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Piney Tract (SGL 330)
Clarion
DESCRIPTION: These large reclaimed strip -mine tracts make some of the best grassland birding habitat in the state, regardless of the season. Grassland birds are abundant breeders here. Grassland sparrows, other passerines, and raptors all can be located here during the proper seasons.

Multiple lodging, dining, and shopping facilities are available at Exit 62 (one of the Clarion exits) off Route 80. During your outing you may wish to get a quick meal at the Korner Restaurant (814-745-2660) at 405 Colerain St, Sligo; you pass it on Route 58 if you follow the directions below. Tell them we sent you!

BJ’s Restaurant on the North side of Exit 53 also provides quick and inexpensive meals. Elegant dining is available at the Wolf’s Den in the same general area.

A portion of this outing goes through the nationally recognized 2300-acre Important Bird Area (IBA) #21 (Mount Zion/Piney Tract). The newly acquired 1800-acre PA State Game Land (SGL) 330 resides within the IBA #21.

DIRECTIONS: Take I-80 to Exit 7 (Knox) and follow black-topped Canoe Ripple Road south for 2.9 miles across the Clarion River. (Before you get to the river, there is a sharp right curve with a dirt road going straight; follow the black-topped road.) After crossing the river, take the first left (Elliot Road). Be careful turning left onto Elliot Road as it is at the crest of a hill.

Details: Continue on Elliot Rd for a short distance to a T on Mt Zion Road and turn left (East). Drive to the top of the next hill, where there is a crossroad of sorts. This is a good location for several grassland birds (especially Henslow's Sparrow and, at dusk, Short-eared Owl). Follow the path/road to the right (south). A section from about 0.5 to 1.5 mi has been good for Clay-colored Sparrow.

Return to Mt Zion Rd. The pine stand on the other side of Mt Zion is good birding, but not for grassland birds. Continue on Mt Zion Road for about 0.6 mi to a T on Limestone Flat Road; turn right.

After about a mile, notice Wyman Rd to the left. The Wyman Rd side trip can provide Vesper Sparrow and Short-eared Owl. The Vesper Sparrow habitat is on Wyman Rd after about a half mile and continuing almost to Stockdill Rd. Turn left on Stockdill and drive to the top of the hill to explore a good grassland area. Return to Limestone Flat Road.

 

Maps (Click on map for larger view)

Sub-sites

Elliot Road
Mt Zion Rd West
Mt Zion Rd East
Limestone Flat Road
Wyman Rd
Mt Airy

Photos (Click on photo for larger View)

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Posted: 2009-10-24 00:00:00
Updated: 2009-11-05 00:00:00