Kayaking at Shaggers Inn

I love going kayaking where the only sound is the breeze rustling through the trees and a distant hawk screeching into the sky.

Shaggers Inn — a local secret — is just such a place.

Shaggers Inn is remote — deep within Moshannon State Forest — and isolated. It’s also a bit difficult to find, unless you’re driving with a local who knows the area. You will see no signs directing you to the place, although Waze and Googlemaps found it just fine.

This is well off the beaten path and well worth the drive away from civilization, the only reminders of which are of course, the camps you pass along the road. During hunting season, this is a busy place!

Shaggers Inn is located near S.B. Elliott and Parker Dam State Parks in Clearfield County, PA. The wetland contains one of the few nesting areas in Pennsylvania for osprey. Waterfowl is common in spring and fall. The surrounding Moshannon State Forest is an excellent place to find birds such as scarlet tanager, purple finch, and wild turkey. Other wildlife around the wetlands includes beaver, black bear, and white-tailed deer.

We were there on an early fall day. The osprey had departed for the season, and there were no eagles either, to our disappointment. But several hawk called out, a wild sound that sent shivers up my spine.

The quiet was exquisite. A small pond, I often just sat floating, letting the wind and the waves rock me as I soaked up the sun, enjoying a bit of warmth on an otherwise cool day.

I wanted to float there for hours.

Possibly, we did!

Getting there: Take Dubois Rockton Rd, US-322 E and PA-153 N to Old Rte 153 in Penfield; Turn right onto Old Rte 153; slight left onto 4 Mile Road; continue onto McGeorge Rd; turn right to stay on McGeorge Rd; Turn right onto Caledonia Pike; turn left onto Shaggers Inn Road. To launch kayaks, instead of turning left onto Shaggers Inn Road, keep going 100 yards or so on Caledonia Pike and turn into the first left turn — you’ll see the pond.

Hours: Dawn to dusk. Kayaking/canoeing on the pond is forbidden during the osprey nesting season, April – end of May.

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