Hawk Watch, Pa  LbNA # 41777,_Pa

OwnerMarshmellow and mom    
Placed DateJul 14 2008
LocationCentral City in Somerset county, PA
Found By PinkCat
Last Found Oct 2 2010
Hike Distance?

Hawk Watch

Gate open during count season, Late Feb to end of April and Mid Aug to Mid Dec.

You are able to park out side the gate during off season and hike back to the site

Direction: From the traffic light in Schellsburg, travel 3.3 miles west on US Route 30. Turn right onto Burns Mills Road (RT 469). Travel 1.7 miles to a stop sign and turn right onto Helixville Rd. (SR 4012). Travel 1.4 miles and turn left onto Lambert Mt. Rd. (T501) Climb the Mountain for about .8 miles you will past a house right on top just past that you will come to a blue gate on the left. This is the Hawk watch, there is Posted signs all along this area, but it applies to the surrounding property, You are a welcome guest at the Allegheny Plateau Hawk Watch. If you are Hiking in from the gate, it is .2 mile back to the Plateau via the gravel road, Do not turn at the brown gate with a 503 on it countinue straight till you see the small gravel parking area. To the left is the Plateau. About Half way to the over look you will see a small cut out on your right about the size of a parking space, (this may be where the bathroom sit during season.) Walk straight into this area into the wood till you come to the first 2 trunk tree. From there turn right and about 22 steps away you will come to a tree with 3 trunks, here you will find your treasure.

Below is some info on the Hawk Watch and some links that have alternate directions.

The Allegheny Front Hawk Watch Experience:
The Allegheny Front Hawk Watch is at the top of Shaffer Mountain between Somerset County, and Bedford County, PA. The watch gives a nearly 180o view of a valley that spans central Bedford County. On a clear day, one can see as far North as Blue Knob and as far South as the I-70 corridor. . This allows an expansive view of land and sky and provides a unique vantagepoint for many since most of our high mountain views are heavily wooded and inaccessible.
On a typical day, in Season there will be a counter who is responsible for sighting, identifying, and recording raptors, (hawks, eagles, falcons, etc…) that are migrating through the area. These records are sent to several organizations that use them to compile data on their populations and movements. There will probably be others enjoying and participating in the hawk count but the counter makes the official records. Using binoculars, these people will scan the skies for these particular birds and call out when they sight a bird for the counter to identify. There is often discussion as to the identity of the bird.
The birds can fly anywhere in the sky. Sometimes close overhead. Sometimes far out in the valley and partially obscured by haze. It can be frustrating at first when someone calls a bird and you have trouble finding it, but you will get the hang of it. Relax and listen to their instructions and eventually you will find the birds.
This site is the western most migration counting point in PA. Raptors are counted as they work their way through the spine of the Appalachians. The actual amount of birds that can be seen in a day vary greatly, even from hour to hour. The flight of raptors at the site can be influenced by the weather. A wind from the East can “push the birds into the mountain” so they fly over our heads giving what can be a spectacular display. Their flight during other winds is variable. Birds do not fly during rain so if it is raining, there will be no flight. In fact, if rain is expected for most of the day, the counter may leave if the flight looks hopeless.
Another word on weather… it is unpredictable here. Expect it to be colder and windier than most areas in the region. Plan to bring extra clothes to deal with the weather. Sun protection is also important. The watch site has a relatively flat terrain and visitors are invited to bring chairs to make themselves comfortable. A portable restroom is available at the site although not necessarily handicapped accessible. APAS merchandise is available for sale at the site for those interested.