In my overnight stays at Louisiana State Parks, I look for opportunities to do a little stargazing and night photography. Although most of the parks are heavily forested, their lakes often provide the perfect place to enjoy a sunset, sunrise and stars.
Poverty Point Reservoir State Park at Delhi, Louisiana has 8 deluxe cabins that stand above the water on the reservoir. They are the perfect place for watching the sunset across the 2,700 acre man-made lake in northeastern Louisiana. But the show may not be over at sunset. Stick around and enjoy the afterglow.
The Poverty Point World Heritage Site is located only 20 minutes away from the state park. Although it’s not open to visitors after dark, the rural farmland in this area of the Mississippi River Delta provide a long horizon and plenty of dark sky. With special permission, I was able to capture the milky way rising above Mound A.
stargazing in north louisiana state parks
I found the perfect spot to view the milky way at North Toldedo Bend State Park. It was a fishing pier that extended over the water. Here I watched the milky way rise from the southeast to northeast horizon. The large arch of the milky way rose above the treetops and reflected in the calm water of the Toledo Bend Reservoir.
A long fishing pier at Lake D’Arbonne State Park near Farmerville takes you beyond the tall cypress and pine trees. The pier gives you a clear 360-degree view of the night sky.
Although Lake Bruin is one of Louisiana’s smaller state parks, the lakefront campsites and fishing pier offer the perfect location for watching sunsets. With large moss-draped cypress trees in the foreground, a setting sun creates a classic Louisiana scene.
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Bogue Chitto State Park at Franklinton, Louisiana offers a variety of activities. During the daylight hours you can enjoy a lazy float down the Bogue Chitto River, take a guided trail ride on horseback, or try out the new mountain bike trails. After dark, head to the river or one of the state park’s fishing ponds and look for stars if the sky is clear.
The lakefront at Fountainbleau State Park was the perfect spot to view the Great Conjuction of December 21, 2020. This Christmas week astronomical event was the closets appearance of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in 400 years. The close proximity of the two bright planets created a bright “Christmas Star”.
stars over palmetto State park
Although Palmetto Island State Park places you deep in the woods of southern Louisiana swamp, I was able to do little stargazing at the Evangeline Pond. In fact, I found and photographed the milky way above the pond despite some light pollution from a nearby industrial site. Just beware that alligators also enjoy this pond.