a wish upon a star, it makes no difference who you are." Here are the top 5 locations to stargaze in Lake County (according to various sources).

Illinois Beach State Park in Zion


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One of the most optimal locations to stargaze in the Chicagoland area. The Zion site offers unobstructed views away from light pollution that the city expels. The best area in the state park to scan the sky is the campground, which is tucked away from the street lights and pitch black during nightfall.

Grant Township in Ingleside and Volo






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Tucked away between Sullivan Lake and Bradenburg Roads, sits Volo Bog State Natural Area. The wetland is the Land of Lincoln's lone quaking bog. It's a wonderful view, but unfortunately, it closes 30 minutes prior to sunset. However, when Mr. Golden Sun heads westbound for the other side of the globe, the night sky is quite illuminated. Periodically, the Lake County Astronomy Society holds meetings at Volo Bog and plan (pending on location availability and state health regulations), will host their meeting there on November 20. However, you can find a place by the Illinois DNR zone or Sullivan Lake across the street or near Bradenburg Lake, the solar system puts on a show on clear nights as there is minimal light pollution in the area.

880 N. Rand Rd. in Lake Zurich






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Tomorrow nights Blood Moon eclipse is the longest eclipse of this century. And it happens to be occurring at the same time as Mars moving the closest point to Earth in 15 years. There's a retrograde also happening. Emotions can run high at these time while we clear out the old baggage and see if we've grown from our challenges. Now is the perfect time to take things slow and to not be too hard on yourself. Self care, self love, and self healing is the focus for my weekend. I am working on a lot of new crystal crescent moon car charms and suncatchers too ?? manifesting and harnessing that moon magick ??????? . What are your plans this weekend??

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Unfortunately, we cannot make an entire onion ring/Saturn ring experience since the address mentioned above is the remains of where Hackney's used to be a mainstay in the Lake Zurich area. The Illinois staple has since closed their doors, but according to CBS Chicago, the area where the pub stood is the place to be when the lights go down in the village. The establishment sat on 11 acres of land with a pond for the sky sparkle to reflect off of.

Lake Michigan






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"When the night is holding on to me, God is holding on." #star #starphoto #starphotography #stargazing #lighthouse #lake #lakemichigan #ludington #ludingtonmichigan #ludingtonlighthouse #longexposure #canon #canonsl2 #canonphoto #canon_photos #canonphotography

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According to NPR, you can see a brilliant glow in the sky if you're on a boat in the middle of the great lake. That glow is the Milky Way. The Bortle Scale reads a 2-3, which enables viewers to see the complexity of the Milkway, globular clusters, zodiacal light and so much more. If you have a boat on Waukegan Harbor or North Point Harbor, float your way out away from the shore, and you'll see a show of a lifetime.Fort Sheridan sits along the great lake, as well as Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Highwood, North Chicago, Waukegan, Beach Park and Zion.

Ryerson Woods/Skokie Valley Astronomers






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#moonrise in #ryersonwoods

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The Skokie Valley Astronomers is a club devoted to amateur astronomy. They meet the second Friday of the month at Ryerson Woods. The Lake County Forest Preserve is a perfect area to sky search. No lights, panoramic vegetation and a divine aesthetic to the sky, "let the cosmic ballet go on."

Honorable Mention

Chain O'Lakes State Park in Spring Grove






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“The second star to the right shines in the night for you, to tell you that the dreams you plan really can come true.” Peter Pan. #cypressresortandmarine #petitelake #airbnb #superhost #antiochil #chainolakes #sailboat #lakelife #nightsky

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By boat, by land or by night hike, Spring Grove state parks hosts impromptu stargazing sessions during moon and sans moon nights. You must make your way to this wonderful Illinois state park.

For more information about outdoors and the stargaze lifestyle, click here.  

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