Fall Foliage Walks
Hawk Mountain comes by its name honestly. Between mid-September and mid-December, fall color radiates and the raptor migration is in full flight. From the ridges of Hawk Mountain, you can watch graceful eagles, hawks, and falcons spread their wings and swirl on the thermals. Between mid-July and January, sanctuary staff counted 22,497 hawks, eagles, falcons, ospreys, and kestrels—not to mention the thousands of uncounted hummingbirds, warblers, and swallows.
At any time of the year, the North Lookout's spectacular 200-degree panorama of the Appalachian Ridge rates as one of the most scenic spots in the East. In the fall, with colors turning and raptors flying, it holds its own against any beauty spot in the country.
The Sanctuary covers 2,600 acres, and has several walking trails, including the River of Rocks Trail, a four-mile loop involving 600 feet of climbing and descending past an ice-age boulder field, an underground stream, a grove of large tulip poplars, and several bogs. Be aware: Pennsylvania is called"Rocksylvania" by hikers because of the debris left behind by the glaciers that carved their way through here. Wear sturdy ankle-supporting hiking shoes!
As if the views, the hike, and the hawks aren't enough, there's also nearby Amish Country, where hearty German-style cooking will satisfy your hiking appetite.
For More Information
Hawk Mountain Conservancy. (610) 756-6000; Appalachian Trail Conference (304) 535-6331. Hawk Mountain is located off I-78. the nearest town of any size is Allentown, where you'll find off-the-interstate accommodations. For a list of nearby B&Bs, check out the Hawk Mountain website. Peak color is usually in mid-October.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication