Valley Forge Area For The Birds

Published: April 13, 2009

Valley Forge Area is for the Birds...This Spring

King of Prussia, Pa.- The Valley Forge area is for the birds! Okay...maybe that calls for some refinement in context.

Let's try it this way...Did you know that May 9 is International Migratory Bird Day? And that the Valley Forge area is a well known "birding" destination? That said, what better way to go to the birds this spring, than to visit Montgomery County, Pennsylvania's many places to watch our fine feathered friends.

Start out at Philadelphia and The Countryside's headquarters for all things avian, the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove in Audubon. The 175-acre estate remains largely as Audubon found it -- a haven for birds and wildlife. Now boasting more than five miles of trails, visitors can see a wide variety of birds and other wildlife in natural settings, while also enjoying stunning views of the Perkiomen Creek.

Green Lane Park, in Green Lane, is the only place in Montgomery County where bald eagles are known to nest. But you can also expect to see loons, herons and egrets here.

And, speaking of eagles, not to be missed is Norristown's Elmwood Park Zoo that boasts one of the USA's few open-air bald eagle exhibits. Kids will love climbing the zoo's one-of-a-kind, life-size replica bald eagles nest and, if you time your visit right, you may just witness one of the extremely rare occasions (only twice so far this year) when a wild baldy visits its Zoo cousins.

If American bald eagles put you in a patriotic mood, keep it alive at the nearby 3,600-acre Valley Forge National Historical Park, in King of Prussia. Beyond its historic significance and programming, it's also the largest tall grass meadow in Pennsylvania and, thus, an ideal habitat where more than 250 avian species have been sighted.

Noted for its dazzling springtime flowering of dogwood trees, Fort Washington State Park, in Fort Washington, is where you might see red-tailed hawks, eagles, falcons and other raptors from the Park's observation deck.

Evansburg State Park, in Collegeville, showcases 3,330 acres of lush green space along the banks of the Skippack Creek. A mix of cropland, meadows, and mature woodlands, it's an ideal place to spot blue herons, wild turkeys and sharp-shinned hawks.

The 690-acre Norristown Farm Park, in Norristown, features two branches of Stony Creek, a trout nursery and a working farm. It includes more than seven miles of paved trails and several unpaved nature trails for hikers and birders eager to catch glimpses of red-bellied woodpeckers, yellow-rumped warblers and red-winged blackbirds, among other winged inhabitants.

For more information about bird-watching, other visitor activities and attractions in the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County, and affordable hotel getaway packages, visit www.valleyforge.org.

The Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ltd. is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that aggressively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 500-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Bureau's Web site, at www.valleyforge.org, serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents.

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