darkest skies in the upper peninsula

 

After months of travel and research, we decided that the darkest skies in the upper peninsula of Michigan are in Delta County. A few miles north of the town of Nahma in the Hiawatha National Forest is a viewing platform at the end of the Nahma Marsh Trail.

model forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trail is short, only a third of a mile. The viewing platform is large enough to accommodate several people and their cameras or telescopes. The platform was built to serve birdwatching, but it is perfect for stargazing. The night sky is perfectly dark.

Dark Sky Preserves are often in remote locations making them difficult to access. Often there are few amenities available like food and lodging. That isn’t the case with the dark skies at Nahma. Just 2 miles away is a historic inn with excellent food, comfortable rooms and high speed WiFi.

Dark skies are disappearing across the state and country. Some locations have been designated as Dark Sky Preserves. This designation by the state protects these areas from development and the introduction of artificial light. There are no state designated Dark Sky Preserves in the upper peninsula of Michigan. A statute prohibits the creation of Dark Sky Preserves in the upper peninsula.