State Parks Ideal for Stargazing

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Michigan's state parks will be ideal locations for stargazing during this month's Perseid meteor shower, and some of them are offering a tasty incentive: s'mores.

The Department of Natural Resources says "Meteors & S'mores" events are planned for numerous parks from Saturday through Aug. 16.

Some of the events will include astronomy presentations or movies to complement nature's light show.

There is no charge to attend Meteors & S'mores, but a Recreation Passport is required for any vehicle entering a Michigan state park.
Participating parks range from Fort Wilkins on the Keweenaw Peninsula to Pontiac Lake Recreation Area in Oakland County.

Meteors & S’mores events are scheduled at the following state parks (counties). Parks with an asterisk next to the name will offer a free movie before the meteor shower:

Saturday, Aug. 9
• Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland), 9 p.m. (beach parking lot)
• Fort Wilkins Historic State Park (Keweenaw), 10 p.m. (parade grounds) This program features guest speaker Joel Kimball, professor at the South Dakota School of Mining and Technology

Sunday, Aug. 10
• *Ionia Recreation Area (Ionia), 8:30 p.m. Star Wars: A New Hope (beach day-use area)
• Leelanau State Park (Leelanau), 8:30 p.m. (day-use picnic shelter)
• Van Riper State Park (Marquette), 10 p.m. (campground shelter building)

Tuesday, Aug. 12
• Brimley State Park (Chippewa), 7 p.m. (visitor beach playground)
• Muskallonge Lake State Park (Luce), 9 p.m. (community fire pit in the day-use area)
• Silver Lake State Park (Oceana), 9 p.m. (dune pedestrian lot)
• Hoeft State Park (Presque Isle), 9 p.m. (hospitality site)
• Wilderness State Park (Emmet), 9 p.m. (amphitheater)
• Rifle River Recreation Area (Ogemaw), 10 p.m. (ranch ball field)
• Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (Ontonagon), 9 p.m. (Union Bay campground)
• North Higgins Lake State Park (Crawford), 9 p.m. (park beach pavilion)
• Port Crescent State Park (Huron), 8:30 p.m. (day-use area)

Wednesday, Aug. 13
• Young State Park (Charlevoix), 10 p.m. (park baseball field across from loop 4)

Thursday, Aug. 14
• Van Buren State Park (Van Buren), 9 p.m. (southern side of the beach parking lot)

Friday, Aug. 15
• Baraga State Park (Baraga), 10 p.m. (park picnic area)
• *Pontiac Lake Recreation Area (Oakland), 8:30 p.m. Star Trek (2009) (west picnic area)

Saturday, Aug. 16
• Aloha State Park (Cheboygan), 8:30 p.m. (camp host site no. 47)
• Burt Lake State Park (Cheboygan), 9 p.m. (fire pit on the west side of the interpretive building)
• Brighton Recreation Area (Livingston), 9 p.m. (Chilson Pond behind the park headquarters). This program features guest speakers from University Lowbrow Astronomers.
• Hartwick Pines State Park (Crawford), 8 p.m. (campground amphitheater)

For a complete list and schedule, check the state park event listings at the link to the right of this article.