Share This PageEmail This Page
Economic Development
 Where is L & A ?
CyclingDiningExploringGeo Caching Motor CyclingShoppingCounty Trails
Dark Sky Viewing Area | Print |


facebook_s tripadvisor

Southern Ontario, the most populous part of Canada, is rapidly losing its dark skies. The glare of city lights makes it increasingly difficult to witness the unimpeded beauty of the night sky.

Luckily for stargazers, astrophotographers and astronomers, there is Lennox & Addington County.

Located just a few kilometres north of Erinsville near the Sheffield Conservation Area, the L&A County Dark Sky Viewing Area is the most southerly point in Ontario where the night sky is so pristine, offering a night sky experience very similar to what was available more than 100 years ago.

The site includes a large concrete pad for camera or telescope setup, or placement of lawn chairs for general stargazing. While the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area is ideal for amateur astronomers and astrophotographers, it is designed for anyone wishing to observe the natural wonder of the stars.

The viewing area is open from dusk until dawn, and you need not make reservations - just come and enjoy. Enthusiasts from near and far are encouraged to bring along binoculars or a telescope and witness - perhaps for the first time - how the night sky is meant to be seen.

~ ~ ~

Tips for stargazers visiting the site...

1. For ideal conditions during your visit at the L&A County Dark Sky Viewing Area, choose an evening following a day with deep blue skies which indicates low humidity and clear air.

2. As pretty as the moon is, for dark sky viewing with lots of stars and views of the Milky Way, choose a moonless or close to moonless night.

3. Bring binoculars or a telescope if you have one. A reclining lawn chair is an ideal accessory, along with warm clothing and a blanket.

4. It really is dark, so bring a SMALL, DIM flashlight to see where you are walking. When you're on the viewing area platform, please refrain from shining any white light (red light is acceptable). Even the smallest amount of light can distrupt night sky photographs and disturb people's ability to focus on the stars.



7980 County Road 41, Erinsville
N 44° 33’32.92  W 77° 06’59.61

Find out about our current dark sky
viewing conditions by visiting:
Moonrise, Moonset & Phase Calendar
Aurora Forecast
Spot the Station - ISS Tracker
This Week's Sky on SkyNews


For more information:

Tel: 613-354-4883 ext. 3271
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Portable washroom facilities have been removed from the Dark Sky Viewing Area until May 1, 2017.

The parking lot will be cleared of snow this winter.





(if map doesn't display, please click here)

Directions to the Lennox & Addington County Dark Sky Viewing Area

From Highway 401:

  • Take Exit 579 (Napanee, Kaladar)
  • Head NORTH along County Road 41 for 37 kilometres.
  • You will pass through the communities of Selby, Roblin and Erinsville.
  • The L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area will be on your LEFT, just before the entrance to the Sheffield Conservation Area.

From Highway 7:

  • Upon reaching Kaladar, head SOUTH at the intersection of County Road 41 and Highway 7.
  • Follow County Road 41 for 11 kilometres.
  • The L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area will be on your RIGHT, just past the entrance to the Sheffield Conservation Area.

Light Pollution Map


Above is a light-pollution intensity map based on satellite data. White and red areas have intense light pollution while black regions contain minimal pollution. The map shows that the L&A County Dark Sky Viewing Area is located within the minimal pollution area, making it the most southerly location to view truly dark skies in Ontario.

Map courtesy P. Cinzano, F. Falchi (University of Padova)

'Shoot the Stars' Photos

In 2015, Lennox & Addington County hosted the Shoot the Stars Night Sky Photography contest. Below are the top 8 photos received.









Terence Dickinson

Terence Dickinson is one of Canada's leading astronomers and science writers and lives in Lennox & Addington County. Editor of the popular SkyNews magazine, Mr. Dickinson has also written fourteen books - including the very popular Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe. The publications are widely regarded as some of the best resources available for beginners in astronomy.


