Support IDA

Mayland Earth to Sky Park & Bare Dark Sky Observatory (U.S.)

The summer Milky Way above Blue Ridge Observatory & Star Park

The summer Milky Way above Blue Ridge Observatory and Star Park. Photo by Todd Bush.





Dark Sky Park


North Carolina, USA


Jeremy Bare

Land Area

0.02 km2


Press Release
2019 Annual Report
2018 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report
2016 Annual Report
2015 Annual Report


Mayland Earth to Sky Park & Bare Dark Sky Observatory, formerly the Blue Ridge Observatory and Star Park, is situated six miles west of Spruce Pine, North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The six-acre (2.4-hectare) site, surrounded by rugged mountain terrain and the Pisgah National Forest, is owned by Yancey County (NC) and managed by Mayland Community College. The site was formerly known as the EnergyXchange, a project in which methane waste gas emitted by an old landfill heats horticultural greenhouses and artists’ studios. MCC opened a new public observatory with a roll-off roof at the site in 2017, featuring a custom-built a 86-cm f/3.6 Newtonian telescope and a Meade 35-cm LX200 telescope for public viewing. Plans are under way for construction to begin in 2019 of a new 9.1 meter dome Planetarium in the Park.


Find more about Weather in Spruce Pine, NC


A public event at the newly-inaugurated Bare Dark Sky Observatory, summer 2017.


Plans for future planetarium, renovations, and landscaping.

Send this to friend