Pets Are Not Allowed Everywhere
When camping in such places, keep in mind that pets are not allowed into all the areas of the park, only in very limited designated areas. For those who have no option but to bring along their pets, they can find their way to the nearby Pennsylvania Wilds, where pets are allowed. Pets are also not allowed in the public night sky programs, at the Overnight Astronomy Observation field, and in the Rustic Campground either. There are also other rules which are meant to be followed like Alcoholic beverages are not permitted and occupants in trailers at the camp have to be responsible and ensure that clean disposal of waste is taken care of. Also, there is to be no dishwashing in the restrooms or at the hydrants. Other than some simple rules of clean hygiene and non-intrusive boarding, the Cherry Springs State Park camping is a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Gather Up A Few Items
You dont need much to enjoy The Greatest Show on Earth in Cherry Springs, but having these items on hand can help improve the experience:
- Warm clothes/layers
|Cherry Springs State Park|
Cherry Springs State Park is an 82-acre Pennsylvania state park in Potter County, Pennsylvania, United States. The park was created from land within the Susquehannock State Forest, and is on Pennsylvania Route 44 in West Branch Township. Cherry Springs, named for a large stand of Black Cherry trees in the park, is atop the dissectedAllegheny Plateau at an elevation of 2,300 feet . It is popular with astronomers and stargazers for having some of the darkest night skies on the east coast of the United States, and was chosen by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and its Bureau of Parks as one of 25 Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks.
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Cherry Springs State Park: The Complete Guide
The secluded and scenic Cherry Springs State Park is situated in Potter County in upstate Pennsylvania, within the north-central part of the Keystone state. With over 80 remote and wooded acres, this expansive destination is surrounded by nearly 300,000 acres of wilderness within the Susquehannock State Forest. Located not far from the New York State border, the entrance to this state park is located along Pennsylvania Route 44 in West Branch Township.
A favorite among hikers and campers, the Susquehannock Trail passes close to Cherry Springs State Park, offers 85 miles of meandering picturesque trails, many with steep inclines and descents.
Famous for its spectacular stargazing opportunities, Cherry Springs State Park happens to be home to exceptionally dark skies. Its in a prime location for viewing the stars and other celestial beingsand attracts both professional astronomers and novice stargazing enthusiasts throughout the year. This park usually hosts special events that coincide with views of the night sky, such as appearances of planets and constellations that draw avid stargazers from across the world.
Cherry Springs State Park Weather
Cherry Springs State Park Photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli from Flickr
If you have no idea about when to visit Cherry Springs State Park, we recommend you to come between April and October. Its when the weather is just perfect and to do outdoor activities at the park, especially watching the dark sky.
The park is on clear and moonless nights during that time. You will also have a chance to see the most stars and a clear view of the Milky Way.
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Camping At Cherry Springs State Park
Cherry Springs State Park is open year-round, but the state park RV campground is only open seasonally, from spring until late fall. The campground contains 30 sites at the astronomy field which can accommodate vehicles up to 20 feet long. You wont find any privacy in this campground, as the sites are somewhat close together and in a wide-open area. Its a very social campground, though, and most visitors stay busy watching the heavens all night.
Campground amenities include picnic tables, potable water, and fire pits. There are no RV hookups, but a dump station is available. Vault toilets are accessible to visitors in wheelchairs. Unfortunately, pets arent allowed to join you while youre camping at Cherry Springs State Park.
Middle Fork River Forest Preserve
Designated as a dark sky place in 2018, the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve underwent $20,000 in upgrades to ensure its 1,702 acres would be a superb stargazing spot. The Preserve now offers nighttime programs centered on the importance of conserving darkness in an increasingly lit-up world. The electricity-free Indian Ridge campground offers a pitch-black place to pitch a tent and enjoy the night sky.
- Address: 3485 County Rd 2700 E, Penfield, IL 61862
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Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite
Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.
Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. Freecampsites.net makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.
This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.
Please come back and let us know what you find!
We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.
Please come back and let us know what you find!
