Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

On July 17, 2018, Lake Superior Provincial Park was officially recognized as a nationally certified Dark Sky Reserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, becoming our second provincial park to earn this prestigious designation.

Lake Superior Provincial Park is a paradise for observing the night sky. Whether you like to sit on a beach on a clear summer night and gaze at the countless stars that fill the sky, or you are a photographer looking for opportunities to photograph the night sky, the park is full of beautiful locations with beautiful night skies.

people looking at the stars in winterPhoto: Paula Trus

Lake Superior Provincial Park is among the darkest dark sky reserves in Canada and on Earth.

With its remote location and very few artificial lights, Lake Superior Provincial Park is essentially free of light pollution. The park is home to one of the four darkest sections along the 7,821 km length of the Trans-Canada Highway.

The park is home to significant populations of nocturnal animals, including bats, beavers, wolves, northern flying squirrels, and owls, all creatures that benefit from the preservation of darkness.

Aurora borealisPhoto: Paula Trus

The park’s latitude and darkness provide some of the best opportunities along Canada’s southern border to view the northern lights (aurora borealis).

Stargazing in the park

A night sky viewing area will be designated at the Agawa Bay Campground beach, very close to the visitor center. The viewing area offers exceptional views of the night sky looking west, north and south.

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The following photo was taken from the observation area:

Lake Superior Viewing Area Stellar LandscapePhoto: Paula Trus

There are also opportunities for exceptional night sky viewing at the Rabbit Blanket Lake campground, as shown in the photo below:

Lake Superior Rabbit Blanket Lake StarscapePhoto: Paula Trus

For those who want to explore the countryside, hiking trails and canoe routes also offer great opportunities to view the night sky.

Campsites along the Lake Superior shoreline, overlooking the expanse of one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes, are home to photo-worthy sunsets.

However, a different world emerges once the sun sets and darkness comes. On a clear night, the skies come alive with the brilliance of stars. Maybe you can see the Milky Way, or maybe another planet. Or will the sky come alive with the colors of the Northern Lights?

Aurora borealisPhoto: Paula Trus

Don’t forget to bring a constellation guide or download an app to see how many constellations you can identify. You can also check out our “Eyes on the Skies” series for a preview of what to look for each month.

Tell us what you see!

The dark skies of Lake Superior Provincial Park are truly a paradise for observing and photographing the night sky.

We would love to see your photos of the night sky. Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter (@LagoSuperiorPP).