Dark Sky Park
Staunton River State Park is a 971-hectare property situated squarely in the heart of southern Virginia, about 40 km north of the North Carolina border. Its landscape of forests and meadows along the banks of the Dan and Staunton rivers are popular with outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. In addition to various recreation opportunities, the Park offers overnight accommodations in campgrounds and historic cabins built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. In recent years the Park management became aware of the appeal of the site’s naturally dark nighttime character and began welcoming visitors specifically coming to take advantage of viewing its dark night skies. The Park first hosted the Staunton River Star Party in fall 2011; the 2014 edition attracted 140 participants from around the region.