On the Trail with Darcy and Lizzy: Hawk Mountain and The Pinnacle

At this point in Darcy and Elizabeth’s Boots & Backpacks hike, readers get to meet a couple of important characters: Marianne Dashwood and Christopher Brandon! They both work at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the world’s oldest educational and scientific organization dedicated to the conservation of raptors.

Marianne meets Darcy and Elizabeth along the Appalachian Trail and hosts them for a few days. Late summer and autumn is the best time to visit Hawk Mountain, because 20,000 hawks, eagles, and falcons pass overhead during their southern migration every year. Visitors gather mainly at the North Lookout and the South Lookout to observe and count the birds of prey.

Hawk Mountain North Lookout
Hawk watchers on the North Lookout at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.
Photo by Samantha Vaughan
Hawk Mountain South Lookout
View from the South Lookout at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.
Photo by Mike Serfas

Another famous feature that Darcy and Elizabeth explore at Hawk Mountain is the River of Rocks, a 2/3-mile-long boulder field deposited during the last Ice Age. You can see it from afar in the image above – the thin line in the valley that sort of looks like a river – or below from close up.

The Rver of Rocks
The River of Rocks at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.
Photo by Thuresson

About five miles south of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is The Pinnacle, a 1,615-foot peak along the Kittatinny Ridge said to offer one of the best views on the Appalachian Trail. Darcy, Elizabeth, Chris, and Marianne hike up The Pinnacle in Chapter 15 of Boots & Backpacks.

View from Pulpit Rock
The View from Pulpit Rock, on the way to The Pinnacle.
Photo by doofusdave
View from The Pinnacle, Hamburg, PA
View from The Pinnacle, along the Appalachian Trail
Photo by doofusdave

Previous On the Trail with D&L posts:

Delaware Water Gap Part 1

Delaware Water Gap Part 2

Eastern Pennsylvania

The Boots & Backpacks Map