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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Free programs and activities are being offered at Hills Creek and Cherry Springs state parks.

Hills Creek State Park at 111 Spillway Road is seven miles northeast of Wellsboro in Charleston Township via Charleston Street and Hills Creek Lake Road. Most programs will be in the park's Nature Center area located in the campground between B and C loop.

Family Fishing Tournament is June 24
This Saturday, June 24, between 12:01 a.m. and 8 p.m., a Family Fishing Day Tournament will be at Hills Creek Lake. Weigh-ins will be at the beach area near the shore of Hills Creek Lake from 12 to 1 p.m. and from 7 to 8 p.m. No registration is required prior to the weigh-ins. Medallions will be presented after the 7-8 p.m. weigh-in to the winners in five categories: largest perch, largest bluegill, largest bass, largest crappie, and largest stringer of game fish by weight (one angler’s legal limit of game fish for the day). A one-ounce bonus will be awarded for game fish that are caught and released. All fish must be caught by legal means. This is a no cull contest (no replacing a smaller fish with a heavier fish on the stringer). In the event of a tie, the fish weighed the earliest will win. Spectators are welcome to watch the fish being weighed for the tournament.

July 4 is Fish-for-Free Day
On Independence Day, Tuesday, July 4 from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. is Fish-for-Free Day for residents and non-residents at Hills Creek Lake. No one needs a fishing license. All other fishing regulations still apply. Tackle will be available by request throughout the day. No registration is required.

Fishing, Filleting Demo
A special two-hour free Family Fishing & Filleting program will begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 4 in the beach area. Families can find out how to get more out of fishing by learning about habitats, bait, tackle, fishing knots and different equipment to add to anglers' enjoyment and success. That will be followed near the park concession stand around 10:30 a.m. by a 30-minute filleting demonstration, including a sampling of cooked, freshly caught fish. Registration is required. Register by stopping at the park office or calling.

Free Tackle Available
Visitors to Hills Creek State Park are invited to take advantage of the free Tackle Loaner program sponsored by the PA Fish and Boat Commission and the park. Sign-out a pole and tackle anytime from 8 a.m. to noon at either the park concession near the beach or at the campground host (site #6) in the campground. Gear can be returned anytime afterwards until sunset at the concession. Bait will be available for a small cost. Inquire about signing-out free equipment at other times by contacting the park office.

To Register
Information about Hills Creek programs is available online at http://events.dcnr.pa.gov/hills_creek_state_park/calendar. Have questions? Call the park office at 570-724-4246.

At Cherry Springs
Cherry Springs State Park at 4639 Cherry Springs Road, Coudersport is 12 miles from Galeton via West Branch Road and 15 miles from Coudersport via Route 44.

All visitors who plan to view the night skies are asked to arrive at the park before dark. People may observe on their own and do not have to attend a stargazing program. If it rains, thunders or is cloudy, all programs will be cancelled.

Check http://www.cleardarksky.com/c/ChrSprPkPAkey.html for 48-hour cloud cover forecasts and viewing conditions or call (814) 435-1037 and select Option #5.

Star Party Public Viewing Night is June 24
As part of its annual Cherry Springs Star Party, the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg is inviting the public to attend a special viewing of the stars for free between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, at Cherry Springs State Park. People can look at the stars through the many different types of telescopes set up on the park’s Astronomy Observation Field and talk with the visiting astronomers. Arrive before dark, park in the visitors parking lot and walk to Astronomy Field. Bring a small flashlight. If it rains or the sky is overcast, this event will be cancelled. Those planning to attend are asked to check for program updates after 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 22 by calling 1-814-435-1037 and selecting option #5.

Family Astronomy is June 30 & July 3
In the Night Sky Viewing Area at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 30 and Monday July 3, experience the dark night skies of Cherry Springs State Park during this family friendly astronomy program. Join park staff for a short discussion followed by activities for families and young children who do not want to stay up late. Pre-registration is required to attend.

Lunar Viewing is June 30-July 3
At 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30, Saturday, July 1, Sunday, July 2 and Monday, July 3 in the Night Sky Viewing Area, take a journey to the moon to explore the moon's diverse landscape from highlands to volcanic plains. View these natural features and discover where lunar landings took place. Pre-registration is required for those who want to use the park's telescopes. Those who don't can hear the presentation by park staff without pre-registering.

To Register
Online registration for stargazing programs is required. Visit http://events.dcnr.pa.gov/cherry_springs_state_park. If there is a problem with registering online or for information about these free programs, call (814) 435-1037 and select Option #5 or (814) 435-5010.

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