Important Bird Areas

Waggoner's Gap Campaign

Audubon PA makes plans to improve safety and security at Waggoner’s Gap Hawkwatch by launching the Waggoner's Gap Campaign.  
Red-shouldeered Hawk Photo: Marty Heath/Audubon Photography Awards
Important Bird Areas

Waggoner's Gap Campaign

Audubon PA makes plans to improve safety and security at Waggoner’s Gap Hawkwatch by launching the Waggoner's Gap Campaign.  

Join us for Audubon PA’s Campaign

To benefit Waggoner’s Gap Hawkwatch

Visitors to Waggoner’s Gap Hawkwatch have few choices when it comes to viewing the migrating birds:  hike a short, but very rocky trail to the hawk watch, or cross a very busy road with virtually no line-of-site.  Audubon Pa has plans to make your visit to Waggoner’s Gap safer and easier!   And we need your support.

Concern: Visitor Safety

Visitors who park along the hairpin curve at the crest of the Ridge must cross Rt. 74 on foot to access the hawkwatch.  Engine noise usually alerts pedestrians to traffic approaching from the north or south because both directions offer a limited line-of-site.

However, electric cars have very little or no engine noise, adding a very real element of danger to the crossing.

Solution:  Expanded Parking and Viewing Areas on the West Side

With your help, a new parking area will be built on the west side of Rt. 74, to be accessed across the road from the existing north parking lot. ADA accessible viewing areas will also be created. 

The existing north parking lot will continue serve visitors willing and able to hike the short, rocky path to the outcrop, and to access the east lookout from the Songbird Trail.  

Additional facilities included!  Bathroom facilities will be installed on the east side of Rt. 74, in the picnic area near the education amphitheatre and rock outcrop.  Those familiar with Waggoner’s Gap know this is a welcome improvement, the only current facility being a single portable privy in the north parking lot! 

Concern: Trespassing, Vandalism & Illegal Activity

Trespassers accessing the hawkwatch after the site closes are causing damage and destruction to this beautiful and rustic area.  Additionally, it is very rocky and frequented by wild animals especially after dark.  By entering the property after closing, trespassers are endangering themselves in addition to breaking the law. 

Solution: Increased Surveillance Technology

Smile for the camera!  Increased surveillance will assure that visitors after dark will be apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  And residents and visitors are encouraged to call the State Police if any suspicious activity is observed.   This technology will reduce illegal activity, keep the site clean and graffiti-free, and maintain its rustic and natural condition for the benefit of visitors and wildlife. 

Financial Goals & Timing:

The goal for the Campaign is $150,000of the $1.5 million needed for the project. 

To learn more, please see the article in The Sentinel from Sunday, September 14, 2014.

If you have any questions, please contact Paul Zeph, Director of Conservation, at (717) 213-6880 Ext.  312, or  email  at pzeph @

If you like to use the U.S. mail, please send your donation to:

Audubon Pennsylvania – Waggoner’s Gap

100 Wildwood Way

Harrisburg, PA 17110

By participating in the Waggoner's Gap Campaign, you will assure that Waggoner’s Gap is protected and daytime visitors have safe access to this beautiful setting throughout the year.

Click here to learn more about Waggoner’s Gap Hawkwatch. 

How you can help, right now