Stargazing in the Everglades

stargazingIn the United States, the National Parks are some of the last places left in the country that provide true, natural darkness at night. This darkness makes for ideal stargazing opportunities. The Everglades is an ideal place to view a starry sky, while also providing a perfect nocturnal habitat for hundreds of creatures. The wildlife relies on the Park’s natural lightscape for navigation, and knowing when to hide from predators.

The Park is dedicated to protecting the natural lightscape. Any lighting placed in the park is determined by the location, energy need, cost, maintenance efficiency, light pollution, and effects on wildlife. The Park Service has installed efficient lightings in new buildings and facilities, including solar-powered light fixtures in the parking lot at the Ernest Coe Visitor Center.  All the new fixtures outside direct light downward, which prevents glare and light pollination.

Every month during and around the new moon, the Everglades is a great spot to view the Milky Way. When viewing the glowing band of light with binoculars, you can better see some individual stars. During the winter season, park rangers lead numerous programs where people can star gaze; telescopes are often available to view the starry night. Visitors are asked to arrive early for their eyes to adjust to  the darkness; they are also asked to bring a flashlight and to dress appropriately for the weather. One such program is a ranger-led moon bicycle ride on the Shark Valley Tram Road. To book or view schedules, click here.

Explore the Everglades

The starry sky in the Everglades is surely a sight to see – breathtaking views of the stars that you cannot see quite like this anywhere else. If you’re planning on staying late in the Park, take an airboat ride during the day to get a whole different view and perspective of the Park. Join Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours for a fun airboat adventure. To book a trip, clic