Bald Eagle State Park
The 5,900-acre Bald Eagle State Park is in the broad Bald Eagle Valley of northcentral Pennsylvania. The 1,730-acre lake laps the flanks of Bald Eagle Mountain, surrounded by forests, fields and wetlands. With two campgrounds, boating, fishing, swimming, the Nature Inn, and diverse habitats that are excellent for wildlife watching, Bald Eagle State Park is a great destination in the heart of Pennsylvania.
Recreational facilities are a result of a cooperative effort between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources-Bureau of State Parks.
Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. The park office is open specific hours. The beach, overnight areas, and other areas are open specific seasons and hours. Contact the park office for facility seasons and hours.
Picnicking: Picnic areas around the lake all have picnic tables, grills and restrooms. Picnic areas open at sunrise and close at sunset. Picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Most boat launches areas have picnic tables, grills and restrooms.
Schencks Grove Picnic Area, on the ridge on the south side of Marina Cove, has two play fields and a volleyball net.
Point Picnic Area, on the point of the peninsula overlooking the beach and marina, has pavilions #3 and #4 and a volleyball net.
The Beach Picnic Area has pavilions #1, #2, #6 and #7.
The Skyline Drive Picnic Area is on a ridge overlooking Frog Pond, the lake and Bald Eagle Mountain. This area has Pavilion #5.
Winter Launch Picnic Area has Pavilion #8, and a fishing pier to accommodate people with disabilities.
Bald Eagle Boat Launch has Pavilion #9.
Swimming: The 1,200-foot long sand and turf beach has a children’s playground, snack bar, changing rooms, public restrooms and parking. The regular hours are 8 a.m. to sunset, Memorial Day to Labor Day, unless otherwise posted. Swim at your own risk. Please follow posted rules for swimming. The swimming area is ADA accessible. Pets are prohibited in the beach area.
Smoking is prohibited on the beach and in the swimming area. For visitors who smoke and still want to use the beach, designated areas adjacent to the beach are provided. The restriction includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and other handheld, lighted smoking devices.
Explore swimming for more information.
A food and refreshment concession is in the beach area and offers hot sandwiches and snacks. It is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, weather permitting. Contact the park for additional information.
Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir: The 1,730-acre lake is the focal point for water-based recreation in the park. The nearly eight-mile long lake has 23 miles of shoreline.
Because of its role in flood damage reduction and downstream water quality, the operation of the dam is the responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Lake levels vary throughout the year. Beginning in November, the USACE begins a five-foot lake draw down to prepare for winter waters. Between mid-February and early March, the water level is lowered an additional 15 feet to maximum flood protection pool. Depending on weather conditions, the reservoir usually reaches the summer recreational pool by mid-May. For current lake level visit the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers lake level Web site.
Boating: unlimited horsepower motors permitted
Boats equipped with inboard engines with over-the-transom or straight-stack type exhausts are prohibited.
Motorboats must display a boat registration from any state. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration from any state; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks that are available at most state park offices; launch use permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Most boat launches have picnic tables, grills and restrooms.
Hunter Run West Launch, by the Russell P. Letterman campground, allows 24-hour access.
Hunter Run East Launch, off East Launch Road, allows 24-hour access.
Winter Launch, located along the lake north of the beach, provides year-round boating, a fishing pier which can accommodate persons with disabilities, and 24-hour access. This launch is usable at all water levels.
Bald Eagle Boat Launch, in the town of Howard, is lighted and provides 24-hour access.
Lower Greens Run Boat Launch, off PA 150, has a fishing pier provides 24-hour access.
Upper Greens Run Boat Launch, off PA 150, provides 24-hour access.
Marina and Boat Concession: Three hundred and sixty-nine marina dockage slips can be rented on a seasonal basis. Transient slips are rented on a daily basis. Boat and trailer storage is available for the summer and winter seasons. Contact the park office for additional information.
