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Tuesday, September 30 2014 @ 01:54 AM EDT
Pulpit Rock Astronomical Park
Members Please Note: The Pulpit Rock road rebuild is finished. To preserve the road, please use AWD (All Wheel Drive) or 4WD on the steep section. IF you do not have AWD/4WD use 2nd gear and if you get stuck (forward progress stops) on the steep section, DO NOT SPIN your wheels (it digs holes in the road), rather back down to the bottom of the straight away and simply get another run at the steep section. Site access with a FWD (front wheel drive) vehicle is not recommended unless you know how to drive on a very steep slope with loose stones.
The Pulpit Rock area had quite a few sighting of BEARs during the Summer of 2012. Visitors to the site are strongly encouraged to use bear safe practices. Click on the following for BEAR SAFETY tips. Note, there were no sightings or reports of bears for all of 2013.
Welcome to the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society's dark sky observing site. Pulpit Rock is located 25 miles west of Allentown between Lenhartsville and Hamburg, PA.
Officially known as Pulpit Rock Astronomical Park, or as it is commonly called, "The Rock," this 4.3-acre mountaintop site sits 1,600 feet above sea level on the Appalachian Trail. The installations and equipment at Pulpit Rock offer the serious amateur or the novice an opportunity to contribute meaningful scientific information to the astronomical community or to simply view the splendors of the heavens from our several acres of landscaped grounds.
The site was founded in the 1960's by Henry Kawecki, an industrialist from Berks County, who built the first dome (right-most dome in aerial view below) in a small clearing in the woods. There was a crude access road called the "jeep road" at the time, but he also traveled in by helicopter.
As the LVAAS became involved in Kawecki's efforts, a more usable road was built and the site soon blossomed into a small campus of observatories. The dark skies on Blue Mountain were a welcome getaway from the light-polluted cities.
In the mid 1990's, a renaissance was under way at The Rock. A new three-story building was under construction for a 40" cassegrain, the other observatories were cleaned up and repainted, and the grounds got a major overhaul. Trees were cut back, weeds and overgrowth were completely eliminated, piles of debris were trucked out, the road and a new loop were freshly graveled, the whole landscape was graded, and a magnificent new lawn was sown. Through these incredible efforts of the members, LVAAS's Pulpit Rock Astronomical Park is the highest and finest amateur observing site east of the Mississippi.
Click on any of the pictures below and take the Virtual Tour of Pulpit Rock. There are plenty of pictures to enjoy!
If you are not a member of LVAAS, you are invited to join so you, too, can use this facility! Click for information on Membership!.
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