Thu. Dec 7th, 2023
6 Far-Away Reasons to Visit Killarney Provincial Park

With its pink granite cliffs and shimmering lakes, Killarney Provincial Park is prized for its stunning views.

But to enjoy some of its most memorable views, we have to leave the stratosphere behind.

Below are some ways to add a bit of deep space exploration to your next visit to Killarney.

1. Dark Sky Reserves

There are few places where people can gaze into the night sky and see it in the same splendor that our ancestors did.

A dark sky full of stars.  There is a small line of trees at the bottom of the image.

Killarney Provincial Park, along with Lake Superior Provincial Park and Quetico Provincial Park, are among the few places designated as Dark Sky Reserves in Ontario. The Dark Sky initiative not only plays an important ecological role, but also allows visitors to view the night sky without interference from light pollution.

2. Astronomy programs

Astronomy programs taught by professional and amateur astronomers are often held in our provincial parks.

People enjoying the Killarney observatory complex at night.  Observatory with laser pointing out constellations.

In Killarney Provincial Park, the Astronomer in Residence program offers hands-on programming and learning about the mysteries of the cosmos with live images from our large telescope in the K’chi Waasa Debabing Observatory. You can learn more about the visiting astronomers on their blog.

3. Learn how to use an observatory

This fall, Killarney Provincial Park will offer free, limited use of our public-use observatory. It’s debabing.

telescope pointing at the night sky

Meet our Discovery rangers to participate in a hands-on learning session and become certified as an observatory user. Once equipped with the practical knowledge of how to use the facilities, visitors can log out of the facility for a night of space exploration.

See also  What is a bioblitz? - Parks Blog

Reserving the observatory requires a $250 damage deposit, which is refundable the next day.

4. Perseid meteor shower

Summer’s favorite annual meteor shower, the Perseids, peaks on the night of August 12. Unfortunately, the brightness of the full moon that same night will virtually erase the view of these meteors.

Night sky

However, from our provincial parks, including Killarney, visitors can view meteors all year round. To go meteorite hunting, you just need to find a dark place!

5. Walk through the solar system

Diagram of the planets.

Killarney Provincial Park’s temporary solar system walk (which takes visitors on a tour of the planets from the Sun to Saturn) will be available again in the latter part of the summer.

This 5.9 km walk follows a scale model of the solar system with the sun and planets to match.

6. Stars over Killarney 2022

Our annual Stars over Killarney program returns this year from 30 September to 2 October with a program titled ‘From the Earth to the Moon, Mars and Beyond’.

This year’s programming will include exploration of Killarney’s geological beauty, including a walk to the Granite Ridge lookout, as well as fascinating presentations from leading space and planetary scientists.

Group on the observatory field at night under a starry sky.

And, as always, Stars over Killarney offers visitors views through our telescopes.

For all the astronomical events taking place in Killarney this summer, visit the events page on the Ontario Parks website or the Killarney Provincial Parks Facebook page.