Mr. Dickinson was a strong advocate and provided invaluable knowledge to the creation of the Lennox & Addington County Dark Sky Viewing Area. Below is a selection of amazing photographs taken by Mr. Dickinson from the site.


sitephoto2_t sitephoto1_t sitephoto3_t

"Our Galaxy's Core"
by Terence Dickinson

"The Night Sky"
by Terence Dickinson

"Starry Starry Night"
 by Terence Dickinson

darkskylevy_m darkskybramble_m
"Dr. David Levy at L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area"
by Terence Dickinson
"Centre of the Milky Way Galaxy"
by Terence Dickinson
"Couple Observing the Universe"
by Terence Dickinson

More L&A Photos

The first "Shoot the Stars in L&A County" photo contest was held in 2010. More than 50 high quality entries were received, and all were taken within the borders of Lennox & Addington, confirming that L&A is a premier location for shooting the night skies. Below are the top 6 photos that were received. Click on each image to enlarge.


"The Way" by Dave Deacon

"Polaris over Yarker" by Jay Dearborn

"Starhouse" by Troy Johnson


"Night Falls" by Dave Harachka

"Funnel of Stars" by Jefta Monster

"Orion" by Malcolm Park

Dark Sky Highlights


In March 2015 Fish Finders TV visited the L&A Dark Sky Viewing area while filming an episode in the region. They got lucky during filming, as the Aurora Borealis made an appearance during their visit. Check out their amazing video here:



Compiled by SkyNews Magazine, learn about upcoming celestial events by visiting Also be sure to check out the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area on Facebook for news and details specific to the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area


Terence Dickinson received the Lennox & Addington Award for Lifetime Achievement in a location he helped to create.  At a special ceremony held at the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area, Mr. Dickinson accepted the award amongst colleagues, family and friends... read more >>>



Dr. David Levy, one of the most successful comet discoverers in history, recently visited the Lennox & Addington County Dark Sky Viewing Area. "It was one of the darkest skies I've ever seen from southern Ontario," he said of his June visit... read more >>



Read about stargazer experiences and post your own story on our Facebook page or on TripAdvisor!


This is a great spot to do stargazing, astrophotography or deep sky observations with your telescope! Located just under an hour away from the 401 north of Greater Napanee, this location is easy to find. The area is the most southern you can get in Ontario where the sky will be clear of light pollution. For sure recommend this place, especially if you have never seen the milky way!

Dylan P., Windsor, Ontario



My first time at Dark Sky Viewing Area was last year (2013) in April. It was cold and the moon was kind of out, and it was kinda lonely, BUT I had the time of my life! I was hooked and drove 3 hours from Brampton weekend in and weekend out during the summer. As the viewing population grew I had a greater time talking to knowledgeable people or educating those who didn't know. The area itself is nicely paved and has a line showing true north for those who need to know. It really is a jewel of darkness surrounded by light pollution. I can't wait to go back! Especially recommended when there is events there. You can learn alot from one of the best in the business. Mr Terence Dickinson.

Jason Bramble, Brampton



We love the Dark Sky Viewing Area!  We have had a chance to see couple of meteor showers. We try to make it the past 2 years during summer! I love to lie down with my family and watch the stars and the magic they create! The meteors. Oh... our best was one where we counted almost 100 meteors !! Awesome experience!

Rupa Singhania



After reading your article about the new Lennox & Addington County Dark Sky Viewing Area, I decided to check it out. I am from Ottawa, and as stated in the article, it is becoming more and more difficult to find accessible dark areas that are open to the public late at night for stargazing. I must say that I was impressed with how easy it was to find the Lennox & Addington site and how dark the skies are there. I took several photographs that night and plan to return.

Adam Moncrieff, Ottawa
From November/December 2012 issue of SkyNews Magazine



Here are my impressions of my first visit to the Lennox & Addington County Dark Sky Viewing Area described in the September/October SkyNews. After checking The Weather Network’s forecast for the nearby village of Tamworth and the Clear Sky Chart for the L&A County dark site (, I decided to book a room at a motel near Napanee and make the drive from Hamilton, with the intention of enjoying two nights of observing at the site.

I was not disappointed. This is a wonderful location with a nearly unobstructed view in all directions. As an example, I was able to see the rich Scorpius star cluster M7 when it was only about seven degrees above the horizon.

