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Muskallonge Lake State Park Upper Penninsula Michigan - Bortle 1 (closest Bortle 1 to me?)

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#1 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 08:17 AM

My family camped at Muskallonge Lake State Park in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan some years back before I was really into astronomy and while doing some research I learned that it has Bortle 1 skies. I think this is the closest Bortle 1 to my house in Central IN

 

When we were there it was a great time. The State Park has a great campground with private showers with individual doors and individual areas to change, etc. Campground is nicely shaded, but I think there's areas of clearing around the area for setting up scopes, etc.  I really want to go back soon. Its close to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore as well. 

 

 

http://www.dnr.state...d=424&type=SPRK

 

Muskallonge Lake State Park Light Pollution Map.JPG


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#2 vtornado

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 09:30 AM

oooo I envy you.

 

I used to camp at a place on butternut lake in Wi.  Very dark there too,

It might be an hour or two closer to you.

Hey when your not watching stars, you can go for some of those musk-a-lounges.

mmm good eating


Edited by vtornado, 14 August 2019 - 09:43 AM.

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#3 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 10:52 AM

oooo I envy you.

 

I used to camp at a place on butternut lake in Wi.  Very dark there too,

It might be an hour or two closer to you.

Hey when your not watching stars, you can go for some of those musk-a-lounges.

mmm good eating

Its still 10hr drive, but we want to go back



#4 scottmm2012

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 12:47 PM

 

but I think there's areas of clearing around the area for setting up scopes, etc.

Does look rather nice, 12 hour drive for me but I've been wanting to explore other state's state parks.  Google Earth shows a football field size clearing just to the west of the campground near the Muskallonge Lake boat launch.



#5 CosmoNewt

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 06:17 PM

I considered visiting this park a couple years ago while planning a UP north trip.  Now I have even more reason.  The shore between Whitefish point and Grand Marais is mostly state land with very few homes.  Thanks for sharing.  



#6 denny-o

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 10:32 AM

The state owned land is the only reason the dark site exists. Without state protection the shoreline would have, long ago, become an endless string of McMansions the length of the shore - as exists on most other shorelines of the Great Lakes.


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#7 RRMichigan

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 03:43 PM

My family camped at Muskallonge Lake State Park in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan some years back before I was really into astronomy and while doing some research I learned that it has Bortle 1 skies. I think this is the closest Bortle 1 to my house in Central IN

 

When we were there it was a great time. The State Park has a great campground with private showers with individual doors and individual areas to change, etc. Campground is nicely shaded, but I think there's areas of clearing around the area for setting up scopes, etc.  I really want to go back soon. Its close to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore as well. 

 

 

http://www.dnr.state...d=424&type=SPRK

 

attachicon.gif Muskallonge Lake State Park Light Pollution Map.JPG

Hello. Been up there many, many times. Anywhere near and especially looking north over lake Superior will give you the darkest skies, as long as you are outside the small city light glare. However, there are no big cities up there at all so even within Munising, for instance, I have always been able to look up and see very black skies. I guess it is all in the eyes of the beholder. I come from the second largest city in the lower Peninsula where light pollution is at it's best, so the sky almost anywhere up north looks great. In the UP, all the better. The only place I have seen better night skies was out in the middle of nowhere in south central Montana a few years back, and I didn't even have a pair of binoculars with me!

Enjoy!

BTW: Some of this "pictured rocks" fell off the other day near some kayakers. LOL.


Edited by RRMichigan, 15 August 2019 - 03:47 PM.

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#8 Migwan

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 06:22 PM

Grand Marais has a classic old tavern.  (Historical reason for a brew.)  There's always the waterfall/light house tour.   That area next to boat launch is screaming place telescope here.     Fun!   jd


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#9 Spacefreak1974

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 02:47 PM

Grand Marais has a classic old tavern.  (Historical reason for a brew.)  There's always the waterfall/light house tour.   That area next to boat launch is screaming place telescope here.     Fun!   jd

When we were there we went to the Grand Marais Tavern, but it was before lunch and we just had a snack. I had a bacon maple cupcake that was awesome. The boatlaunch area and around there would be super wide open to the horizons. Is there much lighting there thought?

 

I'm thinking the best observing areas would be along the dirt Rd between Muskallonge SP and Grand Marais. Its all National Forest area first come first serve backcounty camping along Superior there

 

Jon



#10 Migwan

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Posted 16 August 2019 - 05:05 PM

Don't see any on satellite.   Closest is likely the shower in the campground, but lots of trees between.   Some houses to the west but pretty far and lots of trees.   I would definitely check it. 

 

Personally, I would prefer the primitive campsites right on Lake Superior.  Beach might be wide enough to let you at least view to the south and probably less bugs.   Would be a bit of a carry for the telescope.    I stayed at a similar site south of White Fish Point once and loved it.   Real quite. 

 

For me, this would be a just in case choice, but there is also a nice primitive campground in the National Shoreline called Hurricane River Campground that's right on the big lake.  There's a parking lot for river access just outside the campground where you could set up a scope.   Not as wide open as the boat launch and it would expose you to passing vehicles, but on weekdays, they would be far and few between.  

 

Enjoy your trip. 

 

jd




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