in Pennsylvania

Where the Milky Way shines so bright, it literally casts your shadow!

Cherry Springs State Park

The Milky Way shines so bright at Cherry Springs State Park, it literally casts your shadow! In most places, people can only see a couple of hundred stars, but here, you can see thousands!

It's been named the best place on Earth (yep, the whole planet) for stargazing by the Travel Channel and has been designated a Gold Level Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association.

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 (opposite the gated Astronomy Observation Field).

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.

What to know before you go:

  • Familiarize yourself with all the great regional attractions and experiences.
  • Choose your lodging.
  • Reserve shuttle service and / or a guide for an enhanced experience.
  • Plan ahead by checking the moon phase.
  • Dress for cooler weather at the park even in summer.
  • Bring only a dim red light - you'll see MORE!
  • Check the cloud forecast.
  • Arrive before dark.

Clear Sky Chart

The Clear Sky Chart is an astronomers forecast. At a glance, shows you if the skies will be cloudy or clear for the next two days. A prediction of when Cherry Springs will have good weather for observing.

To get started reading the chart, all you need to know is that dark blue is the best on all lines, but pay most attention to 'cloud cover' since white on that line means it's overcast or even could be raining.

As you become more familiar, you can even notice when the moon will rise by looking closely at the 'darkness' line. This will help you make the most of your visit, but remember, a forecast is just that. Sometimes, they're right and sometimes nature surprises us all!