14.5 miles of adventure 

 

 Bald Eagle State Park's network of hiking trails provide access to a variety of habitats that offer scenic views and wildlife watching opportunities. Trails range from easiest to more difficult and wind through the main area of the park, ascend wooded slopes and run along both sides of the lake. Be sure to grab a trail map and staff recommendation at check-in.

 

Outside the Park, the Centre region offers many trails of varying levels of difficulty. Mt. Nittany in State College, Black Moshannon State Park, Rothrock State Forest, Shinglestown Gap all offer exceptional hiking opportunities. PAHikes.com is a great resource for hiking options in the Central PA region!
 

Trail: Butterfly Trail | Walkout Access from Nature Inn

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 1.5 Miles

This mowed trail, created for the conservation of butterflies, has opportunities for close encounters with butterflies in their natural setting. The main trailhead is west of the beach area near Pavilion #6. The Butterfly Trail loops around Frog Pond and through a mix of grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and young trees that are host and nectar plants for butterflies throughout their lifecycle. An interpretive area provides information and examples of butterfly habitat components. In September, migrating monarchs can often be seen drinking nectar on the abundant goldenrod. This trail is the most popular family hike.

 

Trail: Skyline Trail | Walkout Access from Nature Inn

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2 Miles

This trail begins on Skyline Drive and meanders through a small forested ridge of mixed hardwoods to Warbler Way. Quiet hikers might catch a glimpse of white-tailed deer hiding in the undergrowth. Most of the trail is forested, but portions contain dense shrubbery reminiscent of earlier ecological succession. This area is favorite habitat for eastern chipmunks, great horned owls and black-throated green warblers and other woodland warblers. At either end of the trail, it is possible to hike on connector trails to the Butterfly Trail, for a longer and more diverse hike.

 

Trail: Hunter Run East Trail

Trail Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 2.3 Miles

Following the northwest border of the park toward Hunter Run West Boat Launch, Hunter Run East Trail winds up and down beneath a mixed forest and through open shrub areas providing favorite habitat for chickadees, towhees, and catbirds. Hikers will encounter an intermittent mountain stream home to various salamanders and aquatic insects. This trail has a scenic view of Hunter Run Cove. Some wet areas do not have bridges or boardwalks. This trail begins at the PA 150 underpass of West Launch Road.

Trail: Hunter Run West Trail

Trail Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 2.2 Miles

Hunter Run West Trail weaves around the foothills of the Allegheny Plateau. This mowed pathway slopes through a mix of forested areas and field habitats and guides hikers through natural forest succession. In the summer, songs of common yellowthroats and song sparrows may be heard as you pass through the open, shrub areas and northern pearly-eyes and wood nymphs may be spotted hiding in the shaded areas. Signs of old fencerows along the way are evidence of the area’s farming heritage. This trail begins at the PA 150 underpass of West Launch Road.

Trail: Lakeside Trail

Trail Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 2.9 or 4.4 Miles

This very rocky, flat trail runs along the base of Bald Eagle Mountain. The trail begins at Bald Eagle Boat Launch Access Area. After 1.5 miles to the Primitive Campground, the trail branches into a 2.9-mile loop. With the lake below and mature hardwoods such as oaks, maples and hickories towering above, this trail is a shaded summer hike, providing glimpses of the lake. Look for signs of raccoons, squirrels, and pileated woodpeckers. Signs of the old charcoal hearths where timber was burned in large earth-covered mounds to create charcoal for iron furnaces in the 1800s can also be seen along this rugged trail. Mountain streams are not bridged. The trail crosses beneath the railroad line through tunnels at both ends of its loop. Please use these tunnels while hiking.

Trail: Swamp Oak Trail

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 0.5 Miles

This trail can be accessed from the amphitheater in the Modern Campground or from the top of skyline ridge, which has a sweeping view of Foster J. Sayers Lake. Near the amphitheater by the trail is the largest and possibly oldest tree in the park. This swamp oak is in photos from before the park. The trail also passes a line of old, large oak trees. A portion of the trail follows the old farm road to what was the Day Farm.

Trail: Woapalanne Path

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 2 Miles

This relatively flat, partially shaded trail is so close to the lake that portions of it flood during high water events! It is a great trail to see waterfowl, eagles and wildlife that like riparian areas (near water). The trail meanders between a kiosk near Pavilion 6 and the eastern terminus of F.J. Sayers Road. If you look closely you can see old stone wells, tree lines and other historic remnants from the valley’s past.

birding

The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle

201 Warbler Way, Howard, Pennsylvania 16841 | 814.625.2879

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