When available, the boating concession, located at the marina, rents boats, sells gasoline and does repairs. The concession is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and weekends during the months of September and October, weather permitting. Contact the park office for additional information. www.boatsandbikesetc.com
Fishing: The 1,730-acre Sayers Reservoir and its 23 miles of shoreline offer excellent warm water fishing. Common species are crappie, yellow perch, tiger muskellunge, channel catfish and largemouth and smallmouth bass. The lake is a panfish enhancement waterway and special regulations apply. An ADA accessible fishing pier is at the Winter Launch in the Main Park Area. Ice fishing is permitted. Ice thickness is not monitored. For your safety, be sure the ice is at least four inches thick and carry safety equipment.
Foster Joseph Sayers Lake Depth Black-and-white Map (.pdf) (17,421 kb, 8/15)
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Hunting and Firearms: About 4,910 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are white-tailed deer, turkey, waterfowl and rabbit. Hunting is also available on nearby state game lands 92 and 252.
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.
Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner’s vehicle or enclosed trailer. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.
Complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.
Hiking: 14.5 miles of trails
Butterfly Trail: 1.5 miles - easiest hiking
Hunter Run East Trail: 2.3 miles - more difficult hiking
Hunter Run West Trail: 2.2 miles - more difficult hiking
Lakeside Trail: 2.9 miles or 4.4 miles - more difficult hiking
Skyline Drive Trail: 2 miles - easiest hiking
Swamp Oak Trail: 0.5 mile - easiest hiking
Woapalanne Path: 2 miles - easiest hiking
Russell P. Letterman Campground: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups
Explore camping for more information.
Rustic Camping Area: vault toilets
Explore camping for more information.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 1 host position in each campground
Camping Cottages: Three camping cottages sleep five people and have wooden floors, windows, electric heat, porch, picnic table, fire ring and electric lights and outlets. Vehicles are to be parked on the hard surface only, not on the grass. Located in the Russell P. Letterman Campground. Dogs permitted in Camping Cottage 1 for a fee.
Deluxe Camping Cottage: A deluxe cottage is available from the second Friday in April until the end of deer season in mid-December. Deluxe cottages have minimal furnishings; kitchen stove top, refrigerator, microwave oven, electric heat, lighting and bunk beds. There is no running water in deluxe cottages. However, a showerhouse is nearby.
Yurts: Two round, canvas and wood tents on wooden decks sleep 6, have electric heat, a cooking stove, refrigerator, beds and a table and chairs. Located in the center of the Russell P. Letterman Campground, the yurts offer convenient accommodations for weekly rentals. Shorter stays are available during the spring and fall seasons. One yurt can accommodate people with disabilities. Dogs permitted Yurt B for a fee.
The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle: Experience the beauty of Bald Eagle State Park in a new addition to the Pennsylvania State Park system—The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle. The 18,500-square-foot, 16-room building overlooks the park’s lake and provides full-service accommodations. This modern inn, unique to the park system, focuses on outdoor recreation and stewardship, making maximum use of green building technologies, while serving as a premier interpretive facility for bird watching. natureinnatbaldeagle.com
Cross-country Skiing: Some park trails and open areas are suitable for cross-country skiing. About seven miles of ungroomed trails are available with proper snow conditions.
Sledding: About five acres of cleared hillside allows for a 1,320-foot run. The slope faces the modern campground and is accessed from Skyline Drive near Pavilion #5.
Ice Fishing: About 630 acres of the lake are available during the winter. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Ice Skating: Ice skating is permitted on the lake. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
Bald Eagle State Park offers a wide variety of environmental education and interpretive programs year-round. Through guided walks, hands-on activities, and campfire programs, visitors gain appreciation and awareness toward the natural and historical resources.
Curriculum-based outdoor investigations and hands-on environmental activities are available to local schools, youth and community organizations, and homeschool associations. Programs for children to learn about the environment are presented annually through the Pennsylvania State Park’s DiscoverE day camp. This program is open to children ages 4-17 and their parents. Group programs must be scheduled in advance by calling the park office. For more information on park programs, check the activity schedule on the park bulletin boards or at the park office. A complete listing is available online.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
Access for People with Disabilities
Access to boating on the lake for people with disabilities is available at the Marina. Pavilions #6 and #7 in the Beach Picnic Area are ADA accessible.
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.