The Headlands, an International Dark Sky Park

Let us get together and shoot the night sky! The Headlands, an International Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City just opened up, and I think we should take advantage of the Fourth of July weekend to shoot it. 

Friday night is the Macinaw City Fireworks over Lake Huron (I'll be up north for this, but this isn't the "official meetup" - just a bonus)  - however you are welcome to join me for this. I'll be with my kids, and will NOT be giving tutorials, there are plenty of them online, but you are welcome to join me for the show. 


Saturday night - we'll head over to the Dark Sky Park to shoot the night sky w/out any light pollution. Have you ever in your life seen the full night sky? I'm not sure I have.. I certainly haven't since childhood. 

The Headlands: 

In May 2011, the Headlands became the sixth International Dark Sky Park in the United States and the ninth in the world. This 600-acre parcel of old-growth forest sits on more than two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline in Emmet County. Here you will find the darkest of skies, undiluted by light pollution and preserved in perpetuity by Emmet County. Monthly, free Dark Sky Park programs and special events are held at the Beach House and on the shoreline. Two large houses are available for rent as well, accommodating more than 20 each. Signs in the park direct visitors to designated Dark Sky Viewing areas. No camping, but the park is open 24/7 year 'round, with five miles of trails throughout the property. No entrance fee. Dazzling night sky for photographers, astronomers and dark-sky enthusiasts!.

For more information about the Headlands, please visit their website: 
http://www.michigan.org/property/the-headlands-an-international-dark-sky-park/

Transportation and Lodging is completely up to you. The Headlands Park is free to enter - and there is no camping there, but we can stay for "as long as we like". Also, We can drive all the way to the "dark park viewing area", so there's not a ton of hiking either. 

You will NEED your tripod, and your external cable release cord (if you have one). 

I will update this if I find out anything else. 

You are welcome to stay anywhere up there that you'd like. Keep in mind, the further you are from Macinaw City the less your room is going to cost.. and there is always camping as well. 

I am staying here: 

Comfort Suites Mackinaw City  

720 South Huron Street, Mackinaw City, MI 49701
(231)[masked]

NOTE: I am doubling up this Night Sky event with a nice weekend for my family as well. I only PROMISE to be available as "Photowalk Leader" for the actual photo shoot at The Headlands - the rest is up in the air. :) 

For those interested in car pooling - I will set up a Discussion Group Page for you all to coordinate that with other members. (Link to Follow) 


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  • Amy

    Who all is still coming?

    July 3, 2014

  • Joseph T.

    I am in Petoskey for a few days and will be heading to the Headlands in the next day or two (weather permitting.) I won't however be staying until July 5th so I'll miss everybody. Have fun!

    June 30, 2014

  • Cynthia L.

    Cynthia Lindow


    Posted with Amy's approval. Wondering if anyone might be interested in taking a tour out to Middle Island and the lighthouse there. Here is some information on the charter
    http://www.middleislandkeepersl...­ a day of adventure and learning. May through September, we can schedule a boat tour. Join Captain Mike Theut aboard "Island Freighter II" or "Perfecte Content" and let him take you on a narrated tour of Middle Island or Thunder Bay Island and the waters surrounding them.

    March 9, 2014

    • Cynthia L.

      Click on pay, tour, then there is a comment section and put it there. :-)

      March 11, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      i did pay, tour and paid with paypal, never saw a comment section, but have been on cold meds all day too

      March 12, 2014

  • Amy

    If you haven't already booked your room for this trip, I'd say do it now. This is a holiday weekend at Mackinac. It is going to be busy. You can always cancel it later if you change your mind about going. Very good point Cynthia!

    March 11, 2014

  • Mary Jo B.

    July sounds good..unless it us 100 degrees lol.

    1 · March 6, 2014

    • Amy

      The hotel I picked has an indoor AND an outdoor pool, and it's on the water. I think I'll find a way to cool off one way or another. :D

      March 6, 2014

    • Cynthia L.

      When I was looking for a hotel some were already booked as it's 4th of July weekend. I would suggest you make reservations now and cancel later if you can't go.

      March 11, 2014

  • Mary Jo B.

    July sounds good..unless it us 100 degrees lol.

    March 6, 2014

    • Cynthia L.

      I saw on the news that the last time we had a really cold winter like this the average summer temperature was in the mid to low 70's.

      March 9, 2014

    • Cynthia L.

      http://middleislandke...­ website to sign up for tour

      March 10, 2014

  • Cynthia L.

    Take great pictures of the Middle Island Lighthouse from the water, then even better ones on the island itself! If you have a group of two or more people, we will find a date that works for you. If you have less than two people, periodically check the website calendar of availability for upcoming scheduled tours. Please call Capt. Mike @ (989)[masked], a week or more prior to departures, to confirm a seat. A deposit of half the total cost will be required.
    Approximate tour time is four hours for scheduled tours. Groups of six or more have the luxury of customizing their tour time and agenda.
    Middle Island Tours cost $40 per adult, $30 17 - 11 y/o and $20 per child 10 y/o and younger. Capt. Mike offers a discount of $5 off per adult with groups of six or more
    http://www.middleislandkeepersl...­
    I was thinking Friday morning or Sunday evening?
    Like · Reply · 29m ago · Mute

    March 9, 2014

  • Ken M.

    I'm actually heading up in June if all goes well. It's supposed to be spectacular!

    1 · March 10, 2014

  • Amy

    Go HERE - - - - - - - - - -- - - - http://www.meetup.com/RODPhoto/messages/boards/thread/42415422 -- - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - To make travel/hotel/carpooling plans

    March 6, 2014

4 went

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