Have you or your kids been able to see the Milky Way recently, or ever? Is light pollution
making only a fraction of the stars viewable where you live? If you answered yes to these
questions, it’s time to head to Lake Hudson State Recreation Area’s Dark Sky Preserve in
Clayton, Michigan, which is right here in Lenawee County.
In 1993, Lake Hudson State Recreation Area, which is managed by W.J. Hayes State Park,
became the very first “Dark Sky Preserve” in Michigan. The preserve provides a low light
area for night sky viewing that also allows other park users access and availability for other
activities. The park uses lighting fixtures that minimize light pollution and motion sensors on
lights when possible. There are no strict rules regarding light usage, but it is requested that
all visitors are aware of their light usage in the campground and in their cars.
“The Dark Sky Preserve is busy during certain times of the month, when there are certain
astronomical events happening,” said Pam Ames, a representative from W.J. Hayes State
Park. “During the winter, visitors are permitted in the preserve at any time, since the
campground is closed. From April to November, Lake Hudson is closed in areas outside the
campground from 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM.”
Chelynne Campion is a Production/ Sales Assistant for EarthSky. Her family just purchased a telescope, and she's now learning to be a stargazer!