MIO, Mich. (Michigan Back Roads) – The Lyrid Meteor Shower is peaking around Thursday, Nov. 17. To get the best of this nighttime marvel, it’s important to find a place with as little light as possible.

To help preserve starry sky viewing, some Michigan locations have been designated as “Dark Sky Preserves.” This designation by the state protects these areas from development and the introduction of artificial light. There are Dark Sky Parks all across Michigan. You can find one near Hudson, Harrisville, Mio and in Emmet County. Each of these is free to use and great for night photography.

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There are no state designated Dark Sky Preserves in the Upper Peninsula. A statute prohibits the creation of Dark Sky Preserves in the U.P. After months of travel and research, we decided that the darkest skies across the Mighty Mac are in Delta County.

A few miles north of the town of Nahma in the Hiawatha National Forest is a viewing platform at the end of the Nahma Marsh Trail.  The trail is only a third of a mile. The viewing platform is large enough to accommodate several people and their cameras or telescopes. The platform was built to serve birdwatching, but it is perfect for stargazing. The night sky is perfectly dark.