The best times to visit:
The night sky can be frustratingly random. In the end, the stars, planets and clouds don’t really care very much about our stargazing wishes down here on Earth. But here are a few times when your viewing potential is better than others.
In Fall and Winter
The stargazing field at Cherry Springs is open year-round (as are our Astro Cabins, which have their own private stargazing fields). But the best seasons to visit are fall and winter. It may be chillier then, but the lessened humidity and extended night-time hours create excellent stargazing opportunities.
In Spring and Summer
Cherry Springs State Park comes alive in Spring and Summer with warmer temperatures and the new summer sky. The Milky Way comes alive every night. The evenings are times when memories are made, marriage proposals are brought forth and young and old gather to share once in a lifetime memories.
New Moon and Full Moon
Lunar viewing is excellent from Cherry Springs Park. The best time to view the Full Moon may not be ideal for star gazing. Stars become more prominent as the New Dark Moon approaches. Regardless, we will show you many more stars than you have ever seen, weather permitting of course.
When skies are clear (of course)
Check out the Cherry Springs Clear Sky Chart for up-to-date look at how the skies are shaping up for your visit. Look for dark blue squares in the row marked “Cloud Cover” — dark blue means clear skies for optimal viewing conditions.
During the Star Parties
Another great time to visit is during the twice-yearly Star Parties held at Cherry Springs. Both events brings hundreds of professional astronomers to the area—and culminate in a public viewing event with high-powered telescopes and astronomy talks from experts. The first, the Cherry Springs Star Party, is held in June by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg. The second, the Black Forest Star Party, happens in September, thanks to the Central Pennsylvania Observers.