Cherry Springs; a celestial state park
This past summer I road tripped through Pennsylvania, along historic Hwy 6. I spent about five or six days zig zagging north to south, hitting historic sites and state parks along the way. I had been listening to the radio when I heard about an extraordinary meteor shower that would be happening that evening. As I made my way atop a 2300-foot mountain (this is high for the east coast) I came across a sign for Cherry Springs State Park. I thought I would stop for a spell and soon discovered that it is one of the darkest places on the East Coast—perfect for stargazing and observing the Perseids meteor shower. Talk about being at the right place at the right time!
As I strolled around the park looking for a place to camp, I learned that across the street was a field for astronomers and celestial photographers. This field has wi-fi and electrical hookups for those needing power and communications for their telescopes and other astronomical equipment. After paying the camp fee I found the perfect spot to set up. To my surprise, there were few people there, however that would not last. As darkness descended, so too did the locals. The astronomy reports said to expect up to 60 shooting starts an hour, but I’m not sure I saw anywhere near that many. I did capture a few as you will see in the video.
Cherry Springs park is a wonderful place for stargazing and astronomy lovers. If you’ve ever been, please leave a comment below and share your experience.
Cherry Springs State Park Information:
Address: 4639 Cherry Springs Road, Coudersport, PA 16915.
Cost: The park’s public programs are free. Private stargazing with Nawrocki costs $20 for adults, $10 for kids 10 and over; call 814-848-5037 to arrange.
Bring: A jacket or blanket (nights get cool here) and a flashlight with a red lens (or a regular lens covered with red cellophane and a rubber band).
Don’t bring: Pets. They are not allowed.
Size: 82-acres, but the park is surrounded by 262,000-acres of Susquehannock State Forest land.
- Cherry Springs has 30 primitive camp sites (no electricity). If you have equipment, you can camp on the astronomy field, where there is electricity and a nicer bathroom.
- Lyman Run State Park, 9 miles from Cherry Springs, has showers and some electrical hookups and a lake.
- Millstream Inn welcomes guests with free breakfast, complimentary WIFI, plus free popcorn and cookies in the lobby at night.