Many people think you have to travel to Iceland or even just Northern Ontario to see the Aurora Borealis aka Northern Lights. But it's good to keep in mind that you can actually do stellar stargazing within a three-hour drive of Montreal.

Yes, the photos make it look like the prime site for an alien abduction slash the set of Stranger Things or Star Trek.

But if alien abductions are this beautiful and magical, we say bring 'em on! Note to the extra-terrestrial averse: there is no evidence of any alien abductions taking place at this locale. 

The Dark Sky Viewing Area in Ontario's Lennox and Addington County "is the most southerly point in Ontario that offers a night sky experience very similar to what was available more than 100 years ago," as stated on the website.

And you can potentially see the Aurora Borealis, Milky Way, Saturn and Jupiter depending when you go. 

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Shooting stars counted by a visitor one night

It is difficult to predict when the Northern Lights will be visible. However, there are web trackers that can help you increase your chances. 

"Jupiter and Saturn are bright and easy to see . . . and will be visible until the end of the year," said Rob Plumley, a community development officer for Lennox & Addington County.

He said prime viewing time for The Milky Way is July to September.

"It’s best to view the stars during times with little to no moon," he said, which occurs in the middle of each month.

According to a review on the website, a woman named Rupa S. counted almost 100 meteors one summer night.

As you wish upon the stars before bed or dream of a future sky-gazing adventure, it's nice to remember that outer space is so perceptible and so stunning in a not-so-distant place.

Dark Sky Viewing Area

Price: Free; No registration required

When: Dusk until dawn

Address: 7980 County Road 41, Lennox & Addington County, Ontario (37 kilometres north of Napanee)

Why You Need To Go: Parking spots, a concrete pad set up for cameras or telescopes, and some serious stargazing that could include the Aurora Borealis and Milky Way — within 3.5 hours of Montreal


Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.

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