Good Life

Bring your binoculars to explore the Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor

Join ClearWater Conservancy Sunday for a walk through the Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor. Be sure to bring your binoculars because the corridor’s meadows and woodlands are home to an abundant array of Pennsylvania wildlife and plant species.

The corridor connects two of our region’s important natural resources — Bald Eagle Mountain and the Scotia Barrens (also known as State Game Lands 176). The Barrens, located just west of State College, is one of Pennsylvania’s most unique natural wonders. This rare habitat is one of the largest examples of pitch pine-scrub oak barrens remaining in our state — making it an extraordinary home for a wide variety of wildlife and a primary source of groundwater for the Spring Creek watershed. Bald Eagle Mountain is also an important natural resource because of its large, relatively unfragmented forest habitat and rich wildlife populations. The 103-acre Wildlife Corridor serves the important function of supporting wildlife traveling between these two significant ecosystems.

ClearWater Conservancy Habitat Biologist Colleen DeLong will be along for the hike to discuss how conservation efforts at the Corridor protect and connect vital habitats. The .66 mile hike follows a mowed path and is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Friendly dogs on a leash are welcome to attend with owners prepared to clean up after their furry friends. Guided hikes will begin at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Planning to attend this week’s adventure? Here’s what you need to know:

What: Centred Outdoors: Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor

When: 2-5 p.m. Sunday; Guided tours begin at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Where: Barrens to Bald Eagle Wildlife Corridor, 235 Harness Downs Road, Port Matilda

Parking: Please drive slowly through the neighborhood before you reach the parking area. Turn right on Harness Downs Road off of Saddle Ridge Road and follow this road all the way until it dead ends. Visitors may park along the road, but please do not park on grass or block driveways.

What to bring:

  • A refillable water bottle

  • Sun protection including a hat and sunscreen

  • Comfortable walking shoes.

  • Insect repellent

Difficulty of hike: This is an easy hike with very little elevation change. 0.66 miles long, 150 feet elevation change, approx. 1 hour to complete.

Additional Information:

  • Friendly dogs on leashes are permitted, and owners must clean up after their pets.

  • Visit www.centredoutdoors.org for complete event details

Next week’s adventure: On June 2 from 2-6 p.m., a free Centred Outdoors Family Fishing Picnic will be held at Tussey Mountain, co-hosted by Spring Creek Chapter Trout Unlimited and ClearWater Conservancy. This event marks the official kick-off of summer and will feature fishing, food, children’s activities, fly casting stations, kayaking, and an easy hike through Galbraith Gap trails. (visit CentredOutdoors.org to register).

Hosted by ClearWater Conservancy, Centred Outdoors will host free, guided adventures to Centre County residents and visitors every Sunday from 2-5 p.m. and every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. June 9 through Aug. 6. The finalized schedule can be seen at www.centredoutdoors.org, where users can log in to create their own profile, RSVP, and receive weekly emails about each event. While online registration is not required, it is the best way to receive event updates. Look to the Centre Daily Times every week for complete details about the upcoming Centred Outdoors destination.

Jon Major is the communications strategist for ClearWater Conservancy.
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