“Certified as an International Dark Sky Parks (IDSP)”
Cherry Springs State Park is nearly as remote and wild today as it was two centuries ago. Due to its exceptionally dark skies, it is one of the best place on the eastern seaboard for stargazing and the science of astronomy, Named for the large stands of black cherry trees in the park, the 82-acre state park is surrounded by the 262,000-acre Susquehannock State Forest. The Susquehanna Trail passes nearby and offers 85 miles of backpacking and hiking. The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. The campground is open a specific season. The Astronomy Field is open to registered users all night. The Night Sky Public Viewing Area is intended for short term (a few hours or less) star gazing and is not permitted for overnight stays. The Overnight Astronomy Observation Field is open to registered users all night. The viewing field is located at the top of a 2,300-foot high mountain and the surrounding state forest is relatively undeveloped. With all nearby communities sitting in valleys, any light that might affect the park is uniquely shielded making it a great place for 360 degree views of the night sky. In 2008, Cherry Springs State Park attained a Gold Level International Dark Sky Park certification from the International Dark Sky Association in 2008. Cherry Springs was, in fact, the second International Dark Sky Park in the world. The International Dark-Skies Association and its partners certify locations with exceptional nightscapes as International Dark Sky Parks (IDSP). These locations serve as reminders that with quality outdoor lighting, the extraordinary wonders of the nighttime sky and night environment are just as much a part of our lifestyle and history as are the daylight hours. In fact, without the inspiration and wonders of the nighttime environment much of the world's history, art, culture, music, and literature might not have been created
Planning my next trip this weekend! Been here about 4-5 times. Word of advice- this place is in the middle of nowhere so if you're planning a trip make sure you check out their dark sky chart online to see if viewing conditions are good for stargazing. Driving all the way out here to see cloudy skies isn't worth it! But driving all the way out when during the new moon phase, with little to no cloud cover and good transparency makes an ideal combo for the novice astronomer. Bring your telescope or simply gaze out in the field with your own eyes to see the milky way. Absolutely breathtaking!
Pretty nice campground: great if it's a clear night, but it is very isolated and there aren't any longer trails nearby. There is a camp store down the road that has everything you could ever need. Remember to bring red cellophane to cover your flashlights and the bathrooms near the nonelectric campsites does not have running water!
Campground - base price $17 for non residents and amenities like showers, electric, $4-7 add on
Well worth the drive. The presentation was really good.
Outstanding stargazing. I might have had the best weather on my trip after the 4th of July, not a cloud in the sky for 4 straight days. The sites are clean, some are not on level ground and their are only about 1/2 of the sites that have no shade.
Keep in mind that these are "roughing it" campsites. There is no electricity, showers or running water in the bathrooms. Even though you are using a pit to go to the bathroom in it is actually rather clean. Bring something for personal washing, I recommend a product called "The Shower Pouch". Little piece of info as well, Verizon had a perfect LTE connection, AT&T had literally no service.
I did not participate in the tours so I can't review that portion of the park. But, overall this place is a five star ;) resort for stargazing!
This was great! We went in early April; very cold! But almost no one else there so we weren't disturbed by lights. Set my up telescope and saw the coolest sky of my life.
Have been coming to Cherry Springs for many years making the 5 hr. trip from Cleveland, OH. Wonderful place for stargazing. Observers/campers tend to be serious you will wear out you welcome quickly with white flashlights and/or lasers. The park is managed by the State of PA parks who do an absolutely wonderful job year in and year out. Facilities are nice clean and well maintained. There are two major sponsored star parties each year: The Cherry Springs (Spring) and Black Forest (Fall) that usually sell out all 500 spots. Each of these event are wonderful but camping can be very crowed. Google each to find more information. Each new moon from May thru Nov you can expect 100+ in the observing field. Google Cherry Springs State Park for information on prices and restrictions. Clear skies......
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Cherry Springs State Park
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