Wide-Open Skies and Sweeping Mountaintop Views
Join us for a hike at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, a must-see for birders and hikers alike.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is a 2,600-acre wildlife sanctuary, research facility and education center in Kempton. About 18,000 hawks, eagles, falcons and other birds of prey soar over the mountain each autumn, making it one of the best spots in North America to view the fall migration.
Hawk Mountain is home to eight miles of hiking trails. We recently took a trek on the Lookout Trail, a 1-mile route that features some of the sanctuary’s most scenic spots.
Before you start, pick up a map and pay the small trail fee at the Visitor Center. Hawk Mountain is a nonprofit, and funds help support their conservation efforts.
The beginning of the trail is fairly gentle, making it ideal for families. You’ll quickly come to the wheelchair-accessible South Overlook. It offers an incredible view of the Kittatinny Ridge, where the seemingly endless mountains roll toward the horizon. Below, you’ll spot pristine farmland and boulder fields. But the views here are just the beginning…
Along the way, there are several overlooks where you can rest and soak up the views. After your pass Bald Overlook, the trail becomes rocky, so be sure to wear sturdy shoes.
You’ll climb a set of rock steps and reach the famous North Lookout. This expanse of boulders is located at the top of the mountain and boasts a 200-degree panoramic view. On a clear day, you can see 70 miles into the distance.
Sit awhile and try to spot a bald eagle or a peregrine falcon gliding through the air. During peak migration in September and October, you might see hundreds of birds in a day. Staff members are stationed at the lookout to answer any questions.
Bring your binoculars and a camera because the views are endless. Check out our video to get a glimpse of this breathtaking trail:
About the Photographer
Originally from Williamsport, Courtney is a 2019 Marywood grad. She enjoys discovering the often-overlooked beauty of NEPA, making clean Jeeps dirty, and cuddling with her chunky cat, Marley.
About the Videographer
University of Scranton / Class of 2020 / Neuroscience & Applied Mathematics
Max is a senior Neuroscience & Applied Mathematics major at The University of Scranton and a member of the DiscoverNEPA Cycling Team. He enjoys outdoor endurance sports and taking on just about any task that involves getting outside.