Expecting, but not necessarily wanting, to be on my own at the site that night, I was pleasantly surprised when a father and son from Stoney Creek, Ontario—a three-hour drive away—pulled in. They had been there the previous night and were busily setting up for an astrophoto session on their final night.

On my second night, three enthusiasts pulled in with nothing more than lawn chairs and a pair of 25mm binoculars. They simply wanted to enjoy the naked-eye view. Although I had observing plans for the night, I got just as much pleasure out of letting them look through my 10-inch Newtonian scope and showing them how to find certain objects in the sky. The view of the Andromeda Galaxy and its companion galaxies, M32 and M110—all contained within a two-degree eyepiece field—resulted in several “wows!” Using the binoculars, one member of the trio was overjoyed at being able to find, on her own, the double cluster in Perseus, the Andromeda Galaxy and M33. Meanwhile, a couple from Belleville showed up with their NexStar 6. They were soon in GoTo heaven. This was beginning to turn into a small star party. A great time under a very dark sky was enjoyed by all.

The smooth, concrete observing platform has room for 7 to 10 telescopes, and an equal amount of fairly flat ground surrounding the observing platform is just as useful for setting up. I highly recommend this observing site to anyone who wants to escape light pollution and observe under the night sky as it was meant to be seen. It’s a three-hour drive for me, but I plan to make that drive on a regular basis in the future.

Eric Shepherd, Hamilton
From November/December 2012 issue of SkyNews Magazine



I was only able to get one night out of this year's Orionids near their peak, but it was a good, productive session. I went to the new L&A County Public Dark Site near Kaladar.  Located next to Highway 41, it offers very easy public access for dark mag 6.5+ skies, and I was curious to see this spot even though it's a fairly long 2 hour drive.  When I arrived early to set up, the sky was solidly overcast.  The predicted clearing eventually came much later, after 11pm.  By then, I could go ahead and set up my cameras and equipment just as the Moon was setting.  I was surprised to see four other observers join me (from Ottawa, Belleville and even as far away as Montreal).  One of them showed up after 2am to enjoy the winter constellations.  It was a nice night, with average (3/5) transparency, and a gegenshein barely visible happening to be in the darkest part of the sky.  The temperature was comfortable except for a humidity rise (with dewing/frost) near the end.  I faced the south-east and kept my field of view centred at 50 degrees for the entire night.  It was a good night with activity seen from every active source.  With five hours of recording, I got a total of 144 meteors (82 Orionids, 12 North Taurids, 8 South Taurids, 7 Epsilon Geminids, 5 Leo Minorids and 30 sporadics).  My general impression was that of a very typical Orionid return.  A lot of faint stuff.  Only two negative magnitude Orionids were seen.  The best meteor appeared at 2am EDT.  It was a very impressive golden-yellow mag -3 Leo Minorid that shot 40 degrees into the south, leaving behind a 2 sec train.  It was bright enough to capture the attention of other observers who were busy with their scopes or cameras.

Pierre Martin, Ottawa

Eat, Shop, Stay & Play


Lennox & Addington County offers dining choices to suit any taste. With dozens of dining establishments offering delicious home-cooked meals to fine dining opportunities and everything in between, our restaurants will be sure to satisfy your cravings.

more >>>


When you visit Lennox & Addington County, enjoy a relaxing pace in the backdrop of inspiring heritage and rural charm. Our towns, villages and hamlets each have their own unique attributes and shopping opportunities. Plan a great shopping day in L&A County.

more >>>


Looking for a comfortable night's stay in a spacious hotel or a cozy bed & breakfast? Or maybe you would like to experience a rustic camping adventure. Whatever you're searching for, L&A County has a wide range of options that we're sure will work for you.

more >>>


When visiting Lennox & Addington County, be sure to take the time to visit some of our great local attractions. From scenic gardens to historic tours and everything in between, we're sure you'll find something fun to keep you entertained.

more >>>


N 44° 33’32.92

W 77° 06’59.61

© 2017 L & A Tourism
County of Lennox & Addington
97 Thomas Street East
Napanee, ON K7R 4B9
T: 613.354.4883
F: 613.354.3112