In January, I took a long weekend road trip with my boyfriend through Pennsylvania. We had a few different outdoor spots on our list that we wanted to check out and the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle was our home base for the first two nights. We loved our stay here and it exceeded our expectations. We initially checked in the first night after dark so didn’t see the stunning views from the balcony until the morning. I always love staying inside a state park when I can so this was such a treat.
The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle is in Howard, PA, about 25 minutes northeast of State College and is inside of Bald Eagle State Park. It’s a few miles inside the state park beside the lake. You can follow the bird feet from the parking lot to the front doors. Be careful, as it is a nature inn we saw a skunk outside the front door the first night. He hurried off but keep an eye out.
The hotel sits on a hill and has 16 rooms with 8 of them overlooking the lake and the other 8 with forest views. Each room is named after a different bird like the oriole and the spotted owl. All 16 rooms have a patio or balcony and they there are both basic and suite room options available. We stayed in a room on the second floor with a lake view and while it was cold as heck in January, standing on the balcony at sunrise was stunning.
Outside there is a patio with a variety of tables, a firepit, and grills that can be used.There’s binoculars for each room to watch wildlife and the hotel also has a library room on the second floor that has books and games. So, of course we spent one of the evenings playing Yahtzee.
Since the hotel is in the state park, there’s also hiking trails nearby as well as public boat ramps. You can fish and kayak in the park too. There’s something to do for each season with a few suggestions listed here.
To adapt their meal service for safety, breakfast can be ordered the night before that is able to be delivered to the room or picked up downstairs. We had eggs and biscuits as well as coffee which was perfect for our first morning. They also offer boxed lunches and dinner options during a select few nights.
If you’re up for a steep drive with a pretty view at the end, you can check out Hyner View State Park that’s about an hour from the hotel. When we visited in the winter, it was covered in snow and ice and I did not enjoy the drive up there at all which you can read all about here.
Another stop we made was at the PA Grand Canyon which is about 1.5 hours north of the Nature Inn. I had been there once before which you can read about here, but this time when we visited, it was covered in ice at the top. The hiking was limited due to the snow but we still got to take in the views at the top.
Some additional trips within 1-1.5 hours are:
- Clarion Wild and Scenic River
- West Branch Susquehanna River
- Parker Dam State Park
- Elk County Visitor’s Center
About two hours from the hotel include:
- Kinzua Bridge State Park
- Allegheny National Forest
- Cherry Springs State Park
- Pine Creek Gorge
This area is considered the entry to the PA wilds part of the state so there’s a lot to do. And the Nature Inn is a great spot for resting at night after your Pennsylvania adventures.