Wednesday, August 5, 2015

State parks invite visitors for Meteors & S'mores programming Aug. 8-15 during Perseid meteor shower

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites the public to bring a blanket and spend the night under the stars at participating Michigan state parks Aug. 8-15 to enjoy the Perseid meteor shower.
Participating state parks in Michigan will stay open late and offer "Meteors & S'mores" events throughout the week for campers and day visitors to view the night sky and enjoy free s’mores. Select events will include additional offerings, including astronomy presentations, free movies and twilight yoga.
Many programs start in the late evening, but the best viewing time for meteors is at the darkest time of the night, after midnight. Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets, seating, bug spray and water or other beverages to enjoy a night of stargazing. Events listed below with an asterisk take place at a designated dark sky, meaning the park has legislative protection against light pollution and is an ideal location for stargazing. Meteors & S'mores events are scheduled at the following locations:Campers sit by a fire on the beach.
Saturday, Aug. 8
Fort Wilkins Historic State Park (Keweenaw County),8 p.m. (meet at parade grounds). This program features an astronomy presentation by Gannon University professor Joel Kimball and free use of high-powered telescopes to view the night sky.
Sunday, Aug. 9
*Wilderness State Park (Emmet County), 9 p.m.(meet at nature center fire circle)

Van Buren State Park (Van Buren County), 9 p.m.(meet at explorer guide area)
Tuesday, Aug. 11
Fort Wilkins Historic State Park (Keweenaw County), 8 p.m. (meet at parade grounds). This program features an astronomy presentation by Gannon University professor Joel Kimball and free use of high-powered telescopes to view the night sky.
Brimley State Park (Chippewa County), 8:30 p.m. (meet at day-use area)
Burt Lake State Park (Cheboygan County), 9 p.m. (meet at fire pit west of interpretive building)
Van Riper State Park (Marquette County), 9 p.m. (meet at campground shelter building)
Wednesday, Aug. 12
North Higgins Lake State Park (Crawford County), 9 p.m. (meet at beach pavilion)
Young State Park (Charlevoix County), 9 p.m. (meet at park baseball field across from campground loop 4)
Leelanau State Park (Leelanau County), 9:30 p.m. (meet at day-use pavilion)
*Lake Hudson Recreation Area (Lenawee County), 10 p.m.
Rockport Recreation Area (Alpena), 8 p.m. (meet at Rockport Harbor County). This program will feature a planetarium program and a twilight yoga session.
Thursday, Aug. 13
Hoeft State Park (Presque Isle County), 9 p.m. (meet at campsite #1)
Holland State Park (Ottawa County), 9 p.m. (meet at beach campground fire pits). This program features members from the Shore Line Amateur Astronomical Society.
Clear Lake State Park (Montmorency County), 9 p.m. (meet at day-use pavilion)
Friday, Aug. 14
Pontiac Lake Recreation Area (Oakland County), 9 p.m. This event is open only to campers.
Ionia State Recreation Area (Ionia County), 9 p.m. (meet at beach day-use area). This program will include a movie night, showing “Guardians of the Galaxy”.
Fort Custer Recreation Area (Kalamazoo County), 9 p.m. (meet at Whitford Lake event staging area)
Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland County), 10 p.m. (meet at beach day-use area)
Rifle River Recreation Area (Ogemaw County), 10 p.m.
Seven Lakes State Park (Oakland County), 10 p.m. (meet at the beach)
Saturday, Aug. 15
Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston County), 8 p.m. (meet at Spring Mill Pond)
Warren Dunes State Park (Berrien County), 9 p.m. (meet at beach day-use area)
Hartwick Pines State Park (Crawford County), 9 p.m. (meet at campground amphitheater)
For more information about Meteors & S'mores events at Michigan state parks and recreation areas, check the event listings at www.michigan.gov/gogetoutdoors or contact Elissa Buck (western Michigan) at 989-313-0000 or Stephanie Wirtz (eastern Michigan) at 989-686-2790. For specific information about a state park, contact the park directly.
To check state park camping availability and make a reservation, visit www.midnrreservations.comor call 1-800-44PARKS (1-800-447-2757). 
There is no charge to attend Meteors & S'mores, but a Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry to any Michigan state park.
A Recreation Passport grants vehicle access to any Michigan state park, boat launch, state forest campground or nonmotorized state trailhead parking. Residents can purchase the Passport for just $11 ($5 for motorcycles) at the time of Michigan license plate renewal through Secretary of State. Forgot to check “YES” during renewal? Residents and nonresidents can purchase a Recreation Passport window sticker during regular business hours at state parks. Learn more about how the Recreation Passport supports state parks, local outdoor recreation opportunities, and historic and cultural sites at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.