Wildlife Watching at Blue Knob State Park
Blue Knob State Park is a great place to see wildlife in all seasons.
Remember that we are the guests and should try not to disturb the wildlife we are observing.
Fall is an exciting time to discover wildlife and plants preparing for the coming winter season. Some animals begin to migrate, others prepare to hibernate, and others put on great displays during fall courtship.
Many animals are very active, which makes them easier to observe. The vibrant colors of fall foliage usually peak in the second and third weeks of October. With an abundance of sugar and red maples, the mountain appears to be on fire due to the red and yellow leaves.
Meanwhile, oak trees produce large crops of acorns so at least a few will escape the black bears, deer, squirrel, and turkey fattening up for winter.
The antlers of white-tailed deer bucks mature in time for the rut.
Brook trout are even more vibrant in color as they spawn in gravel areas.
Many birds can be viewed migrating. Look for flocks of robins, grackles, and warblers to gather together before flying south.
Blue Knob is a winter wonderland. The snow depths and length of the season are almost unmatched in Pennsylvania.
While it is often difficult to see wildlife, their tracks are quite evident in the snow. By following their tracks, enjoy the winter wanderings of:
Small animals, like mice and voles, make tunnels in the deep snow.
You might spy deer, turkey, and red-tailed hawk as they search for food.
Spring is a time of renewal. Sap flows back up into the trees and many animals that moved to lower elevations return to the heights.
Songbirds and vultures return, joining the winter inhabitants to nest in the park.
It is an ideal time to see forest birds like warblers and vireos before the leaves come out on the trees.
Wildflowers rush to bloom in the sunlight before tree leaves return. The forest floor can be carpeted in spring beauty, violet, and hepatica.
In mid-April, listen for turkey gobbles and drumming grouse echoing off of the hillsides.
In early summer, babies abound. The broods of many birds hatch and fledge, as well as young owls making their first flights and learning to use their voices.
White-tailed deer fawns are usually born by mid-June.
Black bear sightings are the highest in May and during the June to mid-July mating season, becoming shy and more secretive afterwards.
Songbirds sing amongst the forest canopy and bushes. Watch for glimpses of them as they forage for insects.
Larger animals venture into open fields at dusk to dine on tender grasses.