Visiting Hawk Mountain

22 Sep

A year or so ago, a friend told me about this place in East Central Pennsylvania called Hawk Mountain.

As noted on their Web site

“Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is one of the best places in the northeastern United States to watch the annual hawk migration, one of nature’s greatest wildlife spectacles. Between August 15 and December 15, an average 20,000 hawks, eagles and falcons pass the Sanctuary’s North Lookout and are identified and counted.”

It would have been cool to see a bunch of migrating raptors. But I happen to live in a part of the country where many hawks over-winter. So we get to see them quite frequently. And if they aren’t hanging around all Winter, they are sure enough passing through in large numbers as they head south and then return north in the Spring.

Ugly road. Cool diner. I think this was somewhere between Reading and Hamburg.

But this post isn’t about birds. It’s about my road trip. Actually, it’s about sharing pictures I took during the trip. The cow shots I shared yesterday are just the tip of the iceberg.

A co-worker’s recent excursion reminded me of the place. She visited recently and had some pretty nice pictures to share. So I decided a road trip was in order.

I thoroughly enjoyed the drive, but I must admit it would have been sooooo much more awesome on the motorcycle.

My favorite stretch of road was PA-10 from Oxford to just north of Honey Brook.  I’ll definitely have to head back that way one day. I hit a bit of turnpike-type highway from there to Reading. Then I was on Hwy 61 for a while. That was all interesting, but not nearly as scenic as PA-10 through farm country.

Soon enough I was turning onto Hawk Mountain Road. That’s when I spotted this cool, dilapidated barn.

This old farm looked like a castle ruin.

After a quick drive up my favorite type of mountain road — narrow, winding, and flanked by trees in varying degrees of color change — and a short but strenuous hike, I reached the top of Hawk Mountain.

The view from the top of Hawk Mountain.

It was a nice view. But getting to the top? Oh my God. It’s a good thing I am very sure-footed, that’s all I can say. Here are a couple of pictures of the trail. And this is the easier one.

The trail to the North Overlook.

The trail goes right through the middle of the next image. For real. That’s why there’s an orange blaze on the tree.

The trail. Really.

And when I got to the top, what did I find?

People. Ugh.

A whole bunch of bird watchers. The guys wearing tan are the ranger-types and spotters who are there to educate folks and count the birds. One day last week, 1,400+ broad-winged hawks flew past. Not all at once, but still.

In addition to the bird watchers, there were also lots and lots of stink bugs. I am sick to death of those darn things.

I did not hang around long, but I did get some nice pictures. I’ll post a few of my favorites here…

My favorite scenery capture.

Nice view.

You gotta love those red maple leaves.

If you would like to see the rest of the pictures from my Hawk Mountain trip, you’ll have to visit my Flickr photo-sharing site.

7 thoughts on “Visiting Hawk Mountain

  1. Wow! Really great photos. You’re so skilled at photography.

    And the nature is beautiful. Many of my favorite motorcycle-trips were in PA.

    The birds remind me of a motorcycle-tour I took to Nova Scotia. On a day off the bikes, we took a boat-ride and saw thousands of Pippins frolicking on the rocks in the water. A beautiful sight.

  2. Oops… wrote that comment before coffee. 🙂

    We saw thousands of *puffins* — “Pippin” was a Broadway musical I saw as a kid. Sorry for the confusion.

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