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1.09.2022

Exploring Poe Paddy State Park, Poe Valley State Park, and Bald Eagle State Forest

If you are looking for a fantastic place to truly feel like you are getting away in Central PA, the Poe Paddy and Poe Valley State Parks and Bald Eagle State Forest is a great place to go. The rugged landscapes, incredible forests, rock outcrops, and meandering creek valleys make this a visually breathtaking place. 
The old infrastructure of the CCC, coupled with some reinvestment into the parks, over the last twenty years, including fortifying an old railroad tunnel in Poe Paddy State Park, have these place in fantastic shape and accessible for recreational access that is pretty far off the beaten path. Seemingly endless forest roads traverse the area. 

Poe Valley State Park has a beautiful and small man made lake with a beach, log cabin bathhouse and concessionaire, beautiful cabins, campground, a playground, hiking, and more. 


Countless scenic overlooks are spread throughout the area. For a list on information on many of them and how to access them, check out this article. 




Poe Paddy State Park has a beautiful rail trail through an old rail tunnel, a beautiful rustic campground, and a wonderful meandering stretch of creek. In between the state parks, and completely surrounding them, is seemingly endless expanse of aggressive roads up to breathtaking scenic overlooks with views of up to twenty miles or more. 

The renovated old rail tunnel through Poe Paddy State Park.

Back to Poe Valley State Park!
The creek outflows from the lake create some neat waterfall features that you can hear throughout the campground. 

While this area is pretty far out and off the beaten path, 30 minute drives in any direction can lead to nice small boroughs like Millheim, Siglerville, Centre Hall, and more, all with nice places to get a meal or supplies. Our wintry stay on one of the last weekends of campground operations until the spring was a quite and relaxing time. Outdoor recreational opportunities of many kinds are available in this area, one of the finest areas for outdoor exploration that the state has to offer. 
 

1.02.2022

10+ Amazing Scenic Overlooks in Bald Eagle State Forest


Bald Eagle State Forest is an incredibly remote and beautiful place to explore. Dozens of official and unofficial overlooks dot the rugged landscapes of this state forest, with almost all of them offering views that go out for miles. The lake at Poe Valley State Park is within a rugged creek valley and offers scenic vistas on its shores of the rugged mountain landscape.

The Chocolate Drop Vista is located on Pine Swamp Road, when you turn off of Poe Valley Road near Poe Valley State Park. You can't miss this spot. You can see it on a curve as you go up the hill. If you continue on this road, then follow the signs to "Vistas" and turn right, you will head up to Penn's View Overlook, and the others on that road, which only get better as they go along. 

Chocolate Drop Vista Coordinates:
40.832362, -77.451150

CeCe enjoying the Chocolate Drop Vista

Penn's View Overlook is one of the finest in the state. It offers sweeping vistas of the mountains, plateaus, valleys, and meandering creeks of the area, along with views of farms and old rail bridges. On the first day we went up there, a group of birders had their binoculars out and a nice little fire going. While all of these overlooks are nice, this one is just fantastic. The best thing about it though is getting to it requires going by all of the other scenic overlooks and vistas, and this one is the capstone of the journey. The elevation in this spot is about 1740, and you can see the village of Coburn out in the distance.
Penn's View Overlook
Coordinates:
40.842546, -77.452578

This is the first overlook that I went to in a while that I wanted to take out a bunch of lenses for. There is just so much going on. Any single view would be fantastic as a scenic overlook, but the 180 degree views are just fantastic in this spot. I used my wide angle, mid telephoto, and fisheye lenses in this spot. If you are camping in the area or spending a lot of time in the state forest, this spot will have your phone buzzing a few times as it is one of the few spots with decent phone coverage. Make sure you have a paper map and save the Google Maps data into your phone to ensure you are able to navigate if you need to. In this spot, both sunrise and sunset should be visible.

Just a breathtaking spot. 
Just a half mile further down the road, you run into three more overlooks, Ingleby View, and the Raven's Knob East and Raven's Knob West Views. These spots are pretty self explanatory to see. Just keep going on the road as you pass Penn's View and you will run right into them. Ingleby View is off of a pretty outcrop and gives a portion over view just around the corner from what you see at Penn's View, though it is more obstructed. The road beyond this point is called "Road Trail" and it is not maintained. I would not recommend driving on it, even if you have a high clearance 4 wheel drive vehicle. 

Raven's Knob East and West give views from both sides of the mountain. Our adventure dog CeCe loved every minute of it. 


