The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Bald Eagle State Park

We spent the past weekend at Bald Eagle State Park, where we attended the Bell Family reunion.

After an early morning breakfast on Saturday, July 9, Bob and I walked to Hunter Run East Launch. We followed Warbler Way and East Launch Road to the boat launch, which was a little over a 1/2-mile walk.

_LG23715 4x6Approaching Hunter Run East Launch

A man on a motorcycle passed by us, while we were walking down East Launch Road.  The man had a mission …. breakfast with a view.

_LG23720 4x6A lone man, eating breakfast, while gazing out across the water

We enjoyed the waterfront view, too, while sitting at another picnic table.  The tree swallows were fun to watch, also, as they made acrobatic twists and turns over the water.

_LG23723 4x6Hunter Run East Launch

There are several hiking trails at Bald Eagle State Park.  We walked only one trail — the Butterfly Trail.  The Butterfly Trail is 1.5 miles long.  We walked only a small portion of this trail back to The Nature Inn from Hunter Run East Launch.  I saw flowers, rabbits, and woodpeckers on the Butterfly Trail, but not one butterfly!

_LG23725 4x6Pretty blue flower

_LG23731 4x6Rabbit at entrance to Butterfly Trail

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Yellow Flower

_LG23736 4x6Downy Woodpecker

_LG23738 4x6Yellow and White Flowers

_LG23740 4x6Bob, on the Butterfly Trail, making his way back to The Nature Inn

We returned to The Nature Inn around 9:00 am.

Late morning Bob, his sister Cynthia and I went for a drive. We explored Bald Eagle State Park, using a DCNR Pennsylvania Recreational Guide brochure that I picked up at The Nature Inn.  Included in the guide was a map, which we used to guide us during our exploration of the state park. We hit most of the highlights of Bald Eagle State Park, at least the portion of the park that juts out into the lake. Our first stop was at Hunter Run East Launch, the boat launch that Bob and I walked to earlier in the morning.  We didn’t get out of the car at the boat launch.  We just looked at the water view, as we drove around the parking lot back to the boat launch entrance.

Our second and third stops were on F.J. Sayers Road.

The 1,730-acre lake that is the focal point of Bald Eagle State Park is named for Foster Joseph Sayers, a World War II hero. Sayers received the Medal of Honor for acts of bravery on November 12, 1944 near Thionville, France.

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Foster Joseph Sayers Monument on F.J. Sayers Road

In a blog comment my cousin, Chris, encourages everyone to read the Medal of Honor citation found on Wikipedia.  For easy reference, I have provided the citation here.

CITATION: Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company L, 357th Infantry, 90th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Thionville, France, 12 November 1944. Entered service at: Howard, Pa. Birth: Marsh Creek, Pa. G.O. No.: 89, 19 October 1945. Citation: He displayed conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty in combat on 12 November 1944, near Thionville, France. During an attack on strong hostile forces entrenched on a hill he fearlessly ran up the steep approach toward his objective and set up his machinegun 20 yards from the enemy. Realizing it would be necessary to attract full attention of the dug-in Germans while his company crossed an open area and flanked the enemy, he picked up his gun, charged through withering machinegun and rifle fire to the very edge of the emplacement, and there killed 12 German soldiers with devastating close-range fire. He took up a position behind a log and engaged the hostile infantry from the flank in an heroic attempt to distract their attention while his comrades attained their objective at the crest of the hill. He was killed by the very heavy concentration of return fire; but his fearless assault enabled his company to sweep the hill with minimum of casualties, killing or capturing every enemy soldier on it. Pfc. Sayers’ indomitable fighting spirit, aggressiveness, and supreme devotion to duty live on as an example of the highest traditions of the military service.

We drove to the end of F.J. Sayers Road, which stops at the water.  F.J. Sayers Road is Old Route 220, part of which was covered when the lake was formed.  The Foster Joseph Sayers Dam is visible from the end of F.J. Sayers Road.  We didn’t realize it at the time that Old Route 220 is visible, as it rises out of the lake in the clump of trees to the left of the dam.

_LG23751 4x6Foster Joseph Sayers Dam

We made stops at Winter Launch, a boat launch that provides access for year-round boating; Skyline Drive Picnic Area, which overlooks the lake; the marina; and Hunter Run West Launch.  I didn’t take pictures at any of these stops.

From Hunter Run West Launch we left the park, turning left onto Pennsylvania Route 150.  We stopped at an overlook of the lake and, then, we continued on to Bellefonte.  This blog post provides details and photographs of our visit to Bellefonte.

_LG23755 4x6Pennsylvania Route 150 Overlook of Foster Joseph Sayers Lake
The marina is visible in the upper left half of the picture.

Before returning to The Nature Inn from Bellefonte, we drove to Foster Joseph Sayers Dam.

_LG23785 4x6Foster Joseph Sayers Dam

This 100-foot high and 1.3 mile long dam forms Foster Joseph Sayers Lake. Completed in 1969, the lake was formed by damming Bald Eagle Creek.  The lake is named in honor of PFC Foster Joseph Sayers, a World War II hero. Sayers received the Medal of Honor for acts of bravery on November 12, 1944 near Thionville, France. The 1,730-acre lake is the focal point for water-based recreation at Bald Eagle State Park.

Located on a hill overlooking Foster Joseph Sayers Dam is a memorial to PFC Foster Joseph Sayers.

_LG23792 4x6

PFC Foster Joseph Sayers Memorial

_LG23791 4x6
According to an article in Lock Haven’s The Express newspaper, the memorial stands 10 feet tall and consists of a 4×6-foot granite base supporting a statue of a soldier resembling a World War II private first class.  The statue overlooks the lake from above a 1776 mural flag.  The memorial was scheduled to be dedicated on May 25, 2012. The memorial includes a Veterans Walk of Fame.  Each brick bears the name of a veteran.  Any veteran who left the military with an honorable discharge or who died while in the service is eligible to be named on the walk.

_LG23790 4x6
Foster Joseph Sayers Memorial

Bob, Cynthia and I returned to The Nature Inn around 2:00 pm.

Around 4:30 pm Bob and I went for a boat ride on Foster Joseph Sayers Lake.

 

5 Responses to “Bald Eagle State Park”

  1. Eileen

    Hello Linda, I have heard of this park but never been able to visit. I like the flowers and the bird captures. The scenery and views are beautiful. Great post. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

    Reply

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