Exploring Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County

The beach at Bald Eagle State Park near State College.

Bald Eagle State Park is a 5,900 acre recreational area in Centre County, approximately 25 miles northeast of State College.

A map to the six best State Parks near State College, Pennsylvania.
State parks near State College, Pennsylvania.

At the heart of Bald Eagle State Park is 1,730-acre Sayers Lake, built by the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1969 as part of a flood control project.

Sayers Dam at Bald Eagle State Park.
Sayers Lake.

Sayers Lake is nearly 8 miles long, with 23 miles of shoreline.

Distant view of the beach at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County Pennsylvania.
Distant view of the beach at Sayers Lake.

Private Foster Joseph Sayers

Sayers Lake and Sayers Dam at Bald Eagle State Park were named in honor of Foster Joseph Sayers, a Centre County native and private first class in World War II.

Private Foster Joseph Sayers Congressional Medal of Honor Winner
Private Foster Joseph Sayers – awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously.

Nineteen-year-old Sayers lost his life while displaying gallantry above and beyond the call of duty in combat on November 12, 1944, for which he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Foster Joseph Sayers Monument at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County Pennsylvania.
Foster Joseph Sayers Monument.

Bald Eagle State Park is one of the most-visited state parks near State College, and you’ll begin to understand why as you browse through this list of some of the best things to see and do there.

Seagulls on the beach at Bald Eagle State Park.
Seagulls on the beach at Bald Eagle State Park.

Boating at Bald Eagle State Park

Unlimited horsepower motorboats are permitted on Sayers Lake.

Marina at Bald Eagle State Park on a fall day.
Marina on a fall day.

 The speed limit on the lake is 45 mph, and boaters must follow a counterclockwise traffic pattern on the lake.

Tubing on Sayers Lake at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County Pennsylvania.
Pontoon boats on Sayers Lake.

There are six boat launches at Bald Eagle State Park, and all are open 24 hours with parking and restroom facilities.

Sailboats docked in the marina at Bald Eagle State Park.
Sailboats docked in the marina.

Fishing at Bald Eagle State Park

Fishing is permitted from the shore, on boats, and from several fishing piers at Sayers Lake.

Fishing at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County Pennsylvania.
Fishing at Bald Eagle State Park.

Sayers Lake is a warm water fishery, with the common game fish being largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, yellow perch, and channel catfish.

Fishing in Hunters Run Cove at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County Pennsylvania.
Fishing in Hunters Run Cove.

About 630 acres of the lake are available for ice fishing during the winter.

Ice fishing at Bald Eagle State Park in CEntre County Pennsylvania.
Ice fishing in Hunters Run Cove.

Swimming at Bald Eagle State Park

Bald Eagle State Park has a 1,200-foot-long sand beach, open between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

The beach at Bald Eagle State Park.
The beach on a summer afternoon.

This is a “swim at your own risk” (no lifeguard on duty) beach, open between 8:00 A.M. until sunset daily during the summer season.

The beach at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County.
The beach at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County.

Hiking at Bald Eagle State Park

There are 14.5 miles of hiking trails available at Bald Eagle State Park.

Hiking the Butterfly Trail at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County Pennsylvania.
Hiking the Butterfly Trail.

All hiking trails at Bald Eagle State Park are open year-round, from 8:00 A.M. until sunset.

Early spring day on the beach at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County Pennsylvania.
Hiking along the beach in early spring.

Fall Foliage at Bald Eagle State Park

Bald Eagle State Park is one of the best places to view fall foliage in Centre County.

Fall foliage view from the patio at the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County, Pennsylvania.
Fall foliage views from the patio at the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park.

The mountains surrounding Sayers Lake are awash with color every October.

Fall foliage around Sayers Lake at Bald Eagle State Park.
Fall foliage around Sayers Lake.

From the beach to the boat launches, the fall foliage views at Bald Eagle State Park are outstanding.

Fall foliage along the beach at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County, PA.
Fall foliage views from the beach.


The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park

The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park is an 18,500-square-foot, full-service hotel overlooking Sayers Lake.

Side view of the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park.
The Nature Inn.

The Nature Inn features 16 guest rooms, meeting rooms, and a lodge-style dining room.

Dining room at the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park.
Dining room at the Nature Inn.

The views from the Nature Inn are outstanding, and it was recently voted the #1 eco-lodge in the United States.

View from the patio at the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park.
View from the patio.

Directions to Bald Eagle State Park

The park office at Bald Eagle State Park is located right off of Route 150 at 149 Main Park Road, Howard, PA 16841.

Bald Eagle State Park sign.
Park entrance sign along Route 150 near Howard.

The Nature Inn within Bald Eagle State Park is located at 201 Warbler Way, Howard, PA 16841

The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County Pennsylvania.
The Nature Inn entrance sign along Warbler Way.


Final Thoughts

Whether you enjoy fishing…

Fishing pier at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County Pennsylvania.
Fishing pier at Bald Eagle State Park.

or boating…

Sailboat on Sayers Lake at Bald Eagle State Park.
Sailboat on Sayers Lake.

or simply sightseeing in a beautiful natural setting.

Exploring Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County Pennsylvania.
Sightseeing near the Nature Inn.

 You’ll find something to love about Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County!

View of part of the marina at Bald Eagle State Park in Centre County, PA.
One of the six boat launches at Bald Eagle State Park.

Nearby Attractions

The 6 Best State Parks Near State College is your guide to the best state parks in the Happy Valley region.

Sunset over Black Moshannon Lake
Sunset at Black Moshannon State Park in Centre County.

The 8 Best Scenic Overlooks in the Bald Eagle State Forest is your guide to 8 fantastic ROADSIDE scenic overlooks in the adjacent Bald Eagle State Forest that require no hiking whatsoever!

New Lancaster Valley in the Bald Eagle State Forest.
New Lancaster Valley in the Bald Eagle State Forest.

The 5 Best Scenic Overlooks Near State College is your guide to discovering the finest vistas in the mountains surrounding State College and Penn State University.

Penn State campus as viewed from the MIke Lynch Overlook on Mount Nittany.
Mike Lynch Overlook on Mount Nittany.

Hiking the Colyer Lake Trail Near State College shows you what to expect from this beautiful 2.6 mile lakeside-loop trail just minutes from downtown State College and Penn State.

Looking out over the water from the Colyer Lake Trail near State College.
View from the Colyer Lake Trail, just outside of State College.

Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center is a Penn State owned and operated wildlife center and aviary, located just 12 miles outside of State College in rural Huntingdon County.

A bald eagle at Shaver's Creek in Huntingdon County.
A bald eagle at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center in Huntingdon County.

Exploring the Ghost Town of Scotia Near State College takes you inside the remains of a iron-mining boomtown gone bust.

The ruins of Scotia are a popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers near State College.
The ruins of Scotia are a popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers near State College.

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Rusty Glessner
Rusty Glessner is a professional photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and a frequently-cited authority on PA's best travel destinations.