Want to visit a state park that offers tranquility, gorgeous scenery and plenty of outdoor pursuits to enjoy? Then look no further than Bald Eagle State Park.
Set across 5,900 acres, the park is made up of a diverse and picturesque landscape of forests, wetlands and fields.
In the warmer months visitors can explore the park’s many miles of trails, enjoy a swim at its designated beach area, or take your boat onto the water of the sparkling Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir. During the winter, it turns into a fabulous snowy playground where you can enjoy ice skating, cross-country skiing and sledding.
Located in Howard – just over a three hour drive from both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the park offers plenty of camping accommodation options too. As a result, it is a popular weekend and vacation getaway for those who want a change of pace from the frenzy of big city life.
This Pennsylvania state park provides visitors with lots of opportunities to enjoy a wide range of outdoor recreational activities.
Here is just a small selection of some of the things you can do there.
Boating at Bald Eagle State Park
The park is a haven for those who enjoy boating activities, most of which take place at the big Foster Joseph (FJ) Sayers Lake.
Suitable for watercraft of any size and shape, there is no limit on the horsepower your motorboats can have. With six different launch areas for boats along the shoreline, you can also choose which area of it you want to explore as well.
Swimming at Bald Eagle State Park
It can get very hot in the park during the summer months, so a popular way to cool off is it go for a swim.
This predominantly takes place at the Sayers Dam Beach, which is a designated swimming area that is situated on the banks of the reservoir.
The beach itself is 1,200 feet long, and also features picnic tables as well as comfort stations and changing rooms.
Fishing at Bald Eagle State Park
Located within the park, the Sayers Reservoir is a very popular spot for angling.
Providing some 23 miles of shoreline in which to cast a line, you can also choose to fish from the ADA-accessible fishing pier.
The reservoir is full of several different species including crappie, yellow perch, catfish, tiger muskellunge and both largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.
In order to fish here, you will have to bring your own gear and also have a current fishing state license.
Hiking at Bald Eagle State Park
Overall there are 14.5 miles of trails at the park, so if you want to explore it on foot there are plenty of pathways you can explore.
Each of the trails range in length and degrees of difficulty, however they all showcase its outstanding natural beauty.
One of the most popular trails to tackle is the 1.5 mile Butterfly Trail which is suitable for beginners. As its name suggests, you’ll get to see plenty of butterflies in their natural environment.
For those who want more of a challenge, the much longer Hunter Run Trail will certainly get your heart rate going!
Picnicking at Bald Eagle State Park
Throughout the park you will find plenty of scenic table spots set aside for picnicking, as well as larger pavilions too.
Most of the picnic areas are dotted around the lake and feature grills and restrooms. They are open from sunrise to sunset.
Some of the picnic pavilions can be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee, while others are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Winter Sports at Bald Eagle State Park
When the colder months of winter hit, the park offers a great selection of snow related activities for visitors to enjoy.
This includes the likes of ice fishing and ice skating on the lake, as well as cross-country skiing along some of its trails.
Birding at Bald Eagle State Park
For those who enjoy birding the park is home to many different species, so be sure to bring your binoculars along with you.
Throughout the park its mountain ridges provide terrific flyways for migrating birds. Many of which rest at the park during their migratory period.
All year round you can see common species like sparrows, cardinals and finches, while down by the lake you can also see gulls, geese, herons and osprey.
During the summer you should be able to spot swallows, flycatchers and warblers. While in the fall the likes of cormorants, mergansers and buffleheads should be present too.
Pets at Bald Eagle State Park
Pets are allowed in the park but restrictions may apply. To ascertain what they are it is worth contacting the park’s main office for further clarification.
Camping at Bald Eagle State Park
For those who want to stay for a few days at the park there are a wide range of camping options available.
Offering both contemporary and rustic camping experiences, the Russell P. Letterman Campground is situated less than a mile from the beach and marina. It accommodates 94 sites, many of which are full service that come with water, electric and sewer hook-ups.
Not far from the main campground is a rustic camping area that features 34 sites for vehicles and another 34 walk-to sites that are set aside for tents.
The park also offers several lodging options including three camping cottages and a deluxe cottage that can sleep up to five people.
It also has two round wooden and canvas yurts that can sleep up to six people as well.
Bald Eagle State Park
149 Main Park Rd
Howard, PA 16841
Here is a short YouTube video with some aerial footage of Bald Eagle State Park:
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