WELLSBORO, Pa (WETM) – Hills Creek and Cherry Springs STATE PARKS are offering in-person and virtual programming.

Events are slated to happen throughout the month of May, which includes the 15, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, and the 30th.

At Hills Creek State Park

WELLSBORO—Hills Creek State Park at 111 Spillway Road, Wellsboro, Pa. 16901 is seven miles northeast of Wellsboro in Charleston Township via Charleston Street and Hills Creek Lake Road. 

Free Two-Hour Beginner Fishing Program Offered In-Person Twice on May 15 & Twice on May 22 

Give fishing in Hills Creek Lake a try by joining Park Naturalist Jim Mucci for an introduction to fishing. No fishing license is required to participate. Everything needed is provided free for the program, such as fishing rods, reels and fishing line. “Fishing is a sport you can enjoy your whole life,” said Mucci. The free two-hour Beginner Fishing program is being presented in-person in the beach area at Hills Creek Lake. It is being offered twice this Saturday, May 15 and twice the following Saturday, May 22. The first session will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. both Saturdays and the second from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. “Because this is an entry level program for families and individuals of all ages who want to learn how to fish, spin cast rods with reels will be used,” said Mucci. It’s simple to use, least expensive, and easily repaired. I’ve seen some huge fish landed with this tackle,” he said. “During the program, participants will be fishing for panfish, including perch, bluegills, and crappies and could even catch a bass or chain pickerel,” Mucci said. Participants are encouraged to bring snacks, bottled water, sunscreen and to wear a hat and sunglasses. Due to limited equipment for each session, pre-registration is required. To pre-register or for more information, call the park office at 570-724-4246 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. 

Last Free “Birding at Hills Creek” Virtual Program is Friday, May 21

The last 30-minute virtual program in the free online series “Birding at Hills Creek” is Friday, May 21 from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The series is exploring bird watching opportunities at Hills Creek State Park and several other parks in Tioga County. It is not only for avid birders but also those getting into birding for the first time. “The May 21 program will provide people who are interested in bird watching with information they can use to go on a self-guided tour at Hills Creek State Park or other areas to see many different species from bald eagles and ospreys to bluebirds,” said Bob Edkin, environmental education specialist with the Hills Creek State Park Complex. Highlighted will be birds that are at the park or may be arriving soon with tips on where and when to see them. Among the birds at Hills Creek are migratory birds that stop at the park on their way to their spring or summer locations and those that live there year-round or are seasonal residents. Register at https://events.dcnr.pa.gov/ under Hills Creek State Park to receive a link to the program. For best viewing, use a desktop computer or larger tablet. For more information, call Edkin at 570-724-3061 or email him at redkin@pa.gov.

At Cherry Springs State Park

COUDERSPORT—Cherry Springs State Park at 4639 Cherry Springs Road, Coudersport, Pa. 16915 is 12 miles from Route 6 in Galeton via West Branch Road and 15 miles from Coudersport via Route 44. Anyone may observe the night sky at Cherry Springs on his or her own. All visitors should arrive before dark. Search for the Clear Sky Chart online for 48-hour forecasts about viewing conditions. 

Free Know Before You Go to Cherry Springs Virtual Program is Being Offered May-July 

The free Know Before You Go to Cherry Springs Virtual Program is being held from 12 p.m. (noon) to 12:30 p.m. on five different dates: Thursday, May 27, Thursday, June 3, Wednesday, June 9, Wednesday, June 30 and Tuesday, July 6. This 30-minute online program is designed to help first-time and novice stargazers who are planning to visit the park. Find out from park professionals the best way to plan an evening of stargazing, including what to bring and how to observe objects in the night sky, such as stars, constellations, planets, the moon, artificial satellites such as the space station, meteors, aurora and even the Milky Way. Also highlighted will be Cherry Springs State Park with information about why it is one of the best places to go for stargazing and what program registrants need to know to make the most of their visit.

Free How to Choose and Use A Telescope Virtual Program is Thursday, May 27 

Being offered online from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 27 will be a 30-minute virtual program on How to Choose and Use A Telescope. This program is for those who have a telescope but are having a problem with it or need help to use it as well as for those who are Interested in purchasing a telescope and want to find out what to look for and what to avoid. During this brief program, participants will learn the basic fundamentals of using telescopes and common missteps. There will be time for questions and those who participate can also schedule a one-on-one virtual follow-up session. The presenter has more than 20 years of experience in using different types of telescopes for public presentations and offers this workshop periodically to help make the night sky more accessible to individuals and families. While more advanced, this program can be appropriate for children who are attending with an adult. 

Around the World in 80 Minutes is May 28, 29 & 30 and June 4 & 5

Around the World in 80 Minutes, a small group, private in-person, telescope tour of the night sky is being offered by North Star Outdoor Guides from 9:15 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. on five different dates, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 28, 29 and 30 and Friday and Saturday, June 4 and 5 at Cherry Springs State Park, an International Dark-Sky Association-designated gold level status dark sky park. The maximum number of people that can participate per program is the first 16 who preregister and prepay. In the event of rain, thunder or overcast skies, one or more of the programs may be cancelled. Registrants will look at the night sky through the eyes of the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Indians, Native Americans, and others. Featured will be a laser guided tour of various constellations, telescope viewing and a discussion of the dark skies. This dark sky telescope tour ensures maximum telescope time without long waits and a more individualized program. Objects which may be viewed include planets, nebulae, red giants, globular clusters, galaxies, and binary star systems. Registration is open but will close when a program is full or at 3 p.m. two days before each program date. To complete registration, payment must be made in full. Fee: $20 per person for adults and children six and older. included in the fee is a $3 non-refundable processing fee. Children five and under are free

Nightscapes Photography In-Person Workshop is Saturday, June 5

The first 10 people who preregister and prepay will be accepted for the two and a half-hour Nightscapes Photography Workshop being given by Curt Weinhold at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 5 at the park. Learn how to photograph the starry night sky, including constellations and the Milky Way, and foreground material using your own DSLR camera and lenses. View samples of Weinhold’s work at http://pbase.com/cwphotoFee: $60.

Free Stargazing Highlights in 2021 is Wednesday, June 9; Partial Solar Eclipse is on June 10

During the virtual program “Stargazing Highlights of 2021” being presented from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9, find out about a partial solar eclipse that will occur early in the morning on June 10, about meteor showers and other night sky events with tips on how to view them. Only those visible in the Northeastern United States, including this area, will be discussed. This short presentation, complete with visuals of what people of all ages might see in the night sky from their own backyards, will be followed by an open Q&A session. 

For Viewing Virtual Programs

Use a desktop computer or larger tablet for the best viewing of virtual programs. It is recommended that registrants link into a virtual program 15 minutes before the listed start time as it can take longer than expected depending on the type of computer or device they are using. 

To Register for Cherry Springs in-Person and Virtual Programs

To register to receive a link to the free virtual programs, including Know Before You Go to Cherry Springs, How to Choose and Use A Telescope and Stargazing Highlights in 2021 and for more details or to register for the two in-person programs Around the World in 80 Minutes and the Nightscapes Photography Workshop, visit https://events.dcnr.pa.gov/cherry_springs_state_park. If there is a problem with registering online or for information about other programs offered at the park, call (814) 435-1037 or email Tim Morey at tmorey@pa.gov

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