Bald Eagle State Park
Guide

Introduction

If you’re looking for a great place to get away from it all in central Pennsylvania, where there’s lots of peaceful scenery and wildlife, then look no further than Bald Eagle State Park. Consisting of 5,900 acres, Bald Eagle State Park features numerous forests, fields, and wetlands that visitors of all ages can enjoy. The history of the park dates back for many generations when Native Americans lived and hunted in the area. The park has highlighted this rich history by naming the park after Native American Chief Woapalanne, whose name translates to the words bald eagle.

In the present day, visitors to Bald Eagle State Park are attracted to the sense of tranquility that comes along with immersing yourself in nature, but also because of all the fun activities that are waiting for your participation. During the summertime, you can go exploring all the trails, take a boat out on the water, and go swimming at the beach area. If you decide to visit during the winter season, there’s plenty of fun to be had out in the snow, including ice skating, sledding, and cross-country skiing.

Bald Eagle State Park has one RV friendly campground for you to call home during your visit, along with tent sites, cottages, and yurts if you are looking for something different. The RV campground features sites with full hookups, which will help make any RVer feel comfortable during his or her stay. Whenever you decide to bring your RV, you’ll be guaranteed a fun trip at Bald Eagle State Park.

RV Rentals in Bald Eagle State Park

Transportation

Driving

Accessing Bald Eagle State Park is very simple since it is located just off PA-150. While there is only one entrance to the park, you can take PA-26 north over the Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir and then take PA-150 for a few minutes. If you need to pick up any supplies before your trip, there are a few towns located within close proximity, including Milesburg (around 10 miles away), Mill Hall (approximately 12 miles away), and Bellefonte (about 13 miles away). The closest major city to the park is Scranton, which is located 133 miles to the northeast.

There are no driving restrictions for RVs in the park, so you won’t need to worry when you venture out in your RV. There are, however, some seasonal road closures during the winter when snowfall gets heavy. The workers in the area do a good job of keeping the major thoroughfares cleared, but some roads that are less used might be closed. There is day-use parking available for all vehicles, including RVs. You might find it easier, though, especially during the peak season and on weekends and holidays, to go ahead and set up your RV at a campsite before venturing out into the park. This way, you can avoid running into any problems with parking your RV.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Bald Eagle State Park

Campsites in Bald Eagle State Park

Reservations camping

Bellefonte / State College KOA

Home to Penn State University and many historic sites, state parks, and unique shops, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, has something for everyone, including a fantastic RV friendly campground. At Bellefonte/State College KOA, you’ll find everything from cozy, secluded spots with water and electric to luxury patio sites complete with full hookups, a grill, fire pit, and patio furniture. Bring a rig up to 70 feet long and power up to 50-amps at many of the sites. On-site propane, firewood, a snack bar, and a Kamping Kitchen will help to keep you comfortable, while cable TV and Wi-Fi keep you connected. While you’re here, cast a line in the stocked fishing pond, cool off at the pool or splash park, and have a ball at the sports field, jumping pillow, dog park, and playground. Reservations are recommended for Bellefonte / State College KOA, and the campground is open from early April until the end of December.

Russell P. Letterman Campground

If you’ve brought your RV and are ready for a fun and exciting trip, this campground is the place to stay. It has everything you could need, and it’s conveniently located less than a mile from the beach area, marina, and other facilities. The Russell P. Letterman Campground consists of 97 sites that include many great site-specific amenities, such as the option to connect to full hookups with electric, water, and sewer services. If you don’t need full hookups, you can still get sites that have 30 or 50-amp electric hookups. You’ll also be guaranteed to have a picnic table, fire ring, and paved parking spur at any site that you choose. Pets are also allowed, but they must be kept on a leash at all times. Amenities within the campground are kept in excellent condition, and you’ll find flush toilets, warm showers, and a dump station available for your convenience. Reservations are highly encouraged since it is a popular place to stay, and when you are planning your trip, keep in mind that the campground closes down in mid-December and opens back up in April.

Alternate camping

Cottages and Yurts

If you’d like to stay in something a little nicer than the primitive tent, you can choose to stay in one of the cottages or yurts here at Bald Eagle State Park. If you decide on a cottage, you can choose between a traditional cottage or a deluxe cottage. Whichever one you want, either can accommodate up to five people. There are three regular cottages, but only one deluxe cottage, so if you want it, you might want to make your reservations way ahead of time. The deluxe cottage has just a few more amenities such as kitchen burners, a refrigerator, and a table and chairs, but both types have electricity, bunk beds, and a porch. Yurts, like the deluxe cabin, also have kitchen amenities, but they can hold up to six people. Both cottages and yurts are the perfect solutions for a family vacation when your family is a little too big for your RV.

