Kirsten Bell

Stargazing in Galena & Jo Daviess County

Mark Dierker_Bear Dancer Photography

photo: Mark Dieker of Bear Dancer Studios – “Orionid meteor over The Castle near Elizabeth, IL”

One of the first things you’ll notice besides the beautiful landscape of our Driftless Region are the dark skies overhead. Any time of year, on a clear night you’ll see the sky lit up and spot many if not all of the familiar constellations.

Aurora Lights in Illinois

photo: Shane Smith Photography – The Northern Lights from the Overlook in Elizabeth, IL

Galena & Jo Daviess County have wonderful lodging options where you can relax and enjoy the night skies like Hawk Valley Retreat and Cottages.¬† Rent a home or condo from Rosebud Rentals or take it easy around the campfire at Marcotte’s Family Motel.

You can also plan a night dining outdoors under the stars this summer. A few restaurants with outdoor seating to note are…The Sunset Grille in Chestnut Mountain Resort with views of the Mississippi River, The Cove at Apple Canyon Lake and Mid-Town Marina in East Dubuque. (Call ahead for summer hours!)

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Stargazing Circle at Horseshoe Mound Preserve

We encourage you to take advantage of one of our county’s treasures and go stargazing with Dr. Paul Sipiera and his wife Diane Sipiera of the Planetary Studies Foundation Earth & Space Museum.¬† Dr. Sipiera was a professor of astronomy and geology at William Rainey Harper College for 27 years and now resides full-time in the Galena Territory. His main research interest is in studying meteorites, which lead him to Antarctica seven times.¬† His writings have been published in Meteorite Magazine and Popular Science, as well as contributions to numerous scientific journals. He’s written over 29 non-fiction books for children. Diane has a background in education for NASA and the Field Museum in Chicago, IL.

The Sipieras invite you and the whole family to Apple River Fort¬† for an evening of stargazing. Bring a camp chair, blankets and your own telescope if you have one. The team at PSF bring the big telescopes for you to use and they’ll teach you how to use the one that’s been sitting in the corner all these years! Snacks and bug spray are encouraged, no alcohol please.

May 1, 2015 from 7-8pmPlanetary Studies Foundation Earth & Space Museum РElizabeth, IL РINTRO TO NIGHTTIME SKIES: Come to this wonderful lecture about what you can see in the nighttime skies for the season. Come learn about the beauty of Virgo and how she influenced farmers for hundreds of years. Learn how to get prepared for the summer season of stargazing. Afterwards, come into the PSF’s Starlab Planetarium for the wonders of the universe. Tour of museum is included. (cost: $5)

larrypav's telescope 8.21.03

Stargazing with the PSF at dusk

The most ideal nights to look at the moon and stars are before the first quarter of the moon cycle, when the Milky Way is visible and the moon isn’t too bright. Stargazing sessions are held once a month starting in April and continue through October, from sunset until around 11pm…they’ll stay later if good things are happening in the skies! Plan ahead & join them for the meteor showers in August & October!

Stay tuned to our Events Calendar for exact dates or contact the Planetary Studies Foundation Earth & Space Museum for details!
***We’ll update this post as more information comes available!

 

Hiking Trails in Galena & Jo Daviess County

FB March 2015_Spring Open

photo: Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation

Time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors in Galena & Jo Daviess County! Look for new Spring buds and sprouts and watch the birds migrate back to the North from the beautiful parks and preserves we have to offer. See our featured blog post of Horseshoe Mound & Gateway Park HERE!

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Primrose Trail at Apple River Canyon State Park

The Galena River Trail will be closed for repairs indefinitely, but we have lots of opportunities to get fresh air. Find all of the Hiking Trails in Galena & Jo Daviess County HERE and Enjoy Galena Country!

 

St. Patrick’s Day in Galena & Jo Daviess County!

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  • Our pastoral, rolling hills are reminiscent of the green landscapes of Ireland, making Galena & Jo Daviess County a draw for homesick Irish. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with us!
  • Frank O’Dowd’s Pub & Grill for music & Irish dancers – Friday, March 13 & 17 – (866) 284-7474
  • Miss Kitty’s Pub Crawl – Friday, March 13, call for details (779) 214-0003
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Galena, IL – Saturday, March 14 at 4pm – The Elks Lodge (815) 777-0011

Use our Events Calendar to find all of the FUN in Galena & Jo Daviess County!

5 Tips to Navigating Chestnut Mountain Resort

Diners at Chestnut

Skiing and Snowboarding at Chestnut Mountain Resort is one of the top Winter attractions in Illinois. We’ve put together 5 tips to help you enjoy every second!

1. Reserve the Jacuzzi King Suite so that you have your own private hot tub Après Ski!

2. Get a full snow report and watch the live cams for conditions!

3. Traveling with kids? Sign them up for a lesson in the Powder Pups and Rangers program. We’ve heard the hot chocolate is great & they love riding in the Powder Pups Express!

4. Meet your friends for a drink at the Boulder Terrace off to your right on Old Main or on the deck at The Summit & enjoy the views of the Mississippi River!

5. Don’t miss the sunset over the Mississippi River, either on the slopes or in the Sunset Grille!

Photo Jan 30, 2 58 36 PM

photo by (at) paul2161 on Instagram

Follow Chestnut Mountain Resort on Instagram & Facebook!

 

The Nordic Center at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

ice skating lowres

Enjoy ice skating, sledding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing at the Nordic Center at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa.

Fever River Outfitters has everything you need to enjoy the outdoors this winter, so don’t worry about packing the sleds and skates! Located on Eagle Ridge Drive at the South Course Clubhouse, you can gear up and head out to their 1.5 acre natural ice pond, featured as one of USA Today’s Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks (Midwest).

The Nordic Center is open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and admission is $5 per person, for adults and children. Click HERE for the rental prices! (As of January 2018) All resort guests and members receive free access and a 20% discount on rentals. All visitors must register at the Nordic Center desk.

Reservations are recommended and call ahead to check the conditions: 815-776-5225

You can warm up in the clubhouse or by a crackling bonfire and spot some of the local wildlife in the surrounding woods. You’ll find plenty to do as you Enjoy Galena Country at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa!

Don’t miss the Winter Carnival February 16-18, where in addition to these fun winter activities they’ll have a Fire & Ice Hot Air Balloon Show by Galena on The Fly, dogsled rides and turkey bowling!

Find out information on these events and more in Galena Country on our Events Calendar at galena.org!