Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

Stargazing at the Inwood Hill Park Hilltop

Stargazing sessions are supported by the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York.

The Hilltop in Inwood Hill Park

This is our observing location near the entrance at Seaman and Isham Streets. The Columbia Football Fields turn off their lights at about 10:00 or 10:30 PM, leaving the park dark. It's a great spot to see the stars. It's also not muddy because the hilltop is Manhattan granite. Good late-night spot for stargazing! Please see the map below. To arrive by subway, take the "A" train to the last stop. Come out the stairs at the front of the train, and go up the hill alongside the church. This entrance is right in front of you.

Walk into the park towards the flagpole. Go left at the flagpole behind the tennis courts and away from the dog run. At the end of the path is a stairway. It is not lighted (a good thing), so bring a flashlight and a buddy. Walk up the stairs all the way to the top. Once you get to the top, you'll see a path crossing it to the left. Go off the path to the right. Do NOT go left down the path, and do NOT go back down the hill deeper into the park. Go off the path to the right. You'll be able to see a partial clearing about 30 yards in front of you. That's the location.

There are NO lights in the park at that location. This is a good thing. It lets you see the stars. However, it can make people uneasy, so bring a friend.

Click here to learn more about Inwood Hill Park. You do not need to bring a telescope. I will provide telescopes to look through. It is an amazing view of the heavens. You'll see planets, stars and nebulae!

Join our Google Group, Twitter Feed or Facebook Page for our stargazing schedule

View Inwood Hill Park low hilltop in a larger map

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About Jason Kendall

I am currently adjunct faculty at William Paterson University teaching astronomy. I hold a Master of Science in Astronomy from New Mexico State University. I am also a board member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Since 2008, I have led the Inwood Astronomy Project which brought over 200 events of stargazing and public astronomy outreach to upper Manhattan, including the historic Inwood Star Fest, where Inwood Hill Park lights were turned off as part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy event in IYA2009. This was the first time in New York City history when park lights were turned off for an astronomy event. I've also focused on park safety due to an uptick in sexual assaults in Washington Heights and Inwood during 2011. I've worked to make our parks safer by encouraging public use of parks at night through night-time events with Park Rangers. I have led numerous "starwatching parties" and astronomy events in New York City, New Mexico, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas. I am also proud to have been part of the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Program from 2009 to 2012. It all started way back in the fourth grade by the encouragement of two noted astronomers, Charles Schweighauser and Bart Bok. I saw Saturn through Charlie's telescope at then Sangamon State University on a clear Illinois night, and Bart encouraged me under those stars to study hard to come visit him at Kitt Peak National Observatory. I finally did make it down there about a decade after Bart passed away, and I found the favorite spots in Tucson, Arizona, where Bart and his wife Priscilla would spend when they were not gazing at the stars. Bart and his wife were pioneers in the study of the Milky Way, and their studies of the starforming regions called Bok Globules. It's even in my family. My great-grandfather was a Midwestern minister who used to preach his sermons out under the dark, cloudless nights. He always believed that getting out and experiencing the wonders of the natural world was a central part of being human. My family has always been inspired by his words: "We look up to look within." I hope that you'll join me under the stars or at one of my talks.

Come see what's up in the sky!

Jason Kendall

We look up to look within

William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Astronomical Society of the Pacific Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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