Mackinaw City, Mich. – Mackinaw City, Michigan, is home to more than just the Mackinac Bridge and delicious fudge -- did you know that one of the world’s first International Dark Sky Parks is just about four miles from the downtown area?
The Headlands International Dark Sky Park was the sixth International Dark Sky Park in the United States and only the ninth in the world. Established in the 1950s, the park sits on about 600 acres of woodlands and more than two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline.
What is a Dark Sky Park?
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is an organization with a mission to protect the night from light pollution. An IDA-certified International Dark Sky Park is a land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage, and/or public enjoyment, according to the IDA website.
Headlands was awarded the prestigious designation in 2011 after the IDA’s rigorous application and review process. Having this certification means that The Headlands International Dark Sky Park will be dark and protected forever.
There is one large guest house available for rent that can accommodate more than 20 people. There is no admission fee and the park is open 24/7. On busier nights, such as a meteor shower or when the Northern Lights are visible, there may be parking-related fees. The park offers five miles of trails on its property in addition to the main attraction.
Take a blanket and some snacks, sit back and relax, and enjoy the light pollution-free stargazing that Headlands International Sky Park has to offer.
For more information on Headlands International Sky Park and the events held monthly, visit their website at: https://www.midarkskypark.org/