- This event has passed.
Prairie Stargazing Walk
October 7 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Enjoy an evening outdoors with a guided walk to discover the planets, stars, and galaxies of the fall evening sky on the hilltop trail at the Tunnelville Cliffs nature preserve in Vernon County. The easy short walk on a relatively flat trail will include observation of night life on the prairie and in the sky.
The Prairie Stargazing Walk is part of the Conservancy’s 2023 Linked to the Land series of outdoor learning experiences in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area.
This twilight walk will be led by John Heasley. John is the founder of Driftless Stargazing, a popular local online destination for fans of stargazing. He is also coordinator of the Kickapoo Valley Dark Sky Initiative which includes the Tunnelville Cliffs nature preserve.
Tunnelville Cliffs is a 1,118-acre nature preserve with public access on the Kickapoo River near La Farge. The site includes springs, creeks, over 9,000 feet of frontage on the river, forests, cliffs, prairie, sedge meadow, and open grasslands. The property is surrounded by additional protected lands, providing a vast wildlife refuge of 2,278 contiguous acres on the Kickapoo River. The nature preserve is part of a proposed Dark Sky Park of the International Dark Skies Association, and an update on that project and information about the value of dark skies will be shared with participants at this walk.
Those who wish to stay beyond 9:00 p.m. are welcome to do so, however camping is not allowed on the property. Also, as a reminder, dogs are not allowed in the nature preserve.
WHAT TO BRING AND WEAR
Bring curiosity and willingness to explore the quiet and dark of night, red flashlight (if you don’t have one, red film will be provided for use with your regular flashlight), binoculars (optional and some extras will be available), and insect repellent (optional). Long pants and closed-toed shoes are recommended. Masks and social distancing will be required. Feel free to bring a folding chair, recliner, or a blanket to prevent neck strain and enjoy the heavens above.
ADVANCE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED for this FREE event by October 4. Registration is available on a first-come-first-served basis. In the event of a cancellation due to weather, you will receive an email message and we’ll try for a rain date the following evening.