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Montana’s Trail to the Stars opens for night-sky viewing

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MONTANA’S TRAIL TO THE STARS

FORT PECK — The newly developed Montana’s Trail to the Stars welcomes night-sky enthusiasts to view some of the darkest skies and brightest stars in the lower 48 starting this summer.

Montana’s Trail to the Stars features almost 50 sites ideal for stargazing, moon rises, lunar eclipses and other night-sky viewing activities, covering hundreds of miles across eastern Montana.

The trail is being launched by a collaboration of tourism regions including Montana’s Missouri River Country, Visit Southeast Montana and Central Montana Tourism, in partnership with the Montana Office of Tourism and Missoula-based marketing agency Windfall, Inc.

“Montana’s Trail to the Stars shows night-sky enthusiasts and astrotourists where to find some of the most brilliant stargazing on the planet,” said Carla Hunsley, executive director of Montana’s Missouri River Country tourism region. “If you’ve never been awe-struck by the Milky Way or think you need to travel to the North Pole to see the northern lights, we encourage you to think again, and plan your trip closer to home—in eastern Montana.”

The trail’s new website includes information about location-specific amenities and night-sky viewing events sure to draw visitors to the dark skies of eastern Montana.

It also lists the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale ratings for several locations, and how to enjoy sites like Medicine Rocks State Park, which was designated an official International Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark-Sky Association in 2020. Sites designated as sanctuaries “are the most remote and (often the darkest) places in the world,” according to the IDA.

Light pollution continues to grow worldwide, and previous estimates show one-third of the world’s population can no longer see the Milky Way. The trail provides visitors with opportunities to stargaze without interference from light pollution, and encourages tourism spending at local businesses in more rural areas of Montana.

Visit www.trailtothestars.com for more information about Montana’s Trail to the Stars and plan the perfect stargazing adventure today.

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august, 2022

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