How To See The Stars At Cherry Springs State Park
Image by The Dyrt camper Trip Over Life
Seeing the stars at Cherry Springs State Park forces you to slow down and unplug. You wont get any cell service, and the park isnt close to anything, which is what youd expect of the darkest sky east of the Mississippi. Dont show up and expect to immediately experience the night sky in all its splendor, either. You have to give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness, at least 30 minutes, to be able to see everything.
The park is at the top of a mountain surrounded by a state forest, so you get 360-degree views of the night sky with very little light pollution. At Cherry Springs, you can see the Milky Way, thousands of stars, planets, the International Space Station, and more. There are two different areas designated within the park to view the sky. In both viewing areas, feel free to bring binoculars, telescopes, or other equipment, but note that pets are prohibited.
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Goblin Valley State Park
Goblin Valley State Park became a dark sky place in 2016, and it is close to several other heavy-hitting locations like Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Park. While all of these designated places are great for sky-watching, Goblin Valley offers a more secluded star show. The landscape is covered in thousands of towering sandstone “goblins” and is one of the most heavily concentrated spots of hoodoos in the entire world. Visitors can bring their own tents or reserve one of two yurts available for camping.
- Address: Goblin Valley Rd, Green River, UT 84525
Ricketts Glen State Park
If gorgeous landscapes and scenic views are what you hope to get out of free camping in Pennsylvania, consider spending a few nights at Ricketts Glen State Park.
Home to Glens Natural Lands , the 94-foot Ganoga Falls, and 20 other park waterfalls, Ricketts Glen is a little piece of paradise tucked away in northeast Pennsylvania!
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Where To Stay When Visiting Cherry Springs State Park
Despite being pretty much in the middle of nowhere, there are several places to stay near Cherry Springs State Park.
First, Cherry Springs features two campgrounds. In addition to the one mentioned above in the Overnight Astronomy Observation Field, there is a 30-spot rustic campground located adjacent to the Night Sky Public Viewing Area.
This campground fills up quickly, so prior reservations are highly recommended and can be made here.
The campground is described as rustic, which means no flush toilets and no showers. However, each space does have a fire ring, picnic table. There are no RV hookups, though there is a dump station.
If you cant get a spot at Cherry Springs or want a few more amenities, both Lyman Run State Park and Ole Bull State Park are located near Cherry Springs and have great campgrounds. Both parks offer RV hookups, showers, hiking trails, and swimming areas.
If youd rather stay in a hotel, there are several small hotels and bed and breakfasts a short drive away. One nice option is Susquehannock Lodge along Route 6 which even has its own field thats perfect for stargazing.
There are also hotels in Wellsboro, about 45 minutes from the park.
Overnight Astronomy Observation Field
Image by The Dyrt camper Trip Over Life
In this viewing area you can stay all night, but you must register and pay a per-person usage fee. Fees can be paid per night, or you can buy a galaxy pass from Lyman Run State Park to access the field year-round. For information on the fee schedule and how to pay, see the park bulletin board.
Some benefits of using the overnight astronomy observation field include being able to drive onto the field, and having access to concrete telescope pads, electricity, and wi-fi. White light is prohibited in this area, so any light must be converted to red light. Most people who use this field are serious about their stargazing, so if you just want to kick back and enjoy the view, you might be better off heading to the public viewing area.
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Cherry Springs State Park: The Best Place To Go Stargazing In Pa
If you are looking to go stargazing in PA, there is no better place to head than Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County, Pennsylvania.
Cherry Springs State Park is a unique park in that it is best known for the fact that there is nothing there. In fact, the park has little more than a few large fields, a campground, and a single one-mile interpretive hiking trail.
However, people dont come to Cherry Springs for the daytime attractions, they come here to see the nighttime sky. In fact, what makes this park so special is that its the darkest spot in Pennsylvania and one of the darkest places on the entire East Coast.
This means that after dark, you can see thousands upon thousands of stars and can even see the Milky Way without the aid of a telescope or binoculars.