Bell's Majestic View 
Coordinates:
40.829736, -77.508941

We visited this spot once before enroute on an west to east drive. This is is a stunning view that is about a 15 minute drive across the rocky forest roads from Penn's View. You can't miss it if you are headed up to Millheim, up and out of Bald Eagle State Forest. Our first visit was at sunset and it was breathtaking. You get a view over several sets of mountains here, the remainder of the state forest, and out to the valley in a strong agrarian setting. I always love central PA overlooks, and this one is no different. 


Big Valley Vista
Coordinates:
40.784399, -77.514830
Catching this one is blue hour is fantastic. Any fog or haze sort of hangs in the valleys and the view of each set of mountains is just fantastic. It looks like something straight out of a Bob Ross painting. While the view is not as widely expansive as Penn's View, the view itself is just so awesome. It is about 15 minutes south of Bell's Majestic View.



New Lancaster Valley Overlook/Ridge Road Vista
The New Lancaster Valley Vista gives a stunning view about twelve miles down the New Lancaster Valley to where Jacks Mountain and Thick Mountain meet. The view is so incredible. Central PA's topography is so amazing. 

In the more eastern reaches of Bald Eagle State Forest, (remember this state forest is about 194,000 acres, and it takes more than an hour to reach from end to end) There are at least two labelled scenic overlooks, The New Lancaster Valley Scenic Overlook, Coordinates: 40.79362, -77.31011 which gives an incredible view that goes for at least 12 miles, and the Chimney Rocks Overlook, coordinates: 40.84599, -77.29787 

Both of these overlooks are a solid hour from the rest that we covered. We have hit them in passing on road trips and did not hit them on this trip. They are well worth the effort, especially the New Lancaster Valley Overlook.

Overall, Bald Eagle State Forest is a tremendously large place with ample scenic and outdoor exploration opportunities. It is well worth exploring. All of these listed overlooks are roadside, and even more are available with some exploration in this beautifully rugged setting. 

We have released our 2022 Pennsylvania Calendar! 

It features views of: 

-Independence Hall in Philadelphia 

-Sunrise in Downtown Pittsburgh 

-Knoebels Amusement Resort 

-Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway 

-Millersburg Ferry across the Susquehanna River 

-Tank Hollow Overlook above the Lehigh Gorge in the Poconos 

-The Reading Pagoda 

-Kennywood Park 

-Mercer's Mill Covered Bridge in Chester and Lancaster Counties 

-Academia-Pomeroy Covered Bridge in Juniata County

-Ohiopyle State Park 

-A holiday scene in Pittsburgh 

The calendars open up to be 17 inches tall by 11 inches wide (8.5 by 11 pages) 

It makes for a great gift for someone or for yourself. It is available for purchase through the PayPal dropdown menus at the top of the page and the bottom of this article.

Thanks for your ongoing support over the years! 

2022 PA Calendar and PA Amusement Parks Book Purchase Options
 



 

12.19.2021

St. Severin's Old Log Church: Clearfield County

St. Severin's Log Church in Clearfield County hails from a time in which settlers were starting to occupy territories further and further west. Clearfield County was occupied on paper when it was established in 1804, but at least through the mid 1850s, the Lenni Lenape and other tribes still stood defense on their land. St. Severin's Log Church was erected around this same time in 1851 and was used through around 1880. 
It is a small and humble church whose parish still lives on to this day. The land surrounding it is still used as a cemetery. It is 1.5 stories tall and was built upon a stone foundation. It has a gable roof and steeple. It is about 45 x 24 Feet in size. 

It was built in the old Cooper Settlement within Cooper Township, along what is now Route 53 in Clearfield County and it is a very relaxing place to visit.


If you are in the area, this is well worth taking a few minutes of your day to check out. If you are headed up into the wilds from central PA, it is pretty easy to check out this place. We took Route 53 up from route 80 to Scenic Route 144 up to Hyner View State Park area and then cut over to the PA Grand Canyon. It was a great place to stop and reflect for a little bit. 

We have released our 2022 Pennsylvania Calendar! 

It features views of: 

-Independence Hall in Philadelphia 

-Sunrise in Downtown Pittsburgh 

-Knoebels Amusement Resort 

-Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway 

-Millersburg Ferry across the Susquehanna River 

-Tank Hollow Overlook above the Lehigh Gorge in the Poconos 

-The Reading Pagoda 

-Kennywood Park 

-Mercer's Mill Covered Bridge in Chester and Lancaster Counties 

-Academia-Pomeroy Covered Bridge in Juniata County

-Ohiopyle State Park 

-A holiday scene in Pittsburgh 

The calendars open up to be 17 inches tall by 11 inches wide (8.5 by 11 pages) 

It makes for a great gift for someone or for yourself. It is available for purchase through the PayPal dropdown menus at the top of the page and the bottom of this article.

Thanks for your ongoing support over the years! 

2022 PA Calendar and PA Amusement Parks Book Purchase Options
 

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