Known for its stunning landscapes, deep forests, and rocky shoreline there is even more to be seen at night in Maine. If you are looking for one more thing to do during your visit then I recommend getting ready for some late nights to experience stargazing in Maine.
From open night skies to science centers and observatories, there are many ways to experience stargazing in Maine. Although the night sky is best seen in July or August there are still a few great spots to go stargazing year round making Maine a great place to experience the night sky.
I had the chance to go stargazing in Maine during a trip there in 2019. On my very first day, I made a beeline from Portland to Acadia National Park and straight up Cadillac Mountain. I can say from my first-hand experience: Maine really does have incredible stargazing opportunities. Stargazing in Maine is a brilliant opportunity to enjoy the night sky, and here are the best spots to do it.
In this post, I promote traveling to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Aucocisco, N’dakina (Abenaki / Abénaquis), Nanrantsouak, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Wabanaki (Dawnland Confederacy), and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) peoples, among others. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.
This post was originally published in April 2021, and was updated most recently in July 2023.
Map of Where to Go Stargazing in Maine
By popular request, I’ve added a map to this post to help make it easier to understand where each of the best spots for stargazing in Maine can be found. I hope this helps you plan the ultimate stargazing trip!
Acadia National Park
Among one of the best Maine stargazing spots is Acadia National Park. The celestial body view at night is always remarkable. The best time of the year where you will have a sky full of stars, perfect for stargazing, is usually in July and August. The star gazing is so stunning because the Bar Harbor conservation commission enforced a law to prevent light pollution in the park, that promotes night sky-friendly outdoor lighting.
Blueberry Pond Observatory
Stargazing in Maine is taken up a notch when you visit the Blueberry Pond Observatory. This particular spot has been in operation since 1999 and has a lookout with powerful telescopes ideal for sky viewing. Both amateur and professional astronomers get to see distant planets such as Uranus, Neptune, and star clusters at night. The icing on the cake is that stargazers go home with digitally printed photographs of the viewed celestial bodies.
Cobscook Bay State Park
This particular park is one of the top places for stargazing in Maine. Cobscook Bay State Park is located along White bay at the top right-hand corner of Maine. The site is ideal for stargazing thanks to its low light pollution and available public accommodations convenient for sky viewers. From 2006 to date, every August, this spot hosts an epic Maine star party for amateur astronomers.
Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust
Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust is among those perfect Maine stargazing spots. This particular sky viewing location lies across miles of a trail going through the woods. The area is low on artificial light, and at night, when you stand in the middle of the field, you get to see the bright stars across the sky. This spot is arguably the best spot for stargazing in Maine, hence the reason why there’s a permanent base for the astronomical stargazing society.
Emera Astronomy Center
When you talk about stargazing in Maine, then the Emera Astronomy center comes to mind. This stargazing spot was built in 1954 and is on the University of Maine Orono’s campus. The center is open to the public despite it being an institution. Emera Astronomy center has some of the most advanced stargazing equipment that gives both amateur and professional astronomers detailed views of celestial bodies.
Katahdin Woods and Waters Recreation Area
Stretching 100,000 acres from the eastern edge of Baxter state park and Penobscot river’s eastern branch, the Katahdin Woods and Waters Recreation Area is ideal for stargazing. With minimal light pollution, sky gazers can view galaxies clearly with their naked eyes. Three lookouts have been carved strategically along the Katahdin Loop road, making it a convenient stargazing spot.
Starfield Observatory is among those great places to see the stars in Maine. This stargazing site is run by an astronomical society of Northern New England, and its main aim is to educate the public about astronomy. The location for this particular observatory has low light pollution making it ideal for stargazing. Starfield has two powerful telescopes that effectively view heavenly bodies and the sun during the day.
While Maine isn’t the biggest state nor does it have the most places for stargazing, it has some incredible stargazing spots across the Pine Tree state. Have questions about these spots for stargazing in Maine? Let me know in the comments!