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Hawk Mountain sees record numbers amidst pandemic

With indoor activity options limited due to the pandemic, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary near Orwigsburg is seeing more visitors than ever.

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. — With indoor options limited because of the pandemic, we've seen a "back to nature movement" over the past few months, which is a big reason why Hawk Mountain Sanctuary near Orwigsburg is seeing more visitors than ever. 

"Actually the last four months, we've had record attendance. We try to make it safe for all of our members. For Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association, membership fees and trail fees are very important for us as an organization, and all of those things go to the conservation work that we do," said Sean Grace, Hawk Mountain President.

With a view that nice, it's hard for many to not pay a visit to what's considered by experts to be one of the greatest bird and raptor watching locations in the United States. 

The overlook and variety of hiking trails during fall foliage season also makes this a prime spot this time of year.

"Folks say that the sanctuary is sacrosanct. It's this very special place that connects with so many people. A lot of it really is about the view. It's a special place," said Grace.

The sanctuary adds, its schedule of events has grown immensely the last couple years, and the pandemic has led to an increase in online programming through YouTube videos and in-class programming at Hawk Mountain's brand new amphitheater. 

"This is perfect. We just finished building this, and it's just fabulous for doing programming and social distancing outside. It gives all kinds of new capabilities," said Grace.

For those looking to hike Hawk Mountain and check out the views, trail fees are $10.