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Birding Sites
Raccoon Ridge Hawk Watch
One of New Jersey's premiere hawk watches is located at 1,563 feet, on top of the Kittatinny Mountains, in the western reaches of the State. It offers a sensational view, as well as spectacular flights. With count records going back to the 30's, Raccoon Ridge produces an average of 15,000 hawks per season, and "eye-to-eye" views of bald and golden eagles. Records of 17 goldens and 21 balds a day, add to the excitement of this site. Common Ravens are also seen here regularly each fall. The site monitors fall flights.

DIRECTIONS to Mohician Outdoor Center (and Raccoon Ridge)

 FROM ROUTE 80 WEST:

  • Take exit 12: route 521, north to Blairstown
  • At the end of 521, at the traffic light: turn left on route 94
  • Proceed South on 94 for 1.1 to Mohican Road on your right
  • Turn right on Mohican Road and follow this winding road for 3.5 miles to Gaisler Road.
  • Turn left on Gaisler and proceed for ½ mile to Camp Road on your right.
  • Turn Right on Camp Road.
  • Camp Road TURNS TO GRAVEL AND CLIMBS TO THE TOP OF THE RIDGE.

When you get near the top of the hill you’ll see the mountain stream on your left and the road will widen a bit. This is where the Appalachian Trail crosses Camp Road. Hawk watchers usually park on the shoulder of the road here. 

The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has an office, lodge and several cabins that they maintain around Catfish Pond. You can drive up to visit their office for maps, books and trail mix and facilities. We try not to leave cars parked in their main parking lot as it usually fills up on weekends.

To get to Raccoon Ridge go southwest on the A.T. across the small stream. The hike is about 2.5 miles each way. It will take an hour at a steady pace. Make sure you leave “coon” an hour (or more) before dark. It can be a tough hike in the dark.