15122 MONKEY RUN STREET
VANDALIA, MI 49095
Tucked away in southwest Michigan, Dr. TK Lawless Park is home to more than 800 acres of adventure, with camping sites, games like disc golf and horseshoes, and cross-country skiing and sledding in the winter. But if you want to make the most of your visit, you’ll have to come after dark…
⚪ ALL DAY
▷ PARKING ON-SITE
▷ SOME PAVED TRAILS
⚪ SMALL FEE
◯ REC PASSPORT
Dr. TK Lawless Park is one of only two officially-designated International Dark Sky Parks in Michigan — so whether you’re an astrophotography expert or someone who just wants to see the galaxy stretch overhead, there’s no better place for a night out.
Explore the park before sundown, and then pick an open spot with a good view of the sky and see what you can find. Try an app like Sky View or Star Chart to search for constellations, use binoculars to see Jupiter’s moons, or use a telescope to search for Saturn’s rings. If you go on a clear night in the summer, you could even see the Milky Way: the heart of our own galaxy stretching across the sky.
WHAT TO BRING – A blanket or chairs to sit on, binoculars or a telescope (optional).
TIP – For the best view of the stars, plan your trip around the moon! Full moons are so bright that they overpower the Milky Way and fainter stars.
Your adventure doesn’t have to start after dark! For a full day of exploring, get to the park early. In the winter, enjoy more than seven miles of cross-country ski trails, or some inner tube sledding. In the warmer months, consider biking or hiking, disc golf or volleyball, or just a quiet sit by the lake.