A Closer Look at North Fork Park
When were you last outside and the absence of light prevented you from seeing your shoes much less the path before you?
Welcome to North Fork Park, one of Utah’s 12 (and counting) designated International Dark-sky Association dark sky parks, just minutes from downtown Ogden. While it is best known for its stunning scenery where hikers and Nordic skiers can meander the trails swirling through the mountainous Ogden Valley, its biggest attraction lies in the voluminous sky directly above.
Although everyone can claim access to the sky, as our urban and even rural communities become more illuminated, our view of the upper atmosphere, ironically, is being diminished. It is hard to imagine that, in 1609, Galileo fashioned a telescope that could magnify an object 20x allowing him to see craters on the moon, meteor showers, supernovas and the phases of Venus from his garden in Renaissance Florence. Contrast this with the phones we carry in our pockets today. While they contain apps that can digitally point to every constellation ever identified, even Cassiopeia, named for the mythological vainglorious queen, is visually obscured by the lights of most modern skylines. Dark sky parks, such as North Fork, are turning down the lights at night (by simply aiming them downward in many cases) and becoming some of the few remaining portals for viewing the universe.