Stargazing At the Park
Information for long-term and short term stargazing
LONG TERM AND OVERNIGHT STARGAZING: (Check your lunar calendars!! If the moon is out..the stars are not!....we recommend you plan to visit during the dark-of -the-moon periods of the month)
NO PETS ARE PERMITTED ON THE ASTRONOMY OBSERVATION FIELD AT NIGHT OR WHEN ASTRONOMY EQUIPMENT IS PRESENT. Dogs are also not permitted overnight at the campground. Pet camping is available at Lyman Run State Park. We also DISCOURAGE dogs at the public programs. Please leave your animals at home.
The Astronomy Observation Field is for overnight stay ONLY. Only those with Astronomy Equipment (Telescopes) are to use this side of the park. All others should be using the NIGHT SKY PUBLIC VIEWING AREA.
YOU MUST PAY A FEE TO BE ON THE ASTRONOMY OBSERVATION FIELD! - $15.00 per night or purchase the annual Galaxy Pass at $65.00. These are 2014 prices.
Astronomers wishing to use the Astronomy Observation Field are required to register and pay a user fee. Please see the park bulletin board for fee schedule and to acquire a fee payment envelope. Payment should be deposited in the green metal fee tube located in front of the restrooms.
When the field is in use, the gate may be closed at dusk (do NOT lock) and the light block tarp can be dropped. Please undo the end straps first, then the center strap. Tarp may have water in it, so step back when lowering. The last person to leave the field is responsible for rolling the tarp back up and securing. No driving onto the Astronomy Field after dark. Park across the road and walk in.
No white light is permitted on the Astronomy Observation Field. All lights must have red filters or need to be fully shielded. If you arrive after dark then you must park in the public lot across the road and walk in. Green lasers are prohibited at all times. Only park staff and designated Dark Sky Volunteers are permitted to use green lasers in the Night Sky Viewing area (public programming area) of the park. Excessive or over bright red light is also not permitted...keep it low!
Open fires on the Observation Field are not permitted. For your convenience, charcoal grills are located in the picnic area at the pavilion. Propane stoves are suggested. No dishwashing is permitted in the restrooms or at the hydrants. Please wash dishes in a dish pan, then dispose of the water. Food scraps invite scavengers, such as black bears, raccoons, oppossums and skunks. Cherry Springs has a carry-in: carry-out trash policy most of the season..
See the park mini-map for further rules and regulations. All state park regulations also apply. No pets or alcholic beverages are permitted.
SHORT TERM STAR- GAZING:
There is NO FEE for using the NIGHT SKY VIEWING AREA short term. However, during scheduled programs which will become "ticket only and reservation only" events this July, you may not be allowed to enter the public area while a program is being offered. There is limited parking available and ticket holders will be given priority. If no program is scheduled, this restriction will not apply.
This is not a camping area and overnight stay is NOT PERMITTED.
If you would like to come out and enjoy the magnificent night sky at Cherry Springs and only wish to gaze for a few hours, you may do so at the Night Sky Viewing area located north of Rt. 44. ( Please note the above notice about access during scheduled park programs) Public parking lots are located here along with several information kiosks and waysides. You may follow the walkway out to the public program area where benches are located and you will be shielded from passing vehicle lights. There is also a backlit summer sky map wayside located on this pathway...press the button at the lower side of the display to activate the red light. Please use a red filter or cover for your flashlight to preserve your night vision. Please remember to always direct your light downward. Red cellophane works best and can be wrapped on the end of your flashlight with a rubber band. Cellophane and rubber bands are available at the Night Sky kiosk or will be available at the programs.
Cherry Springs State Park is located on top of a mountain and the weather generally tends to be on the cool side. It can also be damp. It is recommended that you wear proper clothing and foot gear. Feel free to bring out your own blankets, lawnchairs, binoculars and telescopes when you visit the park. Check the Public Program page for astronomy programs being presented at the park.
Please dress appropriately and we discourage your from bringing any pets with you...it is dangerous for them in the public program area as it is dark and people cannot see them on the ground...if they are injured or they injure someone or their property, you are responsible for ALL of their actions. Be advised that pets are NOT permitted on the Astronomy Observation Field while astronomers are present.