Tent Camping

If you’re looking to leave the RV behind for a night or two, try something a little more primitive. You won’t even need reservations for tent camping, as all 35 tent-only sites are available for walk-in on a first-come, first-served basis. These sites are about 150 feet from the road, and to access the sites, you should park your vehicle on the side of the campground road. You’ll be able to find restrooms nearby, with vault toilets, sinks, and running water, as well as a dump station if you need it. If you’re looking for drinkable water, you can find it along the campground road. Tent camping can be a great way to experience the great outdoors, so if you’re up for it, Bald Eagle State Park is a great place to rough it.

Seasonal activities in Bald Eagle State Park

Off-Season

Hunting

For those interested in hunting during their time at Bald Eagle State Park, there are over 4,000 acres that can be hunted on during the established hunting seasons. During this time, you can also use the land to train dogs or trap, but dog training is only allowed from after Labor Day until the end of March. Common species hunted in the park include rabbit, waterfowl, white-tailed deer, and turkey. If you are looking for more places to hunt, you should check out the nearby State Game lands 252 and 92.

Wildlife Watching

While many people think of the spring and summer as the best times to watch wildlife, the wintertime can give you lots more to see—but without the added heat and noise. Enjoy the winter tranquility and watch the snowfall as you try to catch a glimpse at the winter birds and wildlife that reside at the glorious Bald Eagle State Park. The staff at the park will be more than happy to give you some tips on the best places to go wildlife watching, so we recommend asking them for their advice.

Ice Fishing

If you love to fish, but you don’t like the summer heat, visiting the park during the wintertime will give you the chance to go ice fishing. If you're up for the challenge, bring your ice-fishing gear, drill a hole, and enjoy the frozen lake. Make sure the ice is plenty thick enough before you drop your line down into the water, then sit back and relax as you wait for a bite. Even though this is the off-season, you will still need a state fishing license if you want to try your luck at landing a big one.

Cross-Country Skiing

If you're a fan of skiing, you will be pleased to note that skiing is permitted once the snow has started to fall within Bald Eagle State Park. There are about seven miles of trails that are perfect for cross-country skiing, so you will have plenty of ground to explore. Keep in mind that these trails are not kept up and groomed, so you might be in for a real trek after a heavy snowfall. It is also wise to check ahead on trail conditions so you can be sure that there’s enough snow on the ground because minimal snowfall can be even more challenging than skiing after a heavy snowfall.

Ice Skating

Ice skating can be an enjoyable winter activity, and there is the perfect opportunity to go skating within the park. Ice skating is only allowed on the natural ice that has formed on the lake, and you must bring your own skates since none are available to rent from the park. You’ll definitely want to take precautions when ice skating, as the park does not monitor the ice. Make sure that it’s thick enough before venturing out to avoid disaster. Don't forget to bring your warm clothing and your hat and gloves!

In-Season

Hiking

There are 14.5 total miles of trails here at Bald Eagle State Park, and each trail is unique, offering different views and experiences. The Butterfly Trail is only 1.5 miles long, so it is perfect for beginners, and it allows you to see different species of butterflies fluttering in their natural environment. If you want something a little longer and more challenging, head out on one of the Hunter Run Trails. Choose to head either east or west, and get out there to explore all the beautiful Pennsylvania scenery.

Swimming

Come for a dip and cool off in the waters along the sandy beach at Bald Eagle State Park. Known as Sayers Dam Beach, the swimming area is located on the shores of the reservoir and is open from 8 AM to sunset from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Once you are done swimming, you can kick back and relax on the 1,200-foot beach or head to the snack bar when you get hungry. Other nearby amenities include picnic tables, restrooms, changing rooms, and plenty of parking options. There’s no better way to enjoy a summer day!

Fishing

The Sayers Reservoir provides excellent opportunities for anyone who enjoys fishing. There are 23 miles of shoreline for you to fish from, including an ADA-accessible fishing pier. There are lots of different kinds of fish in the reservoir, and fishers can try to catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, tiger muskellunge, and catfish. You will have to bring your own fishing gear and purchase a state fishing license in order to cast out a line. Ask a park ranger which bait is best to use for the fish you hope to catch. Knowing the best way to lure a fish will help facilitate a faster catch!

Boating

Boating fans will have the chance to get out on the water during their visit to Bald Eagle State Park thanks to the large Foster Joseph (FJ) Sayers Lake. This popular attraction is suitable for watercraft of any shape and size, and there are no horsepower limits on motorboats. You have a wide choice of where to explore thanks to the six different boat launch areas that are scattered across the shore of the lake.

Picnicking

There are lots of great places to come picnicking here in the park, and there’s no better way to enjoy a good meal than with a great view and even greater company. Invite your family and friends along and have the best time in the great outdoors thanks to the three different picnic areas. All of these areas come equipped with picnic tables, restrooms, and a grill, so there is no reason why you wouldn't want to spend an afternoon outside. If you need a bigger space, you can also reserve one of the larger picnic pavilions up to 11 months in advance.

Find the perfect campsite.