Dark Sky Tourism

     Dark Sky Tourism is a real thing folks in Scotland are talking about.  They are trying to set aside areas for Dark Sky Parks where people can go to get away from the city lights and get a good look at the stars in the sky.  There’s a non-profit group known as the International Dark Sky Association and there’s even a National Dark Sky Week. A dark sky is something I guess I take for granted because I hadn’t even given the concept much thought.

     I love to look at a star-filled sky and try to pick out different constellations.  When you’re at the end of the Gunflint Trail there isn’t light pollution and when you look up into the sky it’s as if you’re floating amongst the stars.  On clear dark nights the stars fill the sky with their sparkling brilliance mesmerizing the stargazer. Sometimes when you’re out in the Boundary Waters sitting at the water’s edge the reflection of the stars on the water look as real as the stars in the sky. 

     There is no need to travel to Scotland to visit a Dark Sky Park.  Both the Boundary Waters and Quetico Park offer incredible opportunties for searching the night sky.  There are no buildings with exterior lights or interior lights and there’s only the occasional light of a campfire or a firefly in the spring.  The canoe country must qualify to be designated as Dark Sky Parks.   Even if they aren’t recognized as such I think I’ll still promote Dark Sky Tourism on the Gunflint Trail.