Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, located north of the Lehigh Valley in east-central Pennsylvania, is the world’s first refuge for birds of prey.  Open year-round, visitors enjoy scenic vistas, 8-miles of ridge and valley trails, a Visitor Center, Bookstore, and native plant garden, and each autumn, the chance to observe large numbers of hawks, eagles, and falcons as they migrate past the lookouts.

Even in the winter months, Hawk Mountain provides outdoor adventures for the whole family, including this weekend’s event, Wild About Winter.  On Saturday, January 15, 2011, gather the family and head to the Hawk Mountain Visitor’s Center by 11:00 am.  This all-day event kicks off with the making of some pinecone critters, followed by the live Raptor Program at noon.   Snowflake Bingo, happening at 12:45 pm, is a long time favorite, and sure to be a hit!

The main feature of Wild about Winter is the half-hour Winter Woods Walk, where you have the opportunity to see any of the wildlife that is visiting!  Imagine being at the top of the mountain, looking off into the distance, and standing amidst the hawks or eagles!  It truly is a beautiful sight.  The Winter Woods Walk is limited to the first 25 people, and trail fees do apply.

The event finishes with Make a Flake at 1:30 pm, and another Live Raptor Program at 2:15 pm.  All day long you can enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and shade-grown coffee, handcrafted jewelry display by local artist Marilyn Pounder, and FREE trail admission for children ages 12 and under.  This is sure to be a weekend event that your family will enjoy, and be able to get outdoors!

If this weekend doesn’t work for you, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary’s next event is on Friday, February 18, or February 25.  See live owls up close and learn more about the adaptations that make these raptors the expert hunters of the night.  Hawk Mountain Owl Prowls offers an exclusive opportunity to learn more about Hawk Mountain’s resident owls in a small group setting.  During your prowl, you will begin indoors, spending time with Educator Jeremy Scheivert who will introduce you to live owls and their unique calls.  Then, Jeremy will lead the group on an easy nighttime hike through the parking area and nearby trails to try and “call-in” a wild owl.

Visit Hawk Mountain Sanctuary any time of year to enjoy the outdoors with nature and wildlife.  It does a body and family good!  What are your favorite things to do in the winter months?

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