Why You Need to Plan a Trip to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary This Fall


boulders and view
Courtesy Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Assoc Facebook Page

The Lehigh Valley is graced with countless historic sites and natural attractions. One of the most notable, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, is just 30 miles from The Sayre Mansion. A trip here takes sightseeing to new heights. Bring your binoculars Pack the hiking books. Spend your day exploring this nearby natural wonder then relax and soak in the surroundings of The Sayre Mansion. Don’t forget to download our Free Vacation Guide to make getting around the Lehigh Valley even easier.

See the Sights

Visiting Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in nearby Kempton, PA is an uplifting experience anytime of year. But, Mother Nature pulls out all the stops for those who make the trek during autumn. With an elevation of 1,521 feet, from this vantage point you can view migrating raptors in the sky above and the valleys ablaze with fall foliage below!

Flock Together

bald eagle in sky
Courtesy Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Assoc Facebook Page

Hawk Mountain is a popular destination for hikers, birders and nature enthusiasts. The 1,400-acre wild bird sanctuary is perched along the Blue Mountain range in a region that’s known as the Appalachian flyway. Each year an average of 20,000 hawks, eagles and falcons fly directly overhead on the migration south. A series of trails lead hikers to lookout points that offer spectacular views.

Hit the Trail

trail on walking path
Courtesy Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Assoc Facebook Page

Lookout Trail is the easiest and most popular. It’s a one-mile route that leads from the Visitors Center to several lookout points along the ridge. Overlooks are rocky outcrops on the ridge. South Lookout offers awe-inspiring views of the canyon and at an elevation of 1,300 feet, it’s a great spot to see raptors. During the fall migration, staff members are positioned here to answer questions and point out birds. The area is also wheelchair accessible. North Lookout is the pinnacle of Hawk Mountain. It’s perched on top of the mountain at an elevation of 1,500 feet. The lookout here offers a 200-degree view that stretches 70 miles on a clear day. During spring and fall migrations, staff is on-hand to assist visitors with questions and guidance. There are nine other trails of varying degrees of difficulty for hikers to explore, some even connect with the Appalachian Trail.

Peak Migration Timetable

Broad-Winged Hawk: Late August to late September
Osprey: Late August to early October
Bald Eagle: Early September
Red-Tailed Hawk: Early September to early November
Peregrine Falcon: Early October
Golden Eagle: Early November

Hatching the Plan

View of trees in fall
Courtesy Hawk Mountain Assoc Facebook Page

Hawk Mountain is the oldest wildlife sanctuary in the world that is exclusively committed to the protection and observation of birds of prey. After amateur ornithologist Richard Pugh photographed the state-sanctioned shooting of hundreds of birds of prey at Hawk Mountain in 1931, New York conservation Rosalie Edge acted. In 1934, she leased 1,400 acres of land at Hawk Mountain and hired a warden to keep out hunters. The following year she opened the land up to the public to view and appreciate birds of prey in flight. She later purchased the property and in 1938 incorporated it as the non-profit Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association. In 1965, Hawk Mountain was designated a U.S. National Natural Landmark.

Come to Roost

Facilities include a Visitors Center with a gift shop, the Irma-Broun Kahn Education Building and the Acopian Center for Conservation Learning. Special events, guided hikes and lectures are scheduled throughout the year. The trails are open daily from dawn to dusk. There is a $10 admission free for adults and $5 for children.

Drive-Bike-Hike the Lehigh ValleyRoom 35

A visit to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of our Drive-Bike-Hike the Lehigh Valley Package. Enjoy an overnight stay in an elegant guest room, breakfast for two in the morning and we’ll provide you with some snacks, water and fresh fruit to enjoy on the trail. Check availability online and book your getaway today.