Field Trip: Astrophotography at Spruce Knob Lake

Per John Milleker, Jr.

With a little over a month to go, I wanted to remind everyone about an astrophotography camping trip to Spruce Knob Lake in West Virginia during the new moon for astrophotography shots. This is a trip Christine and I have made the last two years and wanted to invite members again. Spruce Knob Lake is one of darkest sky areas within driving distance with a very low amount of light pollution. During the night you’ll see stars and the Milky Way galaxy clearly and during the day can visit the nearby Observation Tower, the highest point in West Virginia. Many wild flowers also grow around the area.
NOTE: If you are not comfortable getting out of the house this soon after the Covid-19 situation, we will probably do this again next year, please wait until then.

When: Arriving Sunday July 19th and leaving Friday July 24th, 2020. (We were arriving Monday, but have since added Sunday to our reservation)
Where: Spruce Knob Lake, Dry Fork, WV 26296. About a four and a half hour drive from BWI Airport.

If you cannot stay the entire time, we recommend being there for the new moon which is on Monday July 20th.

Lodging: Hotels could be found in nearby towns, however we highly recommend camping as the trip up the mountain is long and monotonous. The campground is very basic. Very rudimentary toilets and water available via spigot. Campers may use the Senaca Lakes Campground showers, but a 25-30 minute trip down the mountain by car.

Reservations: Being the middle of the week sites are still available on recreation.gov. I have placed a link below. We’re at Group Site 20 and recommend picking a nearby site as we should have enough space at site 20 for many to gather around and contribute to a communal fire for warmth and cooking. You will need normal tent camping gear and a plan for food for the entire duration. You’re not going to want to travel down the mountain if you can help it. Being at this elevation nights can get chilly even in July. The water there has always been safe to drink, but recommend a backup plan just in case. We bring bottled water.

Feel free to ask any questions about the site, camping or photography gear recommended, if you’re planning on joining us let us know. We’ll get together an e-mail chain with attendees closer to the date.

Spruce Knob Lake Campground: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/234132

Recreation.gov is your source for discovering and experiencing America’s federal recreation activities and outdoor adventures.

Source: Recreation.gov

This entry was posted in Uncategorized.