The decades-old Trigg Observation Tower offers one of the highest points of panoramic views of the luscious Shawnee National Forest, just 74 miles (119 km) south of Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Trusting in the iron supporting the stairs is difficult until you step on the wood, which soon become your main concern – a fun test for a fear of heights. Please note that while this is not a designated stargazing spot, one visitor says “since the Trigg tower was used as a fire observation tower, you can see for miles and miles into the Shawnee national forest. On a clear night, the glow from cities can be seen in the distance but it won’t stop you from enjoying some awesome stargazing!” Camping is not available at the tower, however primitive camping is allowed in the Shawnee National Forest with the exception of developed recreation areas, near streams or on trails.
Chelynne Campion is a Production/ Sales Assistant for EarthSky. Her family just purchased a telescope, and she's now learning to be a stargazer!