What to do in Bald Eagle State Forest

The Bald Eagle State Forest was named for the famous Indian Chief "Bald Eagle." It is located in Snyder, Union and parts of Centre, Mifflin, and Clinton Counties and comprises 195,624 acres of State Forest land. The many streams within the area have their origin in the forested ridges and flow in several directions eventually emptying into the Susquehanna River. There are thirteen streams within the Bald Eagle District totaling 47 miles that are stocked and fishable. Over one-third of the Bald Eagle State Forest is in public watershed, making the proper management of this land very essential.

The Bald Eagle State Forest hosts all the major game species typically found in Pennsylvania, including deer, bear, wild turkey and other small game.

The District's varied terrain lends itself to numerous outdoor recreational activities including hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and driving for pleasure.

The Bald Eagle State Forest was named for the famous Indian Chief "Bald Eagle." It is located in Snyder, Union and parts of Centre, Mifflin, and Clinton Counties and comprises 195,624 acres of State Forest land. The Forest District lies in the beautiful ridge and valley section of the State. From the great Limestone Valley in the southeast to the Allegheny Mountains in the northwest, these sandstone ridges with heights of 2,300 feet above sea level are the dominant features. Arising abruptly from the valley floors and extending northeasterly across the region, they form ridges and valleys of varying configurations. The Susquehanna River with its vast West and North branch drainage systems has its confluence on the eastern boundary of the District opposite the town of Northumberland. The many streams within the area have their origin in the forested ridges and flow in several directions eventually emptying into the Susquehanna River. Over one-third of the Bald Eagle State Forest is in public watershed, making the proper management of this land very essential.

All State Forest land in the Bald Eagle State Forest is managed under the "Multiple Use Concept" within the guidelines of the Forest Resource Plan. Originally adopted in 1970 and revised in 1985, this plan focuses on the importance of managing for timber, water, wildlife, recreation and minerals.

Recreation
The District's varied terrain lends itself to numerous outdoor recreational activities including hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and driving for pleasure.

The Bald Eagle State Forest hosts all the major game species typically found in Pennsylvania, including deer, bear, wild turkey and other small game.

There are thirteen streams within the Bald Eagle District totaling 47 miles that are stocked and fishable. Particularly noteworthy are Penns Creek and Fishing Creek. Along the Mifflin County section of Penns Creek, the Pennsylvania Fish Commission has established a "catch and release" stretch of stream where year-round trout fishing is permitted. Near Fishing Creek and the village of Lamar in Clinton County the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a fish hatchery for stocking the surrounding area.

Driving and walking for pleasure is a major outdoor recreational use of the forest. The District has 340 miles of drivable roads and about the same number of miles of trails. There are five designated scenic drives.

The Mid State Trail traverses the District running northeast from the Route 322 roadside rest at the Centre-Mifflin county line, through R.B. Winter State Park to the village of McElhattan, southeast of Lock Haven in Clinton County.

There are 27 vistas within the Bald Eagle State Forest. They offer the forest user many and varied views of both the State-owned and private land within and surrounding the District.

The Bald Eagle District has over 300 miles of State Forest roads and trails open for snowmobiling. Maps are available which show the location of the roads. Properly registered snowmobiles may be operated on these roads following the official closing of antlerless deer season. Eight access areas have been developed and are in use on the Bald Eagle State Forest.

Seven areas of State Forest land with special significance have been designated as State Forest Natural and Wild Areas:

JOYCE KILMER NATURAL AREA is a 77-acre tract of virgin white pine and hemlock located on Paddy Mountain, 6 miles west of Hartleton in Union County.

THE HOOK NATURAL AREA is a 5,119-acre tract located on the North Branch of Buffalo Creek, 3 miles north of Hartleton in Union County. A complete watershed is preserved in this area. Access is provided by a number of rugged foot trails.

MT. LOGAN NATURAL AREA is a 512-acre tract located east of Castanea in Clinton County. It contains old-growth hemlock and an outcrop of Tuscarora sandstone.

ROSENCRANS BOG NATURAL AREA is a 152-acre high mountain bog located north of Loganton along Cranberry Road in Clinton County. The area contains cranberry, mountain holly and high-bush blueberry.

SNYDER-MIDDLESWARTH NATURAL AREA is a 500-acre tract located 5 miles west of Troxelville along the Swift Run Road in Snyder county. It contains virgin white pine, hemlock and pitch pine. Good access is provided by foot trails.

TALL TIMBERS NATURAL AREA is a 660-acre tract located just west of Snyder-Middleswarth along Swift Run. The area is covered with a second-growth forest of oak, white pine, hemlock and hard pine.

WHITE MOUNTAIN WILD AREA is a 3,581-acre tract located southwest of the town of Weikert. It covers the east end of White Mountain, is bounded on the north by Penns Creek and on the south by Weikert Run. Many of the north and south slopes are covered with large rock outcroppings. These talus slopes are formed by weather-resistant sandstone and are bleached white by the sun. Thus the name White Mountain. It is accessible only by the Long Path Trail, now part of the Reeds Gap Spur to the Mid State Trail. The area shows little evidence of man's activities and will, for the most part, be kept in this undeveloped state.

Location
It is located in Snyder, Union and parts of Centre, Mifflin, and Clinton Counties.

Climate
Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Bald Eagle State Forest area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 24 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -2 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).

Address
District Forester
P.O. Box 147
Laurelton, PA 17835

Phone: 570-922-3344

Fax: 570-922-4696

  • Bald Eagle State Forest Travel Q&A

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