Where meteor showers and the northern lights dance across the sky. ✨🌠
Whether you're an amateur stargazer or a seasoned astronomer, dark sky preserves at national parks in Canada are such perfect places to see stars, planets, meteor showers, galaxies and even the northern lights.
Dark sky preserves are designated by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as spots where light pollution is reduced or eliminated which allows people to better enjoy the celestial landscape.
If you want to take in all the night sky has to offer, here are seven dark sky preserves at Canada's national parks that you should add to your bucket list!
Elk Island National Park
Location: Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
Why You Need To Go: As part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve, Elk Island National Park is a perfect spot to view the night sky in all its glory. You can see meteor showers, stars, planets and even the northern lights at any time because the park is open all day, every day.
Fundy National Park
Location: Alma, New Brunswick
Why You Need To Go: Fundy National Park is one of the best places to explore the night sky in Canada because of its dark sky preserve designation. It's like an astronomy park where millions of stars are visible to the naked eye. The protection of the dark sky at the park benefits stargazers and wildlife that rely on darkness.
Grasslands National Park
Location: Val Marie, Saskatchewan
Why You Need To Go: At Grasslands National Park, you can see constellations and even the Milky Way, Earth's galaxy. It is one of the darkest and largest dark sky preserves in all of Canada. For seasoned astronomers, it's also one of the best places to see deep-sky objects.
Kejimkujik National Park
Location: Caledonia, Nova Scotia
Why You Need To Go: Kejimkujik National Park is home to Nova Scotia's darkest sky and brightest stars thanks to its dark sky preserve designation. There are even occasional night-time canoe trips that offer up a different way to see the stars from on the water.
Terra Nova National Park
Location: Traytown, Newfoundland & Labrador
Why You Need To Go: Terra Nova National Park is the first place in Newfoundland to be named a dark sky preserve and is the 20th in Canada. Some of the best places to see the stars at Terra Nova are Sandy Pond (which has the darkest skies in the park), Ochre Hill (which offers a panoramic view) and Blue Hill (which is the highest point in the park).
Point Pelee National Park
Location: Leamington, Ontario
Why You Need To Go: Point Pelee National Park has been a dark sky preserve since 2006. The darkest nights happen during the new moon and one night a month, the park stays open until midnight for stargazing and exploring the park after dark.
Wood Buffalo National Park
Location: Fort Smith, Northwest Territories
Why You Need To Go: Wood Buffalo National Park is the world's largest dark sky preserve and the park extends through both Alberta and Northwest Territories. The designation also helps preserve the habitats of owls, bats and other nocturnal animals. At the park, you can see constellations, the Milky Way and the northern lights throughout the year.