In fact, Cherry Springs State Park is so dark that it was made the worlds second International Dark Sky Park in 2007.
So, if youre thinking of heading to Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County to enjoy some of the best stargazing in PA, heres everything you need to know.
Clear Creek State Forest
Clear Creeks 16,229 acres are spread out across the counties of Clarion, Forest, Jefferson, Mercer, and Venango. The Clarion River, Callen Run, Clear Creek, and Maple Creek are all stocked with trout and bass, so remember to pack a fishing rod!
Aside from the Beartown Rocks and Little Clear Creek trails, primitive backpacking is permitted throughout the forest. If you plan on bringing a motorized vehicle, there are also five designated campsites that can be reserved.
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Discover Some Of The Best Pa State Park Camping & Pennsylvania Vacation Spots Near Cherry Springs State Park
State parks camping is always a great way to get outdoors. Basically anywhere you go, youll find a beautiful outdoor setting. After all, while you may have overlooked state parks in the past, there must be a reason the state decided to protect these areas, right? These stunning natural landscapes have been preserved for generations to come and its easy to see why. All over the country, state parks are home to some of the biologically diverse ecosystems and unique landscapes, perfect for camping. State parks in Pennsylvania are no exception, and with destinations like Hickory Run State Park or Ricketts Glen State Park, its easy to have fun outdoors. One special place to visit for PA state park camping is Cherry Springs State Park. Not only can you find great outdoor recreation to be had during the day, but the park is also an international Dark Sky Park, one of only two in the US! If youre searching for the best places to go camping, Pennsylvania state parks like Cherry Springs are a great place to start. Pennsylvania camping trips in the area are sure to be a favorite of all ages and with starry night skies like these, youll never want to go to sleep. PA camp sites near Cherry Springs State Park usually book up quickly, so find some free dates and reserve yours today. Cherry Springs State Park camping and some of the best PA State Parks camping in general, is ready to book here!
What Can You See In The Night Sky At Cherry Springs State Park
While there are plenty of dark places in Pennsylvania, there is nowhere in PA that you can see the sky more clearly than at Cherry Springs State Park.
The main attraction here is the Milky Way which can be easily seen without aid. Amazingly, its said to be so dark in the park that you can sometimes see a shadow cast by this celestial object.
However, while the sky is incredible with just your eyes, having a telescope or even a pair of binoculars can really amplify what you can see and make it truly amazing.
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Cherry Plain State Park
A maximum of two pets are allowed in campsites and day use areas unless prohibited by sign or directive. Pets are to be supervised at all times and either be crated or on a leash not more than 6-feet in length. Proof of rabies inoculation shall be produced if requested by staff. Pets are not permitted in playgrounds, buildings, golf courses, boardwalks, pools and spray-grounds or guarded beaches .
Cherry Plain State Park has 175 acres and features a day use picnic area on Black River Pond, with a comfort station nearby. The park also has a boat launch, bridle paths and hiking, biking and nature trails that serve for cross-country skiing in the winter. Anglers fish for bass, bullheads and pickerel and may also ice fish in winter.
The park has 10 trailer sites, 10 lakeside tent sites as well as 10 “hike-in” tent sites available for overnight camping.
Pavilion Information Cherry Plain has two pavilions/tents. Prices range from $75 to $100 and can accommodate 80 to 100 people. Check availability at ReserveAmerica.com.
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Best Free Camping Inpennsylvania
The northern stretches of the Keystone State from the Allegheny National Forest to the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania” officially known as Pine Creek Gorge, are full of state and national forestland offering free campsites.
In the national forest itself, spots exist at Millstone Creek near Loleta PA, as well as along the northern border’s Forest Road 160 outside of Warren. Expect primitive camping, with a fire ring and picnic table at some of these sites, pit toilets at others, but otherwise more or less bare-bones camping sites.
Through the rest of this part of PA, state forest camping can be had in abundance. Elk and Moshannon State Forests are home to numerous, though unlike many a dispersed camping experience you may be used to elsewhere, some of these sites are reservable. Expect little to no cell service across the entire region.
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