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Keweenaw Mountain Lodge designated as Michigan’s third International Dark Sky Park

This image was taken on a remote outcropping at High Rock Bay. This desolate area at the tip of...
This image was taken on a remote outcropping at High Rock Bay. This desolate area at the tip of the Keweenaw is only accessible by a four wheel drive vehicle and provides night sky views across Lake Superior in three directions; north, south and east. One can see the Northern Lights and the Milky Way from the same location at the same time.(Chris Guibert)
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 4:37 PM EDT
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COPPER HARBOR, Mich. (WLUC) - The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has named Keweenaw Dark Sky Park the newest addition to the International Dark Sky Places Program.

The headquarters for the Dark Sky Park is located at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge (KML). Here, visitors and supportive community members can meet, learn, and look “U.P.” to the stars for inspiration and embrace nature while traveling around the top of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The park becomes the third IDA-certified Dark Sky Park in the State of Michigan, joining the Headlands International Dark Sky Park and the Dr. T.K. Lawless International Dark Sky Park, and is the first International Dark Sky Park in the Upper Peninsula.

“Keweenaw Dark Sky Park offers a unique experience to stargazing in the Midwestern United States,” said Ashley Wilson, IDA’s Director of Conservation. “The historic wilderness lodge allows visitors to view the magnificence of the night sky in a window of the pristine boreal landscape while also having the opportunity to further engage with the nocturnal environment with astrophotography and lighting management workshops.”

Keweenaw Mountain Lodge is a 500-acre resort at the top of the Keweenaw Peninsula, as far north as one can go in the state of Michigan. Situated near Copper Harbor, the resort is encompassed by thousands of acres of wilderness and is surrounded on three sides by Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. To offer added protection against overdevelopment in the area and preserve the pristine and remote landscape, the property is listed on both state and national registries of historic places, as well as a conservation easement. As such, the resort and top of the Keweenaw offer visitors a remarkable place to learn, recreate, and celebrate, while also providing an enjoyable gathering place for everyone interested in exploring the beauty of the Keweenaw by day or the pristine star-filled dark skies at night.

“We are excited and honored that the IDA has elected to welcome Keweenaw Dark Sky Park into the IDA Dark Sky Places Program,” said John Mueller, owner of the resort. “It is a significant accomplishment and the Lodge’s dark-sky friendly policies will help foster and preserve its incredible star-filled sky in the Keweenaw. KML looks to increase stargazing and other dark-sky-related activities that are available in the region, and is proud to offer a headquarters for dark sky activities at the top of the Keweenaw.”

The certification comes after approximately a year-and-a-half of efforts that culminated in a nomination submission to the IDA in April 2021. The application was prepared by a team of KML staff who value all aspects of the environment, including cherishing and preserving dark skies. The IDA’s Dark Sky Park application process is rigorous and requires applicants to demonstrate an exceptional dark sky resource, provide public outreach, and support dark-sky protection.

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