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Beginning at 12:00 Noon on Thursday June 10th, 2021 until 12:00, Noon, Sunday, June 13th, 2021, the Overnight Astronomy Observation Field will be closed for registrants of the annual Cherry Springs Star Party, sponsored by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg (ASH).  All visitors to the Overnight Astronomy Observation Field must register prior to the event through the ASH at https://www.astrohbg.org/.  The Cherry Springs campground is still open to all visitors and can be reserved at https://pennsylvaniastateparks.reserveamerica.com or by calling 1-888-PAPARKS. 

**All visitors must vacate the Overnight Astronomy Observation Field no later than 3:00 PM on Sunday, August 1st 2021, in preparation of the Cherry Springs 2021 69th Annual Woodsmen Show.  Astronomers may not occupy the Overnight Astronomy Observation Field until after 5:00 PM Tuesday, August 10th 2021.**


Cherry Springs State Park has reduced its services for winter operations.  Visitors should be aware that the Cherry Springs Campground has closed for the season and will reopen to the public on April 9th 2021.  The comfort station, available on the Overnight Astronomy Observation field is closed for the season.  Currently there is no potable water available in the park.  Two vault latrine restrooms are available at Cherry Springs State Park, one restroom is available in the Visitor Parking Area and one at the backside of Overnight Astronomy Observation Field.  All dumpsters are no longer available in the overnight areas, please follow "Carry In / Carry Out" guidelines; that is please carry out all trash you accumulate in the park.

Winter Astronomy at Cherry Springs State Park:

Winter observation of the night sky can be a rewarding experience; however poor planning and knowledge can make it challenging and hazardous. Minimal winter maintenance allows for limited access to parking and observation areas. A small restroom on the back edge of the Overnight Astronomy Observation Field serves for both astronomers and snowmobilers.  A small restroom is also located in the Visitor Parking Lot.  Short Term star gazing can be conducted in the Night Sky Public Viewing Area on the north side of Route 44.  Long Term star gazing can be performed on the south side of Route 44 in the Overnight Astronomy Observation Field.  It is strongly recommended to let someone know where you are going, when you should return, and to maintain a cold weather survival kit. Astronomy Field regulations still apply; please review them prior to arrival. Please arrive well before dark for park familiarity.

COVID-19 Mitigation UPDATE 3/1/2021:  Effective Sunday December 6, 2020

  • All in-person programs are canceled until at least March 31st.

  • This cancelation includes all State Park and Forestry hosted events and festivals.

  • Virtual and self-guided programs will be offered.  Check the calendar of events https://events.dcnr.pa.gov/ for scheduled programs.

Effective 12:01 AM Friday November 20, 2020, by order of the Governor and to help decrease the spread of COVID-19, the following changes are in effect until at least March 31, 2021:

  • Visitor centers exhibit halls and interpretive areas will be closed

If you have questions, please call the park office before your visit.

Pets are prohibited in the Overnight Astronomy Observation Field, the Campground, and the Night Sky Public Viewing Area.  If you plan to visit Cherry Springs State Park, please make arrangements for your pet.

SPOT THE PROBLEM. The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that poses a serious threat to Pennsylvania’s resources, businesses, and economy. To date, our park does NOT have these pests. Help us stay lanternfly free and stop the spread. Visit the Penn State Extension’s Spotted Lanternfly website to learn how to identify it, report it, and inspect your vehicle or gear when traveling to and from the quarantine zone.

Cherry Springs State Park

Cherry Springs State Park is nearly as remote and wild today as it was two centuries ago.

Named for the large stands of black cherry trees originally found in the area, the 82-acre state park is surrounded by the 262,000-acre Susquehannock State Forest. The Susquehannock Trail passes nearby and offers 85 miles of backpacking and hiking.

Night sky enthusiasts flock to the park for its dark skies which are famous for great views of the Milky Way, planets, and hard-to-see astronomical objects and phenomena.

Seasons and Hours

The park is open every day of the year.

The Cherry Springs Rustic Campground is open the second Friday of April through the last weekend in October.

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.

Contact the Lyman Run State Park office for facility seasons and hours.

Reservations

Campsites in the campground are reservable. Make online reservations or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS, from 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday to Saturday.

A Pennsylvania map that shows the location of Cherry Springs State Park 

Directions

Cherry Springs State Park is in on PA 44 in Potter County.

