Discover the Beauty of Soaring Eagle Wetland

Out in the lush greenery west of State College, where Bald Eagle Creek winds its way, you’ll stumble upon Soaring Eagle Wetland—a cool spot where nature and people can vibe together.

Back in 2002, when they were building I-99, the state set aside 135 acres along Route 220, calling it Governor Tom Ridge Wetlands Preserve and then Soaring Eagle Wetland. I kind of like that name, since bald eagles themselves represent nature’s resilience.

In those 135 acres, wildlife is thriving, especially in the 55 acres of wetland. It’s like a party for all kinds of critters, thanks to the folks at the Wildlife for Everyone Foundation. They’ve been at it for more than 20 years, and it shows! If you’re up for some exploring or just need a breather, Soaring Eagle Wetland is the place to be. You’ve got grassy trails to wander, secret spots to discover, and even a fishing platform hanging out over Bald Eagle Creek. And it’s all accessible, so nobody’s left out.

Do you dig wetlands? Check out nearby Black Moshannon State Park for a bog trail!

What to Expect at the Soaring Eagle Wetland

You’ll find an ADA-accessible 800-foot trail, easy for anyone to stroll from the parking lot to a big fishing/viewing platform by Bald Eagle Creek. It’s all made up of brick and composite decking, six feet wide for a comfy walk. Plus, you’ve got five benches to chill on and about .8 miles of grassy trails circling around.

Back in 2010, Soaring Eagle Wetland became part of the Wildlife for Everyone Foundation’s turf. It’s not just some land; it stretches along Bald Eagle Creek and includes the Galen and Nancy Dreibelbis Viewing Area close to Miles Hollow Road. With135 acres here — 55 of them wetland — it’s perfect for wildlife and people to hang out together.

The Wildflowers We Found

Wetland areas like Soaring Eagle typically host a diverse array of plant life, including various species of wildflowers. Even in late September, we found an amazing variety of wildflowers. So much so, I’d like to return in late spring sometime just to explore the wildflowers further!

We found a variety of asters: New York (a light lavender variety), New England (a darker purple variety), Calico aster (light pink with fewer petals than the others and a darker pink center), white wood aster (white petals with a yellowish center), white-panicle aster (white petals with a bigger yellow center) and others.

We also saw ironweed, a pretty deep purple wildflower and the ubiquitous common evening primrose, a yellow flower. And of course, there was black-eyed Susans, jewelweed, several varieties of golden rod, and Virginia creeper.

Know Before You Go

Soaring Eagle Wetland offers 2 concrete van-accessible handicap parking spaces, with space for 20 or more additional vehicles. You will also find an accessible porta potty.

Getting there: 6543 S Eagle Valley Rd, Julian, PA
Hours: Daylight
Website: Soaring Eagle Wetland

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