The stars seem to shine extra bright in Potter County – especially at Cherry Springs State Park! Due to its exceptionally dark skies, Cherry Springs State Park is one of the best places in the eastern seaboard for stargazing and the science of astronomy, which is the study and observation of planets, nebulae, galaxies, stars and other heavenly bodies.
A dark night sky is a natural resource, just like plants, waterways and wildlife. Recognizing that this unique resource needed to be managed and protected, in 2000, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources declared Cherry Spring State Park the first Dark Sky Park.
The Dark Sky Experience:
A combination of attributes makes Cherry Springs ideal for stargazing and astronomy.
The field is at the top of a 2,300 foot high mountain. The surrounding state forest is relatively undeveloped and nearby communities are in valleys, shielding any light that might affect the park.
The Astronomy Field offers and excellent 360 degree view of the night sky.
The airspace over the park has little commercial air traffic, making the park ideal for astrophotography.
The location of the park 41.6501 degrees north, 77.8164 degrees west, offers a great view of the nucleus of the Milky Way Galaxy.
All lighting in the park is shielded and all white light has been converted to red.
There are no overhead electrical lines, just electrical pedicels for the changing of telescope batteries and small appliance or laptop use.
Visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/cherrysprings/ for more information.
30 total campsites
There are 30 campsites and a sanitary dump station. All sites include a picnic table, lantern hanger and fire ring. Reservations are not accepted. The campground is open from the second Friday in April and closes in November. Pets are prohibited in the campground.
Cherry Springs State Park offers a location for both short-term and long-term stargazing, as well as a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs from April to October. Program schedules are published in the local paper and on the Cherry Springs State Park website.