Fort Fisher State Historic Site was a Confederate fort during the American Civil War, just 17 miles (28 km) south of Wilmington, North Carolina. While this is not a designated stargazing area, the fort is accessible by the public year-round (although closed on Mondays) and offers wide open skies suitable for gazing as well as a gift shop, historic exhibits, and artifacts recovered from sunken ships. A scenic trail, shaded by gnarled live oaks, leads past the earthworks around to the rear of the fort remains. One EarthSky reader says that “from the beach, stargazers can enjoy an unimpeded view of the sky, with moderate light pollution coming from the nearby town of Wilmington.” The fort protected the vital trading routes of the port at Wilmington, from 1861 until its capture by the Union in 1865. For more information, visit online or call the fort at 910-251-7340.
Chelynne Campion is a Production/ Sales Assistant for EarthSky. Her family just purchased a telescope, and she's now learning to be a stargazer!