Travel & Leisure magazine has just published its list of the world’s top 12 stargazing locales, including Trout Point Lodge in the Acadian Skies & Mi’kmaq Lands Starlight Tourist Destination, as number 6. Author of the article and online slide show entitled “Ready to Feel Small? 12 Otherworldly Locales Perfect for Stargazing,” Lindsey Olander, works as an editor at the magazine, including coordinating entries for its annual Global Vision awards. Now owned by Time, Inc., Travel & Leisure has 6.6 million readers.
The article identifies Trout Point as the world’s first certified Starlight Hotel, an honour it received from the UNESCO-backed Starlight Foundation in 2014. The Lodge was among just 2 accommodations mentioned in the article as superb astro-tourism destinations, the other being Ayers Rock Resort in Australia.
Trout Point Lodge has offered guided astronomy outings for the past few years, and in 2014 built a special stargazing platform also noted by Travel & Leisure. The Lodge’s owners Charles Leary and Vaughan Perret spearheaded the effort to have the surrounding area contiguous with the Yarmouth & Acadian Shores Tourism Region, declared a certified Starlight Tourist Destination. Leary & Perret are officers of La Societe Touristique Bon Temps d’Argyle, which officially sponsored the certification effort. Acadia First Nation helped sponsor the project. Olander noted: “The area was once the home of the indigenous Mi’kmaq nation, whose stories about constellations explained the changing of the seasons and other universal phenomena.”
Trout Point lies immediately adjacent to the vast Tobeatic Wilderness Area, which is now a Starlight Reserve. There are no sources of light pollution anywhere within the 104,000 hectare reserve, making for splendid dark skies at night.
Other places on the top 12 list include the Atacama Desert in Chile, Galloway Forest Park in Scotland, and Jasper National Park, also in Canada.