Programs & Events


Welcome to the Headlands International Dark Sky Park! The grounds, trails, and viewing areas at the Headlands are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Visitors are welcome to stay out through the night for dark-sky viewing opportunities, but camping is not permitted. Units like tents and campers are not allowed in the park. The Headlands is not intended as an overnight sleeping destination but instead is designed as a place to stay awake and view the stars. You may bring blankets, sleeping bags, chairs, food, beverages, etc. When packing, keep in mind that temperatures are typically 10 degrees lower than expected due to our proximity to the lake shore.

To protect the darkness of the park, please use red-filtered flashlights during your visit to the Headlands. Learn more here.

Our programs take place rain or shine, and no reservations are required unless otherwise noted.

Please save some time during your visit to stop by our “Out of This World” Gift Shop!

The Observatory is limited to park staff and researchers. Visuals, when the Observatory is open, are projected onto the big screen monitors on the main level. On clear nights during the summer, the Headlands staff will bring telescopes out onto the viewing platform and professional star-gazers and astronomers are often onsite to enhance your viewing experience. Visitors are welcome to bring their own telescopes and/or binoculars. Park staff maintains the number of people in the park by limiting parking only to the 67 parking spaces near the event center. On clear and warm nights, please expect to wait at the entrance for the next available parking.

While the grounds, trails, viewing areas and restrooms at Headlands are always open and freely accessible, the Waterfront Event Center is only open to the public during scheduled programming and gift shop hours. The Waterfront Event Center at the Headlands is available for private rental.

To stay up-to-date on news and events at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park by following our Facebook page!

Dark Sky Park Program Coordinator
Call 231.427.1001

How to Limit Light Pollution with Robert Parrish @ Headlands International Dark Sky Park
Sep 23 @ 7:00 pm

Come out to the Headlands Friday, Sept. 23, for a presentation on light pollution by Robert Parrish, Michigan-based advocate and delegate for the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), the recognized authority on light pollution. Parrish has had a fascination with the stars and dark skies since he was a young boy and channels his lifelong interest into advocacy for reducing light pollution. He recently led the International Dark Sky Park application process for another dark sky park in Michigan and often gives presentations about dark skies to communities around the state. He also frequently authors dark sky articles for local papers and other relevant online outlets.