GPS DD:  Lat. 41.66384  Long. -77.82321

A circular map that shows the roads surrounding Cherry Springs State Park 

Dark Skies at Cherry Springs

Due to its exceptionally dark skies, Cherry Springs State Park is one of the best places on the eastern seaboard for stargazing and the science of astronomy, which is the study and observation of:

  • Planets
  • Nebulae
  • Galaxies
  • Stars
  • Other heavenly bodies

A dark night sky is a natural resource, just like plants, waterways, and wildlife. Recognizing this unique resource needed to be managed and protected, during 2000, DCNR declared Cherry Springs State Park its first Dark Sky Park.

Learn, Experience, Connect

Cherry Springs State Park offers a wide variety of environmental education programs year round. Visitors gain appreciation and awareness toward the natural and historical resources through guided walks and hands-on activities.

Weather permitting, a park educator or guest speaker presents public stargazing programs in the Night Sky Public Viewing Area and amphitheater.

These free programs are available throughout the summer. Program schedules are published in the local paper and at DCNR's calendar of events.

Woodsmen Show

During 1952, the first Woodsmen Show at Cherry Springs State Park attracted a crowd of 4,000 people.

Today, the annual Woodsmen Show attracts thousands of spectators for the early August event. The show features lumberjack contests in:

  • Tree-felling
  • Log rolling
  • Spring board chopping
  • Standing block chop
  • Chain-saw events

Rules and Regulations

For a safe and enjoyable park visit, all state park rules and regulations apply, including:

  • Campfires -- Open fires are prohibited. Grills are located in the picnic area at the pavilion. Traditional campsites with fire rings are located in the park campground across the road.
  • Pets -- Pets are prohibited in the Night Sky Public Viewing Area, Overnight Astronomy Observation Field, and Rustic Campground.
  • Alcohol -- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in Pennsylvania state parks. 
  • Green Lasers -- Green laser pointers are prohibited in the park at all times and for all reasons.
  • Food, Wildlife, and Trash -- Food scraps invite scavengers, such as black bears, raccoons, opossums, and skunks. Store food in a vehicle to prevent damage to your equipment. Please wash dishes in a dish pan, then dispose of the water. No dishwashing is permitted in the restrooms or at the hydrants. Please place trash, accumulated during your stay, in the appropriate receptacles.

Cell Phones 

Cherry Springs is very remote and most cell phones do not have network coverage. Currently, available providers are Verizon and T-mobile.

Dark Sky Fund/Association

The Cherry Springs Dark Sky Fund/Association is a “Friends” group under the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation.

Their mission is the protection of the dark night sky at Cherry Springs State Park and enhancing the astronomy experience through facility improvement and educational outreach programs.

Dark Sky Fund donations will be used to enhance the stargazing and astronomy experience at Cherry Springs State Park. Physical improvements to the park will help to eliminate any outside light pollution and remove overhead obstructions.

Donations will also be used to educate local residents and visitors about the value of the night sky resource and why it needs to be preserved.

Fund donations have been used to:

  • Plant light screening trees and shrubs
  • Convert all park lighting to shielded, red-light fixtures
  • Bury overhead electrical lines
  • Install electrical pedestals on the astronomy field

The fund also has provided educational materials about astronomy and environmentally friendly lighting in the park and surrounding communities.

Decisions about how the fund monies are spent are a collaborative effort of the park management and the Dark Sky Fund Advisory Council. The council is made up of astronomers from all over the country who regularly observe at Cherry Springs.

How to Donate

Donation forms and envelopes for the Cherry Springs Dark Sky Fund are available at the astronomy information bulletin board, located adjacent to the restroom on the Overnight Astronomy Observation Field and donations may be inserted into the Dark Sky Fund’s donation tube -- a square, blue fee tube located next to the astronomy information bulletin board.

Please do not combine park fees and donation fees. Use the separate forms and envelopes. Thanks for your support!

Access for People with Disabilities

This activity or structure is ADA accessible. If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.

In an Emergency

Call 911 and contact a park employee. Potter County is a part of the 911 Emergency Service System. A free, local-use phone is located at the camper check-in station.

Directions to the nearest hospital are posted on bulletin boards.

Nearest Hospital

UPMC Cole
1001 East Second Street
Coudersport, PA 16915
814-274-9300

​Explore Cherry Springs State Park

Cherry Springs State Park