20130803b-42The North Frontenac Dark Sky Preserve sign as seen from Road 506 looking south onto the site.

20130803b-44The large parking lot with onsite toilets Awesome! Cleanest toilets around! Then again.. still being worked on 🙂

20130803b-43The observing pad from the parking lot
Large enough for 20+ vehicles no problem. We should get a measurement on some of this stuff.

20130803b-46The observing pad as seen from the NorthEast side of the site looking SouthWest.

The North Frontenac Dark Sky Preserve is an economic development project of the township of North Frontenac and had its grand opening on Saturday August 3rd, 2013.

The site itself is approx 20 minutes east of highway 41 on Road 506. All in all it is about 90 minutes away from our home and maybe an hour north of Napanee Ontario.

The site itself is just off Road 506 and has an ambulance helipad nearby in the south. Plans are to increase tree plantings along the road and against the municipally owned property line on the east to block light from the nearby home. It has 110vac power and will have a north indicator on the pad itself. There are also picnic tables and benches, a welcome addition!

The southern view is excellent, in the highlands looking downhill. We witnessed a large thunderstorm move through the Napanee/Kingston are over a few hours from our vantage point. Arcturus popped out of the dimming sky in the west just before 9pm and Saturn and Spica a short time later. Even before sunset however, the mosquito menace arrived with a vengeance.

20130803b-50One of the early arrivers was Guy Nason, a local cottager who was instrumental in getting this project along. Here seen with a local doing some solar observing.

20130803b-60Others arrived shortly with equipment worth more than our minivan. I believe this is Gary Caldwell (RASC Hamilton) who has a local cottage with a rolloff building that was the inspiration for the RASCKC Torus scope and Tardis rolloff building. You can see his website here http://home.cogeco.ca/~glcolwell/

20130803b-68Cake is always nice too!
More than enough to go around the 30-40 people that were in attendance.



Finally, for those who really really appreciate washrooms onsite, here is a closeup of the facilities from the outside.
On the inside it was too dark to see.. we will recommend solar powered inside LED lighting …
20130803b-80 Nice decoration!

In the end it had been a long day and we packed it in about 21:15 for the 90 minute drive home in the dark on strange roads we had never traveled before. It took a good 20-30 minutes going east to find Highway 7 and Sharbot Lake. Another hour to home. We do plan on stopping in again, at night, but perhaps combined with a camping trip at Bon Echo Provincial Park, 30 minutes away to the northwest.