Top five stargazing spots in Kirksville

The spring semester has been quite the ride so far, and it is important to take some study breaks and enjoy the nature around you. One of the most relaxing ways to do this is to drive around and find peaceful stargazing spots around Kirksville. To save you some time — and gas — I give you the top five spots to watch the stars.

5. It is a common thought that to fully appreciate the beauty of nature, you need to drive far from campus, but thankfully that is not the case. The Truman State University Observatory will have hours starting March 7 where students and community members can be guided through the starry sky, seeing different planets and stars each time. The Observatory also offers a Stargazers Astronomy Club for any students who want to make this a weekly hobby.

4. Another great place to stargaze is near the Kirksville Regional Airport. There are several places to park, and while there is a bit more light pollution, I think it is fun to see planes go by while tracking the stars and sitting in the parking lot. Stargazing there gives peaceful “Top Gun” vibes that offers a great break from reality.

3. This next spot is a hidden treasure. Behind Colton’s Steak House & Grill, there are some beautiful quiet and peaceful neighborhoods. While it is not advised to sit in someone’s driveway and stargaze, you can park on the side of the main street near these neighborhoods and watch the sky. The road is long, so there are many different spots to pull over and relax.

2. Off Highway 63 on County Road 332 D, there is a train bridge that, while interesting by itself, is all the better when taking a study break and laying out to watch the stars. It is fairly isolated with minimal light pollution, so it feels like you are in a different world. Every now and then a train might go by which potentially could kill the peaceful and serene mood, but trains are cool so they could be fun to watch if you are in the right mindset.

1. Last but not least, my favorite spot in Kirksville to stargaze is Thousand Hills State Park. It sounds basic, but there are so many beautiful spots to pull over, and there is a restaurant you can go to after. My favorite spot is right up against the lake, but you can go near the grills and have a cookout, go by the playgrounds and let your inner child shine through or go for a hike and watch the stars appear. The possibilities are endless here and it is one of the most relaxing places to be.