John Glenn Astronomy Park to share hero’s legacy with next generation

Forty miles southeast of Columbus in the secluded and tranquil woods of the Hocking Hills State Park, community members are setting their sights on the sky. Ohio’s Hocking Hills, known for its lack of light pollution and resulting clear night sky views, has always been a mecca for astronomy fanatics. Thus, members of the Friends of Hocking Hills State Park (FHHSP) has broken ground on for John Glenn Astronomy Park, which opens in early 2018. Named for one of America’s greatest heroes and an Ohio native, the park is made possible through generous donations and pledges from community members.

John Glenn Astronomy Park will not only allow visitors to explore the night sky, but will also offer daytime study, welcoming visitors to its Solar Plaza to study the Sun, Earth and the North Celestial Pole, among other celestial features. It is ideal for research, star parties, special events and general daily visitation. Designed by Ohio-based M&A Architects, the Astronomy Park includes:

  • An ideal elevation of 1,000 feet
  • An 80-foot in diameter Solar Plaza, which highlights the Sun’s orientation to the Earth as it changes throughout the year and is encircled by a low wall with notches that offer framed views of the Sun on key days
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John Glenn Astronomy Park in Ohio

Study the sky night or day!

What does it take to make for ideal astronomy viewing? Exactly the conditions you will find in Ohio’s Hocking Hills. That is why it is now the home of the John Glenn Astronomy Park. The Hocking Hills State Park is located forty miles from Columbus, easy to get to but far enough to have excellent visibility without light pollution getting in the way of star gazing.

Clear night skies have drawn many astronomy enthusiasts and now the John Glenn Astronomy Park takes that to the next level. The Solar Plaza welcomes visitors to study the daytime features of the sky. The Sun, Earth, and the North Celestial Pole are just a few of the features on display before the night time show begins. The enclosed 540-square-foot observatory allows for viewing the night sky with its retractable roof.

If you want to spark some excitement in nature and science this is a great destination. So many of us get a diluted view of the stars that it is easy to forget how magical and inspirational they are. This park offers visitors the experience of the near pristine night sky through a large telescope and with their bare eyes.

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Hocking Hills Ohio

Pristine Ohio, Ready For Adventure

Hocking Hills Ohio is a destination for any nature enthusiast. Come, stay, and enjoy the outdoors day and night with hikes, high flying tours, rock climbing, and stargazing. Located just 90 minutes south of Columbus Ohio, the Hocking Hills State Park should definitely make your vacation ‘To Do’ list- there really is so much to do there. Then when you need a break from the great outdoors, head inside with some of the local shops, do some antiquing, or check out the artwork on display in the Historic Square Art District.

Hocking Hills Eco-Tours High Rock Adventures is just one of the many options for visitors to get out and enjoy this stunning landscape while keeping active. For the adventurers in your family, there is repelling and rock climbing that will have your pulse pounding. If that is not your style, a gentler option is the hiking tours through the pristine wildlife and unique rock formations. The Ecotour Adventures are informative, insightful about nature, and are just good old fashioned fun. High Rock Adventures goes so far as to issue a Rock Challenge. Spend time in rock halls, experience ascents, descents, squeezes, tunnels, narrows, and scrambles. You won’t need to wear a harness, but you will get your hands on time with the local rock formations.

If rock climbing doesn’t get you high enough, try Hocking Hills Canopy Tours for another opportunity at a bird’s eye view of Ohio. They offer a variety of tours to meet your needs, even ones under the light of the moon. Rated one of the top zipline adventures, this is sure to thrill you. Their Dragonfly Tour even allows the younger members of your family to get in on the zip lining. Spend time as a family speeding through the tree tops, or this is a perfect adults only activity too.
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