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It gets dark, very dark, at Obed Wild and Scenic River on the Kentucky-Tennessee line. So dark, in fact, that the park has received designation as an International Dark Sky Park.

National RV Parks Traveler reported that with this designation, Obed Wild and Scenic River is now the second National Park Service unit east of Colorado to earn this designation and the 17th national park in the United States to do so.

Starry night skies are an important part of the special places the National Park Service protects. The national parks hold some of the last remaining harbors of darkness and provide amazing opportunities to experience this critical resource. Obed Wild and Scenic River is one of these special places with a truly dark night sky. Among Obed’s interpretive themes is a primary goal to reconnect life and nature by discussing the value of quiet, solitude, and even darkness in the noisy, frenetic, and developed world of the 21st century.

“The accreditation of the Obed as an International Dark Sky Park highlights the importance of dark nights to the health of riparian ecosystems,” said International Dark Sky Association Executive Director J. Scott Feierabend. “Further, it aims toward the protection of a broader swath of dark night skies over the Cumberland Plateau that we hope will be realized in the future.”

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