2 hike options at Bald Eagle State Park for latest Centred Outdoors excursion
Centred Outdoors is halfway through its 2018 season and this year more than 500 adventures have been logged by participants of all ages and fitness levels. During week six, hikers will continue to explore the natural wonders of Centre County at Bald Eagle State Park on Sunday and Wednesday.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature during a guided hike through the county’s largest state park, which spans 5,900 acres. Discover how the park’s diverse habitats make a great home for wildlife and serve as an important stop in the migration route of many species of birds. Visitors will also have an opportunity to see an active bald eagle nest in its natural setting.
This week’s adventure offers two hike options. The first hike offers two miles of easy hiking along Skyline Drive Trail. A park naturalist will guide you through a mostly forested ridge while providing information about an area which is home to among eastern chipmunks, great horned owls and black-throated green warblers. You may also enjoy spotting a 200-year-old swamp tree, the park’s largest and possibly oldest tree. The trail is suitable all ages and fitness levels, although a child carrier/back pack is recommended for very young children.
A fitness hike will be offered to those seeking a more challenging trek this week. The Hunter Run trails wind back and forth on the hills above Sayers Lake. Your heart rate and altitude will climb as you work your way from view to view before coming back down to the park. Please arrive promptly at 2 p.m. if you plan to join the fitness hike to allow ample time to complete your adventure.
Whichever hike you choose, consider arriving early or staying afterward on Sunday to enjoy the beach and a swim at Bald Eagle Lake. Restroom and changing facilities are available at the swimming area and a concession stand is also nearby. Please note that pets are not permitted at the swimming area but are allowed on the trails.
Centred Outdoors is hosted by ClearWater Conservancy and made possible by many partnering organizations that host this summer-long series of free, guided adventures for Centre County residents and visitors. Adventures take place every Sunday from 2-5 p.m. and every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. from now until Aug. 15. The finalized schedule is available at www.centredoutdoors.org, where users can login to create their own profile, RSVP, and receive weekly emails about each event. While online registration is not required, it is the best way to receive event updates. Look to the Good Life every week and www.centredaily.com for complete details about the upcoming Centred Outdoors destination.
Planning to attend this week’s adventure? Here’s what you need to know:
What: Centred Outdoors: Bald Eagle State Park
When: On Sunday, guided hikes along Skyline Drive begin at 2 and 4 p.m. The fitness hikers will meet at 2 pm. Wednesday, guided hikes along Skyline Drive begin at 5 and 7 p.m. The fitness hike on Wednesday is self-guided.
Where: 149 Main Park Road, Howard, PA 16841
Parking: Turn into the main park entrance at Main Park Road off of Route 150. Drive approximately ½ mile then turn left onto Skyline Drive. Parking will be on the left.
What to bring:
A refillable water bottle
Sun protection including a hat and sunscreen
Comfortable walking shoes
Bug spray, long pants and socks may be helpful for bug protection
Difficulty of hike: The 2-mile Skyline Drive hike is easy hiking suitable for all ages and fitness levels. The fitness hike along Hunter Run Trail is difficult and suitable for those comfortable with jogging/running up and down hills.
This is a pet friendly destination. Please keep your pet on a leash and clean up after your pet.
Next week’s adventure: Centred Outdoors will be visiting Mount Nittany on July 22 and 25.
Andrea Murrell is the strategic communications coordinator at ClearWater Conservancy.