Birding Hot Spots

Below is a list of locations in Lycoming County that are both easily accessible and offer good birding potential.

Rose Valley Lake
Rose Valley Lake is a 389-acre reservoir owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and managed by the Fish and Boat Commission for public fishing and boating. Rose Valley Lake may offer the best variety of birding in Lycoming County. Everything from Bald Eagles and Osprey to Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers and Willow Flycatchers. Spring and fall migration are excellent times of the year to catch waterfowl migration.  When the lake thaws (usually late in March) many species of ducks, loons, grebes, and geese are there. April and May bring waves of warblers and other neo-tropical migrants which can be best viewed from the south boat launch area and Trimble Road. The north boat launch area also provides a nice mix of habitats for a wide variety of species.

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Directions from Williamsport: Rt. 15 North to Trout Run. Take Trout Run Mountain. Road to the top of the mountain. Go left on Rose Valley Road and go right onto Trimble Road. Follow the signs to the south boat launch.

Mill Street in Montoursville
Mill Street has been known for many years to local birders as a great place to find spring migrants. Mill Street is a gated (Oct 1st to March 31st) road that parallels the Loyalsock Creek. We recommend you park at the very end of the street where there is a small parking area and picnic ground. The Susquehanna River and the Loyalsock Creek meet here. An excellent mix of migrants can be found through the month of May. Walk back toward the Lycoming Regional Airport where many swallows congregate.  Lycoming Audubon Society member Fred Stiner found a vagrant Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher along the Loyalsock Creek in 2003.

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White Deer Ridge (Skyline Drive)
White Deer Ridge is an excellent place to witness the spring raptor migration. From late winter on, you can view hawks, eagles, and waterfowl both to the south and north of the lookout. Golden Eagles are the highlight here and can be found on southerly winds from late February through March.

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Picture of White Deer Ridge



Directions from South Williamsport: Take Rt. 554 (Sulphur Springs Rd.) south from Route 15 south to the top of Bald Eagle Mountain where Skyline Drive is gated. Walk approximately ¼ mile to the east where the power line right of way crosses the mountain. Viewing is best from the clearing to the south of the road.

Muncy Heritage Park
This site along the Susquehanna River, has open fields, ponds, waterways and a wooded area, so it's a good birding destination in any season. Take one of two easy walks: a short path to the River's edge (you'll see a river bridge, an old abandoned bridge abutment, and grassy areas) where you may observe swallows, shorebirds, waterfowl, especially mergansers, and maybe even a Bald Eagle or Osprey; or cross the road past the dig site toward the ponds to look for warblers, waxwings, bluebirds, nesting raptors and other birds that are fond of mudflats.

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Directions from Williamsport: I-180 east to Exit 13-A. Turn right onto Rt. 405. At the traffic light, turn left and travel about a mile to Pepper Street. Turn right onto Pepper Street and proceed 2 miles to the Canal Site along the Susquehanna River.

Rider Park
This 867 acre mountaintop county park is located adjoining a unit of the Loyalsock State Forest just northeast of the village of Warrensville. Well maintained trails meander throughout the park offering visitors plenty of deep forest habitat, outstanding vistas of the Loyalsock Creek valley and pleasant meadows and fields to traverse. It is a four-season park. Skis or snow shoes may be helpful in the dead of winter. The park is home to almost every critter that calls PA’s woodlands home and the birdlife is similarly diverse. Migrating warblers and other songbirds are everywhere in the late spring & early summer and early fall and resident forest and field birds are plentiful year-round. Rider Park maintains bird-feeding stations over the winter, attracting birds for visitors' viewing pleasure. The Lycoming Audubon Society maintains an extensive bluebird trail which hosts numerous Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows in early summer.

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Susquehanna River Walk and Timber Trail
This asphalt loop trail on both sides of the Susquehanna River in the city of Williamsport and South Williamsport Borough is a popular destination. During all three temperate seasons numerous waterfowl are common visitors to the river and various songbirds make use of the trees and brush lining the river. Magnificent raptors such as Bald Eagle, Osprey, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Coopers Hawk and others travel the river corridor and perch along it, affording birders excellent views. Peregrine Falcons nested on the Market Street Bridge in 2013, and a pair of Bald Eagles are nesting just upstream from the River Walk in 2014.

