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Woapalanne and Butterfly Trails at Bald Eagle State Park

After a 2 year hiatus because of COVID, the Restek Ramblers resumed our after work hikes on Wednesday, April 6th. Our first hike of the season had us hiking at Bald Eagle State Park, exploring the Woapalanne and Butterfly Trails. Even though it was overcast and a bit cool, the rain held off and we had a pleasant stroll on well-groomed trails.

Trailhead: N 41°1.63'
W 77° 38.74'
Trail Length: 3.2 miles
Hike Time: 1.5 hours
Hike Type: Loop
Near: Bald Eagle State Park
near the Nature Inn.

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If you are interested in doing this hike, you will need to make your way to Bald Eagle State Park. The Bald Eagle State Park surrounds the Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir. This hike is done on the trails found in the section of the park located between the lake and route PA150. If heading north on PA150, you will pass the intersection with route PA26 (bridge that takes you to the village of Howard) and continue to the next park entrance on your right. You'll drive past the park office and turn at the Beach parking area. Once here, turn left off the paved road into the parking area. At the far end of the parking area you will find the trailhead for the Butterfly Trail and the start of this hike.

There were seven of us doing the hike today. After some short introductions, we started hiking on the Butterfly Trail. Not too far from the trailhead we turned right off the Butterfly Trail an on to the Woapalanne Trail. This trail is named after the Lenape Native American tribal leader, Chief Woapalanne, also know as Chief Bald Eagle.

We followed the Woapalanne Trail for approximately 1.6 miles as it meandered along the shores of the lake. At 1.7 miles we turned left off the trail and crossed a paved road. We had a short climb up to another paved road, the Main Park Road. Crossing this we climbed a bit more and then arrived on the Butterfly Trail. 

At about 2.4 miles into our hike we passed below the Nature Inn at the State Park. We then beared right off the Butterfly Trail and onto the Skyline Drive Trail. This trail tooks us out of the meadow and we entered a stand of pines. As we walked through the pines we could hear a cacophony of frogs peeping off to our left. It wasn't until the day after this hike that I discovered that their was a pond hidden beyond the trees to the left of this trail. The pond is aptly named the Frog Pond.

After a very modest climb on the Skyline Drive Trail, the trail made a sweeping left turn and descended to meet up with the Butterfly Trail at approximately 2.9 miles into our hike. We finished up our hike on the Butterfly Trail, following it for another 0.3 miles back to the trailhead and the start of the hike.

 The trails that we hiked at Bald Eagle State Park were very easy trails to hike. The trails were wide and did not present and hazards, with the exception of one tree that had fallen across the Woapalanne Trail, but this was easy to navigate around. If you are looking for an easy hike, perhaps with small children or while pushing a stroller, I would recommend you check out this hike and the Woapalanne and Butterfly Trails at Bald Eagle State Park.


The start of our hike near the beach parking area.

Turning off the Butterfly Trail onto the Woapalanne Trail.

The trail was wide and well maintained as we strolled along the shore of the lake.

Penn State rowing team practicing out on the lake.

It was a very overcast day for a hike, but the sun did try to peak through the clouds a couple of times.

The Butterfly Trail passes below the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park.

Beginning a modest and slight ascent on the Skyline Drive Trail.

Passing through a stand of white and red pines.

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