Peak fall color has spread across the mountains and valleys at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, near Kempton on the Berks-Schuylkill county line.
The lookouts at Hawk Mountain offer commanding views across dozens of miles of the valleys below.
But, like many outdoor destinations during the coronavirus pandemic, Hawk Mountain is being slammed with unprecedented numbers of visitors and parking and access can be clogged, particularly on weekends.
Here’s the notice on Hawk Mountain’s website:
“We are currently experiencing high visitor volume and cannot guarantee parking on October weekends. Consider a weekday visit or arrive early. Your safety is always a priority, so please socially distance and wear a mask. Restrooms are limited. Bring exact change or purchase online ticket. No pets allowed. Learn more here. Thank you for your support.”
Advance tickets are available through the website.
The sanctuary charges an admission fee to non-members. It is $5 for children ages 6-12, $10 for adults and $7 for seniors older than 65.
Hawk Mountain also is operating under pandemic safety restrictions:
“Always stay home if you feel ill. Masks are required. Be prepared to wear a mask at North Lookout if you feel you cannot social distance from others. Limited restrooms are available. Consider a weekday or return visit if the parking lot is full.”
If you’re looking to go leaf-peeping this fall, you can find places to stay in Pennsylvania on VRBO.
Launched in 1934, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is famous worldwide as the first and longest standing refuge for birds of prey, with lookouts where thousands pilgrimage each fall to observe the passing raptor migration.
If there is no space available when you arrive at Hawk Mountain, other mountain-crossing roads in the area offer some nice overlooks and there are many backroads for drives through the splendor that is autumn.
— Marcus Schneck/PennLive/Tribune News Service