Raptors and Wine - Hawk Mountain Hike
Operated by: TerraMar Adventures
Event Leader: Katie and Allison
1700 Hawk Mountain Rd
Kempton, PA 19529
Date: October 9, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Hawk Mountain Raptor Sanctuary
Skill Level: 5 - this is significant uphill climbing. But, it is not a killer.
Description: We are heading up to Hawk Mountain for the annual fall raptor migration. Since 1934 Hawk Mountain has been an internationally recognized sanctuary for the study of raptors. The AT here follows the side of Hawk Mountain and it is well known as the migratory route of more than fourteen species of hawks, falcons, and eagle that soar and ride the air currents over the Kittatinny Ridges. The birds float across the mountain's strong updrafts. Some birds fly thousands of miles and migrate all the way from southern South America. There is also a chance to see non-migrating birds such as owls, woodpeckers, turkeys, and vultures. You must wear sturdy shoes. The trails here are extremely rocky and require some scrambling over boulders.
We'll start at the visitors center with a chance to learn more about the preserve and its origin. Then it's off on the River of Rocks trail, which takes us past what's literally a river of rocks! We'll ascend from there up the steepest part of the route to the Skyline trail. There will be hand over hand and rock hopping fun along this trail, and we'll pass several beautiful vistas. Any of them will be a perfect snack spot, and we'll take a break once we've reached the North Lookout at the top, a perfect place for bird watching. Although you'll be focused on using your hands for balance on most of the hike, this vista is the perfect place to pull out binoculars!
After we're done, we'll head down to Pinnacle Vineyards for a wine tasting session. There, for $5 you can sample what they have to offer. Or, if you buy a bottle, the wine tasting is free. Very drinkable wine here, it is one of the best Pennsylvania wineries I have found.
Skill Level: It's a moderately difficult hike at 6 miles in length and will take 4-5 hours. However, the trail is quite rocky and does require significant rock-hopping and some hand over hand climbing in spots. This is not a beginner hike.
Price: $20 covers guides certified in wilderness first aid, snacks and the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary entrance fee.
Clothing and Equipment: Hiking boots or sturdy shoes are an absolute must for this trail. Don't come in sandals, or anything without good traction. You'll need it near the top. Dress in layers and bring water and snacks.
Directions: Carpool info and meeting spot directions will be sent to all paid registrants a few days before the event.