When Is the Best Time
For raptor migration viewing, visit in autumn. Each fall, 18,000 hawks, eagles, and falcons pass Hawk Mountain.
For general enjoyment of mountain views & trails, visit mid-week during your preferred season for hiking. Use caution at overlooks year-round but especially in icy conditions.
Hawk Mountain is known as one of the best places in northeastern North America to view the annual autumn hawk migration. There are 8 miles of trails over 1,400 acres. For experienced hikers, the Skyline trail, eventually connects to the famous Appalachian Trail, just beyond the Santuary’s boundary.
Come prepared with hiking boots and a daypack.
The Sanctuary describes its origins as “The world’s first refuge for birds of prey, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary has a dramatic history that started during the Great Depression with amateur ornithologist Richard Pough. In 1929, Pennsylvania’s Game Commission placed a $5 price tag on the goshawk’s head—a grand sum at the time. Two years later, while Pough was a recent college graduate living in Philadelphia, he became one of a growing number of conservationists opposed to the widespread movement to eradicate wildlife predators, including predatory birds.” Hawk Mountain incorporated in 1938 as a non-profit organization in Pennsylvania.
An interesting website to check out for tracking raptor migration