In the late winter and early spring period huge numbers of waterfowl, terns, gulls and other birds use the river as a travel corridor for their migration. What could be more convenient than this natural corridor running between the city and the borough, teeming with birdlife much of the year!

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Glacier Pools Preserve
This Preserve is a 270-acre private property located in eastern Lycoming County just northwest of Picture Rocks. The Gross family welcomes visitors to their property which has been preserved from development by a conservation easement with the Merrill Linn Conservancy. Public access is sponsored by the East Lycoming Recreation Authority. The land is described as “an island of mature woods, wildflower meadows and vernal (glacial) pools…” The property is all of that, from its unique geology and dramatic vernal pools to the beautiful woodlands, grassy fields and outstanding views of the surrounding countryside. Penns woods wildlife abounds and the birdlife is all that you would expect from such a property set in an extremely rural area and maintained in a natural state. On a brisk morning, spring through fall, the parking area alone has enough birdlife around to hold your attention for quite some time. It's a destination well worth the half-hour’s drive from Williamsport!

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Route 15 Overlook
This overlook is a comfortable fall hawk watching location with ample parking, handicapped accessibility, shade, and picnic tables. The overlook is located along Route 15 as it cuts through Bald Eagle Mountain near South Williamsport and faces north looking out over the Williamsport Regional Airport and borough of Montoursville. It is accessible from the northbound lane of Route 15. If heading southbound go one mile past the overlook and there is a turning lane that goes off to the right to get back on northbound. It . There are no bathroom facilities but it is mere minutes from McDonald's and other South Williamsport businesses.

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Lime Bluff Recreation Area
This park near Hughesville has a great variety of habitat for songbirds. Habitat includes grassy areas, farm fields, forest edge, swampy areas, a small pond, and a Christmas tree farm. DIRECTIONS: From Rt 405 in Hughesville turn west onto Elm Drive (near McDonald’s). Drive a half mile then turn left into the park entrance and follow the road to the parking areas.

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Williamsport Water Authority
This property in the Mosquito Valley has public trails for hiking and mountain biking. The habitat is mostly forested with some openings and two water areas near the parking lot that sometimes get shorebirds. From Duboistown, head south on Valley St. for a half mile then turn left onto Mosquito Valley Road. Stay left across the one lane bridge, follow Mosquito Valley Road all the way to the end, and park in the visitor parking lot on the left. Visitors must sign in at the information sign.

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Canfield Island and Riverfront Park
This park has forested areas surrounding a large oval walking path with a large grassy area in the middle and is right along the Susquehanna River.
From E 3rd Street take Old Montoursville Road near the Super 8 in Loyalsock. AFter crossing two sets of train tracks follow the road to the road as it becomes Greevey Rd. The park is a quarter mile ahead on the left.

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SGL 252
The northern part of this large game lands is in Lycoming County and includes forested areas, fields, and large ponds. Multiple parking areas are available along Ridge Rd, including one near Mt Zion Church. Another good access is at the end of Pikes Peak Rd (which is off of Alvira Rd). This is a game lands so be aware of hunting and bears.

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Lycoming County Farm Conservation Trail
This trail is located at the Lycoming County Conservation District offices off 2140 Warrensville Road (behind Valley View) in Loyalsock and goes through a small wetland, ascends quickly to mature hardwood forest, has a Loyalsock Creek over-look and provides a magnificent distance view of the Susquehanna valley and its backdrop mountain range.

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Algerine Swamp
Take 414 to Gamble Run Rd in northwestern Lycoming County. This area is boreal forest at its finest and is one of the most reliable spots in the state to get Red-breasted Nuthatch year-round.

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SGL 75 Larson Tract
This is a remote wetlands area that was developed off of Truman Run Rd and Larson Ln. It has very rarely been birded but has very good potential for rarities.

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