Learn About L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area
It’s like traveling back in time
The L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area is the most southerly dark sky site in Ontario, offering a night sky experience very similar to what was available more than 100 years ago. Bring your family and enjoy this unspoiled moment that will have you marveling at our night sky.
Prepare for your visit
As long as the night has fallen and there are few clouds in the sky, the views will be spectacular from the Dark Sky Viewing Area. But if you want to experience the site at its very best, follow these tips:
A day with deep blue skies indicates low humidity and clear air and a great time to stargaze.
As pretty as the moon is, choose a moonless or close to moonless night for dark sky viewing with lots of stars and views of the Milky Way.
Speaking of the Milky Way, the best times to see it are from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. in May, 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. in June, 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. in July, nightfall to 11:30 p.m. in August, and nightfall to 9:30 p.m. in September.
If you have these, now is the time to bring them along.
Bring a reclining lawn chair along with warm clothing and a cozy blanket. Bug spray, just in case.
Bring a small, dim flashlight to see where you are walking. When you’re on the viewing platform, please don’t shine any white light (red light is acceptable).
When pulling your vehicle into the parking lot, please turn off headlights as soon as possible. Even the smallest amount of light can disrupt night sky photographs and disturb people’s ability to focus on the stars.
Get your hands on our stargazing brochure to prepare even more for your evening under the stars.
But, there are plenty of comfortable places to stay or camp nearby, check out the options here.
We love the Dark Sky Viewing Area! We have had a chance to see couple of meteor showers. We try to make it the past 2 years during summer! I love to lie down with my family and watch the stars and the magic they create! The meteors. Oh… our best was one where we counted almost 100 meteors !! Awesome experience!
Sneak Peak of L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area
How the dark sky viewing area came to be
In 2011, Terence Dickinson, a Lennox & Addington County resident, noticed that the view of the sky was spectacular from a specific location on County Road 41. In fact, he often pulled off the highway to take night sky photos at an easily accessible location between Erinsville and Kaladar. After looking at a light pollution map he determined that the roadside spot where he was stopping was the most southerly spot in Ontario with an unimpeded view of the night sky.
It turns out that Terence Dickinson was also an accomplished stargazing author, founder and long-time editor of SkyNews Magazine. He told his story to the Lennox & Addington Economic Development Office and they realized that this was a great niche tourism opportunity and immediately got to work on constructing what is now known as the Lennox & Addington County Dark Sky Viewing Area. The site opened to a huge crowd at the peak of the 2012 Perseid Meteor Shower.
In 2013 Terence received the County of Lennox & Addington Lifetime Achievement Award. A plaque in his honour was installed at the Dark Sky Viewing Area to commemorate the contribution he has made to his community.
Terence passed away on February 1, 2023, but his legacy lives on here at Dark Sky. We will always appreciate his role in inspiring us to look up to appreciate our pristine night sky.
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