Local Birding Spots

Local Birding Spots

Important Notice! Some of these locations may become closed or restricted as a result of the current Coronavirus pandemic. If we are notified or become aware of closings, we will try to update the list when we are able. However, it is your responsibility to check to verify that any locations are open before going! Expect that all locations that remain open will have facilities closed, including restrooms. If you do go out hiking or birding, please stay close to home and follow all rules, including those that require social distancing!

Dale’s Ridge Preserve

Merrill Linn Land & Water Conservancy manages this property northwest of Lewisburg. Take Rt. 192 about two miles west of Lewisburg to Strawbridge Road. Turn right. A parking lot at Strawbridge Road and the bridge at Buffalo Creek leads to a trail. The trail passes through a large number of habitats, including riparian forest, a pond, a hemlock grove, a white pine grove, second-growth hardwood forest, farm fields, meadows, and mature hardwood forest. This diversity of habitat provides a large bird list for so small an area.

Montour Preserve

The preserve, near Washingtonville in Montour County, is really a complex of many good birding sites. Among these are the power plant cooling water ponds, known as the Ash Ponds, Lake Chillisquaque, extensive deciduous forests, pine plantations, old fields, and brushy cover. This area is, arguably, the best place in this region for waterfowl.

Take Interstate 80 to the Rt. 54 exit at Danville. Follow the signs to Washingtonville and then to Montour Preserve. The Ash Ponds are on the north side of the power plant on Creek Road; the nature center and Lake Chillisquaque are a couple of miles farther north. There are observation points over the lake and a pleasant trail encircling it.

Walker and Faylor Lakes

These public reservoirs in Snyder County are proving to be excellent habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, and interesting breeding birds, depending on the season. A trip to these spots can include a short hike into Tall Timbers in Snyder-Middleswarth State Park near Troxelville. Here there is old-growth hemlock forest and unusual breeding species such as Winter Wrens.

To get to Walker Lake, take Rt. 45 west to Mifflinburg, turn south on Rt. 104 to the village of Penn’s Creek, and turn west on Troxelville Road. Just before you get to Troxelville, turn left at the entrance to Walker Lake. Faylor Lake is not far away between Benfer and Beaver Springs.

R. B. Winter State Park

It hemlock groves, extensive hardwood forests, and open water make this park a good place to look for owls, whippoorwills, many species of breeding warblers, scarlet tanagers, thrushes, vireos, and occasional waterfowl. It is also cooler here in summer than the surrounding valleys, so a summer morning can be a refreshing respite from the heat.

To find R.B. Winter State Park, drive about 17 miles west of Lewisburg on Rt. 192 until you reach the park. Explore all the roads of the park and the vicinity to find a variety of habitats.

Allenwood Game Lands

State Game Lands No. 252, at the northernmost part of Union County, is managed for wildlife. There are many ponds and small impoundments, marshes and swamps, brushy cover, and second-growth forests. The “Allenwood Game Lands” as they are known, can be good for migrating warblers, thrushes, and waterfowl. This is also a good place to hear drumming Ruffed Grouse. Wear hunter orange if you visit during hunting season.

To reach SGL 252, drive west of Allenwood on Rt. 44. After about 5 miles you will cross the creek and come to a handsome dark brown-stained frame house on the right. Turn right here and drive to the “T” intersection. Turn right into the game lands. About a mile ahead you can park and begin walking the many trails. Be sure to check the ponds for nesting waterfowl in season, and listen for singing Golden-winged Warblers from May through June.

Shamokin Mountain Trail

The Shamokin Mountain Trail is off Forest House Lane, which is south of Lewisburg on the east side of Stein Lane. Part of the trail is on a property under conservation easement that is managed by the Linn Conservancy. The other part of the trail is on Pennsylvania State Game land. The trail is usually closed for two weeks during rifle deer hunting season. Be mindful of other hunting seasons when in the state game lands portion of the trail and wear orange.

Milton Island State Park

Buffalo Valley Rail Trail

The Hook Natural Area

This is the largest natural area in the state of Pennsylvania and a very important habitat for many species of birds. The Audubon Society has a page about it here. The Easiest way to get there is to follow Jones Mountain Rd. which is off of Rt. 192 (Buffalo Rd) west of Lewisburg.

East Buffalo Township Duck Pond and surrounding Lewisburg wetland

This ares is referred to locally as the Duck Pond and officially known as the East Buffalo Township Municipal Park. It is directly across Fairground rd. from St. Mary St. During migration and over the winter, several different wild duck species can sometimes be found mixed in with the resident mixed breed mallard/domestic ducks. Great-blue herons are frequent year-round. Much of this area is an example of wetland scrub/shrub habitat, especially the section across Fairground rd. on the trail through the wetlands. In the winter, otherwise uncommon wintering birds can frequently be found here such as ruby-crowned kinglets and white-crowned sparrows.

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Glacier Pools Preserve

The preserve is off of Pine Tree Rd. North of Picture Rocks, PA. and has a conservation easement with the Merrill Linn Conservancy in Lewisburg. Google Maps directions are available below.