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Midwest locations?

Started by ghacker, 05/22/2008 01:42PM
Posted 05/22/2008 01:42PM Opening Post
Unfortunately, not all of us can live out West where I feel there's more opportunity for darker skies.

Wondering if anyone's found a nice family camping tent camping location within 3-4 hours of Chicago? Members of my club, NAA, like Green River which is near Sterling, IL and dark green on the CSC pollution map (which isn't bad for around here).

The family likes Devil's Lake up in Wi. because of it's proximity to the Dells and the camp site we usually get is close to the "head", but it's only orange. We're going to try Governors State Park near Madision in Sept. which is dark green. Anyone have any other ideas? Specific campsite suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Posted 05/22/2008 06:30PM #1

Have you checked southwest Michigan? When I lived in northern Indiana, we camped at a few places in Berrien county that were quite dark and quiet. (Have you ever seen "Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss"?) grin Or perhaps head south into Newton and Jasper counties in Indiana.

Rick (now in Ohio)

8" Zhumell Dob
90mm f11 achro refractor
4-1/2 f4 rich field newt reflector
Posted 05/27/2008 02:32PM #2
Hi Dennis,

The site of the Michigan Star Gaze is a nice site to observe from. It is a private campground near Gladwin, about 4 hours from Chicago. The sites are mostly for RVs, but there are also nice areas for tents. The big plus is the observing hill behind and above the campground. You can pitch a tent up there and observe for $5 bucks a person per night, or you can stay in the campground and just observe on the hill.

Another site I observe from is Lake Hudson Recreation Area which is near the Ohio border south of Jackson. The campground is primitive with pit toilets, but it's fairly dark. It is designated a Dark Sky Preserve and it is astronomer friendly with only three lights in the whole park. The campground has some good sites to observe from, but most folks observe from the beach or picnic area.

At both sites on new moon weekends there will be others there, too.