Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Enjoy Perseid meteor shower at Michigan state parks Aug. 9-16

LANSING -- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites residents to grab their blankets and head to participating Michigan state parks Aug. 9-16 to enjoy one of the biggest and most visible astronomical events of the year: the Perseid meteor shower.

Some state parks in Michigan are staying open late and offering "Meteors and S’mores" events in honor of this natural light show. Many of these events feature astronomy presentations, as well as -- you guessed it -- s’mores. A few participating parks also will offer free movies to complement this natural light show.

Meteors and S’mores events are scheduled at the following state parks (counties). Parks with an asterisk next to the name will offer a free movie before the meteor shower:

Saturday, Aug. 9
  •  Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland), 9 p.m. (beach parking lot)
  •  Fort Wilkins Historic State Park (Keweenaw), 10 p.m. (parade grounds) This program features guest speaker Joel Kimball, professor at the South Dakota School of Mining and Technology
Sunday, Aug. 10
  •  *Ionia Recreation Area (Ionia), 8:30 p.m. Star Wars: A New Hope (beach day-use area)
  • Leelanau State Park (Leelanau), 8:30 p.m. (day-use picnic shelter)
  • Van Riper State Park (Marquette), 10 p.m. (campground shelter building)
Tuesday, Aug. 12
  • Brimley State Park (Chippewa), 7 p.m. (visitor beach playground)
  • Muskallonge Lake State Park (Luce), 9 p.m. (community fire pit in the day-use area)
  • Silver Lake State Park (Oceana), 9 p.m. (dune pedestrian lot)
  • Hoeft State Park (Presque Isle), 9 p.m. (hospitality site)
  • Wilderness State Park (Emmet), 9 p.m. (amphitheater)
  • Rifle River Recreation Area (Ogemaw), 10 p.m. (ranch ball field)
  • Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (Ontonagon), 9 p.m. (Union Bay campground)
  • North Higgins Lake State Park (Crawford), 9 p.m. (park beach pavilion)
Wednesday, Aug. 13
  • Young State Park (Charlevoix), 10 p.m. (park baseball field across from loop 4)
Thursday, Aug. 14
  •  Van Buren State Park (Van Buren), 9 p.m. (southern side of the beach parking lot)
Friday, Aug. 15
  • Baraga State Park (Baraga), 10 p.m. (park picnic area)
  • *Pontiac Lake Recreation Area (Oakland), 8:30 p.m. Star Trek (2009) (west picnic area) 
Saturday, Aug. 16
  • Aloha State Park (Cheboygan), 8:30 p.m. (camp host site no. 47)
  • Burt Lake State Park (Cheboygan), 9 p.m. (fire pit on the west side of the interpretive building)
  • Brighton Recreation Area (Livingston), 9 p.m. (Chilson Pond behind the park headquarters). This program features guest speakers from University Lowbrow Astronomers.
  • Hartwick Pines State Park (Crawford), 8 p.m. (campground amphitheater)
For more information about Meteors and S’mores events at Michigan state parks, please check the state park event listings at www.michigan.gov/gogetoutdoors, or contact Elissa Dennert at 989-313-0000. For specific information about a state park, please contact the park directly.

There is no charge to attend Meteors and S’mores, but a Recreation Passport is required for any vehicle entering a Michigan state park. The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking "YES" for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. In addition, Recreation Passport holders can experience real savings at businesses and retailers that participate in the Passport Perks discount program.

The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($31 annual; $9 daily) at any state park or recreation area or (annual passes only) through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.

Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan's outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport. For information on Passport Perks shopping discounts or how businesses and retailers can enroll in the program, visit www.michigan.gov/passportperks.

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