From the middle of July through the middle of November, one Saturday evening a month, the heavens and all their attractions are just that wee bit closer. The Northern Astronomy Club organizes public telescope observing of dark, starry skies. The event is open to any one with any interest in astronomy and is free (the Sky Meadows State Park charges a $4 parking fee per car).
The event is especially awe-inspiring for children. The members of the astronomy club are generous with their massive telescopes, patiently explaining to the children (and their parents!) what they are seeing in the skies. What we might think are stars might actually be a planet. The pure excitement that comes from seeing something for yourself that you might have just read about in a book is quite something else.
A few tips:
1. The event is only open a few Saturdays a year, so make sure to confirm that there's a viewing by checking the Astronomy Club's website at http://novac.com/nasm/;
2. Dress warm. It can get pretty chilly out in the open even on summer nights;
3. Take food and plenty of water with you. There are not many food options close by;
4. Get there early to orient yourself;
5. Take chairs and flashlights.
We've been here on many occasion to hike and love the variety in trails that there are. A few even have old ruins on them that are great to take a peek at. We've also done one of their full moon hikes they usually have in the summer and it was such a different experiences, very fun. There's almost always something going on if you take a peek at the calendar of events and they seem to try and involve every age child to adult. From history/culture events to nature hikes, it's sure to pique your interest in some way. Great place for a picnic too!