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Hawk Mountain

 
Hawk Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Pennsylvania, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 40.64150°N / 75.992°W

Object Title: Hawk Mountain

Elevation: 1521 ft / 464 m

 

Page By: mtwashingtonmonroe

Created/Edited: Mar 16, 2005 / Nov 11, 2005

Object ID: 153816

Hits: 12607 

Page Score: 83.1%  - 16 Votes 

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Overview


Hawk Mountain is best known for its association with the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary that covers its summit. This is one of the east coast's prime raptor migration study reserves. Located near The Pinnacle , actually on the same ridge-line, Hawk Mountain is part of the kink in Blue Mountain. This area is very accessible being only about an hour from Harrisburg and an hour from Allentown. This mountain also has much to offer in the way of views. In fact, the views from Hawk Mountain's main summit (North Lookout) are as good if not better than the views from nearby Pinnacle.
Hawk Mountain photo_id=141914
You could spend a whole day here with the visitors center and all the hiking opportunities. The famous Appalachian Trail also passes over this mountain as it heads towards Kittatinny Ridge in New Jersey.

Geologically, Hawk Mountain has some very special formations uncommon to other areas in the reason. One of the most important features is the "River of Rocks". This was formed in the last Ice Age approximately 10,000 to 15,000 years ago when the last glaciers started receeding. These fields of rock are absolutely massive and you have to take the River of Rocks Trail down for a closer inspection, a must do. Also, thanks to the geology of this mountain, fourteen different lookouts reside along the ridge.

On an average year about 20,000 raptors will be counted from this preservation. With the miles of trails here, you can almost count on some close encounters with big birds. To find out more on the migrating birds here, you can stop at the visitors center to understand migratory habits and what Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is all about.

Views from this mountain are great, especially for PA. The best view though is probably from the North Lookout which is located just east of the summit. From here you will get a 300 degree view of the ridge and valley region of Pennsylvania. This view rivals that of the neighbor Pinnacle and is probably better. To the south you should be able to discern The Pinnacle . This mountain is well worth a trip for the views and learning experience alone, but for the experienced hiker there is still plenty of challenge at Hawk Mountain. The Golden Eagle Trail which climbs up from the River of Rocks has some fun little class three scrambles that will keep you busy.

Getting There


From New York City, New York:
3 hours

-Take I-78 WEST thru New Jersey to Pennsylvania
-Continue on I-78 thru Pennsylvania, passing Lehigh Valley exits
-To Exit 35 (Lenhartsville)
-On Rt. 143 NORTH, go 4 miles to Sunoco gas station
-Turn LEFT at blue Hawk Mountain sign onto Hawk Mt. Road
-Go 7 miles to top of mountain, turn LEFT into parking lot

From Allentown, Pennsylvania:
35 minutes

-Take I-78 WEST
-To Exit 35 (Lenhartsville).
-On Rt. 143 NORTH, go 4 miles to Sunoco gas station on right
-Turn LEFT at blue Hawk Mountain sign onto Hawk Mt. Road
-Go 7 miles to top of mountain; turn LEFT into parking lot

From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:
1.5 to 2 hours

-Take Northeast Turnpike Extension (I-476)
-NORTH to Exit 56 (Lehigh Valley)
-To Rt. 22 WEST toward Harrisburg (becomes I-78 West)
-To Exit 35 (Lenhartsville)
-On Rt. 143 NORTH, go 4 miles to Sunoco gas station on right
-Turn LEFT at blue Hawk Mountain sign onto Hawk Mt. Road
-Go to top of mountain; turn LEFT into parking lot

From Harrisburg, Pennsylvania:
1 hour

-Take I-78 EAST
-To Exit 29B (Rt. 61 NORTH)
-Go 4 miles and turn RIGHT onto Rt. 895 EAST
-Go 2 miles; RIGHT at blue Hawk Mountain sign (Drehersville)
-Cross railroad tracks and Little Schuylkill River
-GO 2 miles to top of mountain; turn RIGHT into parking lot

Red Tape


There is no fee to park at the visitors center for Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, but there is a $5.00 fee for use of the trailhead per person. Here are some other rules and regulations put out by the sanctuary itself. You can find these on their website too.

Rules and Regulations
-No pets, radios, smoking, alcohol, bicycles, horses, camping, fires are permitted.
-Please leave plants, animals, rocks, sticks, etc. as you found them. The Mountain's fragile ecology depends on you; help us protect it for future visitors and for wildlife.
-Hike the trails at your own risk.
-Trails close at dusk. Allow adequate time for return hiking by nightfall.
-Stay on designated trails.
-Do not enter restricted areas or breach safety rails.
-Keep voices low on trails and lookouts.
-Pack out your trash and recyclables. Do not leave food for animals.
-Report First Aid Emergencies at the Visitor Center or to Sanctuary personnel identified by yellow arm patches.


Just follow the “LEAVE NO TRACE” program and you will be fine.



When To Climb


This mountain is open at all times of the year. The only trouble you will have getting to the trailhead would be due to winter closures as a result of snow. For the most part though, this trailhead is accessible during all times of the year. The best time to do the hike would be in the fall because of the foliage. This is usually around the middle to the end of October. Spring is also a great time.

Weather Conditions


For current and up-to-date weather conditions click on the link below!
weather

Images