Dark Sky Viewing

A Dark Sky Park is a very select designation given by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), an organization dedicated to protecting and preserving our heritage of dark skies. At the time of our designation in 2017, Newport was the first park in Wisconsin and only the 49th in the world to receive this honor. An IDA International Dark Sky Park is a place possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage, and/or public enjoyment.

A (timeless) video produced by the Door County Pulse in 2017, when Newport SP received its Dark Sky Park designation

Tips for Your Dark Sky Visit

  • For best viewing, plan your visit to coincide around a new moon phase (no interference from moonlight). There are apps for that!
  • We cannot control the weather! Clearly (no pun intended), you will want minimal cloud cover for an optimal experience.
  • Visit the park before dark to allow time to get acquainted with surroundings and set up equipment. There is no lighting in viewing areas.
  • There is no seating; bring your own chair or blanket.
  • Keep headlights on low beam when arriving and exiting parking areas.
  • Do not bring any white light into the viewing area. Use red-filtered flashlights or headlamps. (Red light does not disturb night vision or night photography.) All types of screens and lights, including mobile phones, should be shielded, red and dim. (There are red screen options on your phone just for this purpose.) Use red lens covers, cellophane (or a red balloon) to cover flashlights. Keep any light pointed downward.
  • No flash photography please.
  • Be respectful of others so all may enjoy the nature of a dark sky wilderness experience.
  • View or download our Dark Sky brochure.
Newport park naturalist Beth Bartoli narrates this dark sky video produced by Destination Door County in 2021

Where to View the Dark Sky at Newport

Click for viewable/printable PDF of entire brochure