International Dark Sky Park
The Headlands, a beautiful 550-acre park just west of Mackinaw City, is one of six International Dark Sky Parks in the U.S. and one of nine in the world. Named a Dark Sky Park in May 2011, this designation means that The Headlands is a spectacular place for sky and star gazing.
A Dark Sky Park has minimal light interruption from nearby cities or places making it a perfect place to view the skies at night. The approval required a lengthy process by Emmet County, who owns and operates the park. As an official Dark Sky Park, the only one in Michigan, The Headlands must be open at all times and include an educational component about astronomy and maintain park lighting that is minimizes interference with star gazing.
The nation's other Dark Sky Parks are in Utah, Pennsylvania, Washington, Ohio, and New Mexico.
The Headlands contains two miles of pristine Lake Michigan beaches, rare and endangered plant life, and wild life including bald eagles and osprey. Trails through the park offer the opportunity to view the plant and wild life.
The park provides lodging in two unique buildings: the Beach House that houses up to 18 people, and the Guest House with accommodations for up to 22 people. In 2011, theknot.com, a national wedding source, named The Headlands a site for the Best of Weddings.
Throughout the year, the Headlands Dark Sky Park hosts night time events such as a Halloween event as well as those to celebrate a lunar eclipse or meteor shower. The Headlands Dark Sky Park already is drawing visitors from around the U.S. who travel to Northern Michigan to observe the sky in such a perfect setting.
June 1, 9-10pm First Saturday Stargazing Series: The Ten Chief Ecliptic Stars
June 21, 8-10pm Summer's First Sunset Storytelling and Stargazing, walking tour at 6:30pm
June 26, 7pm Astrology, Astronomy and Astrosophy, Crooked Tree District Library, Boyne City
July 6, 9-11pm First Saturday Stargazing Series: On Telescopes and Horoscopes
July 9, time TBD Beyond the Telescope, Beaver Island
July 11, 8:30pm Crescent Moon Cruise, Full Moon Cruise, Shepler's Ferry Service, Mackinaw City
July 20, 9-10:30pm Astronomy of the Great Lakes and Native Star Tales
July 21, 8:30pm Full Moon Cruise, Shepler's Ferry Service, Mackinaw City
July 28, 11pm Midnight Meteor Shower Cruise, Full Moon Cruise, Shepler's Ferry Service, Mackinaw City
July 29, 9pm Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower Picnic Under the Stars
July 30, 9pm Story of the Stars, Thorne Swift Nature Preserver, Harbor Spring
August 2, 6pm Fish Fry and Star Gazing, Heritage Village, Mackinaw City
August 3, 9pm First Saturday Series Stargazing
August 6, 8pm Sunset Cruise, Full Moon Cruise, Shepler's Ferry Service, Mackinaw City
August 11, 11pm Perseid Meteor Shower Cruise, Full Moon Cruise, Shepler's Ferry Service, Mackinaw City
August 12, 8:30-10:30pm Picnic with the Perseids
August 17, time TBD Beyond the Telescope, Vermillion Point, Paradise, Michigan
August 20, 8pm Full Moon Cruise, Shepler's Ferry Service, Mackinaw City
August 21, 8pm The Dark Skies Over Northern Michigan, Emmet County Fair, Petoskey
September 21, 7:30-9:30pm What's in a name?
October 26, 8-10pm 5th Annual Headlands Challenge! and Triple Fright Night in Northern Emmet County
November 2, 6:30-8:30pm So You Want To Be An Astronomer?
December 20, 6-8pm Women in the Stars
For more information:
Headlands Dark Sky Park
7725 E Wilderness Park Dr
Mackinaw City, MI 49701
For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in Northern Michigan:
Harbor Springs, Michigan -- Harbor Springs is the place to try new things! Rent a bike or a kayak, go snow tubing, attend a concert or an art fair, or play a round of golf with friends.
Petoskey -- There's so much to do in Petoskey from the Bear River Valley Recreation Area, to Petoskey State Park, to biking, golfing, hiking, and more.
Charlevoix, Michigan -- Visiting Charlevoix in Northern Michigan is a fun-filled vacation with great beaches, boating, skiing, fishing and year 'round family fun.
Things to Do in Boyne City, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like Boyne City in Northern Michigan with camping, boating, skiing, year 'round outdoor activities, and of course, the morel mushroom!
Lots of Activities in Mackinaw City, Michigan -- Explore Mackinaw City in Northern Michigan for history, the International Dark Sky Park, and outdoor activities.
Mackinac Island -- Take a step back in time and find lots of things to do when you visit Mackinac Island by horseback or bike--no cars allowed!
Northern Michigan Activities & Things to Do -- Northern Michigan offers many fun things to do for the entire family whatever the season, whatever the reason!