Four Fantastic Scenic Views Along Poe Paddy Road in Bald Eagle State Forest

The view from Penn's View Overlook. Below Penns Creek flows around a horseshoe bend. Fluffly white clouds dot the sky.

We were tired from hiking but still wanted to explore Centre County and all the great outdoor adventures it has to offer. So we decided to drive up to a well-recommended scenic overlook: Penn’s View Overlook. We didn’t realize at the time that there were four other scenic views to enjoy. Discovering these beautiful vistas was itself a lovely scenic drive through the Bald Eagle State Forest.

Do you love scenic drives and scenic views? Check out my favorite scenic drive in Greenridge State Forest in western Maryland: 1 drive, 3 hours and 5 amazing overlooks!

The Poe Paddy Scenic Views

From Siglerville-Millheim Road, we followed Pine Swamp Road to Poe Paddy Road, on the way to Penn’s View Overlook. Poe Paddy Road, and the nearby state park, claim their name from the two mountains on either side of Penns Creek, which runs in the valley between them. The high vantage is a common place to spot soaring birds of prey, including bald eagles as they fly up and down Penns Creek. Penn’s View Overlook is a great spot to hop out of your car and admire the rolls formed by the mountains below. Looking carefully at the horseshoe formed by Penns Creek below, you can find Coburn Tunnel, an abandoned train tunnel. (The footbridge over Penns Creek is the indicator.)

We noticed a sign at the turn onto Poe Paddy mentioned “vistas,” plural, versus “vista,” singular. We hadn’t been told about the additional vistas. Luckily, a helpful couple, Jim and Terrie, also enjoying Penns View, mentioned that just down Poe Paddy Road were three additional vistas worth seeing. No problem getting there with our SUV. However, Jim warned, beyond the last two vistas the road became almost unpassable, even for his pickup truck. I took him at his word!

We headed down the road a bit to Ingleby View Overlook, which overlooks the community of Ingleby, naturally.

And then headed to the last two vistas: Raven Vistas East and West. For us, that was the end of the road. Beyond that we didn’t dare go with our SUV.

Bald Eagle State Forest

Bald Eagle State Forest covers a broad area of mountain tops and spreads over five counties. Within the forest, five scenic drives follow 300 miles of roads, offering broad vistas of both state and private lands. You can find 21 other scenic views in Bald Eagle State Forest on its map.

Bald Eagle State Forest was established in response to the extensive deforestation in Pennsylvania during the mid-to-late 19th century. Dr. Joseph Rothrock and other conservationists warned that without proper management, the forests might not recover. Lumber and iron companies had clear-cut the old-growth forests, leaving only dried treetops and decaying stumps. The sparks from passing steam locomotives caused wildfires, hindering the development of new forests. Recognizing the need for a shift in forest management philosophy, conservationists urged the state to buy land from these companies. The companies, having exhausted the forest’s natural resources, were eager to sell.

Bonus Scenic View

There’s a bonus scenic view — really the first one we encountered on our drive. It caught us by surprise as we headed up Siglerville Millheim Road. We discovered later that this view, which didn’t have a sign at the pull over, is Bells Majestic View. And indeed, it certainly is a majestic view. Here, miles and miles of Pennsylvania farmland are spread out before you from this mountaintop viewpoint.

Know Before You Go

The roads leading up to Penns View are primarily unpaved, gravel roads, but are well-groomed and passable by even sedans. Cell service is intermittent on the mountain. Find additional PA overlooks at the PA DNR website.

Getting there: Penns View Overlook is GPSable. From there, it’s easy enough to find the other vistas on Poe Paddy Road and Siglerville Road. If you’re having problems finding it, then try this website.

There’s so much to see and do in Happy Valley. Check out the articles below for more ideas!