The Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area is a conservation area located within Illinois’s Cass County, just 34 miles (53 km) northwest of Springfield, Illinois. Please note that while there are no designated stargazing areas, the park is accessible by the public year-round and offers secluded streams, lakes, picnic areas, and more, with wide open night skies suited for gazing. One EarthSky reader says they are “pretty dark for central Illinois. You can control the lights at the group camp areas. Been going there for years and enjoying the dark skies;” the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the area is “located far from city lights where skies are dark and the number of stars visible is almost unlimited” and offers a stargazing guide on their website. Camping is also available. For more information, please visit online or call 217-452-7741.
Chelynne Campion is a Production/ Sales Assistant for EarthSky. Her family just purchased a telescope, and she's now learning to be a stargazer!