You Can See an Insane Number of Bald Eagles on This 5-Mile Run Near Philly

Conowingo Dam is THE place for bald eagle viewing.

Carl Ewald snapped this photo on a visit to Conowingo Dam. Photograph by Carl Ewald

About an hour and 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia is Conowingo Dam. While it’s pretty well known as a gathering ground for bald eagles each year, what may be lesser known is it’s also a great place to go for a run.

While most people heading to Conowingo Dam come armed with cameras — over 100 bald eagles converge there to feed on fish, which makes for some pretty spectacular photo ops — Run Fest executive director Carl Ewald likes to observe the birds while taking a jog.

“The dam lies where the Susquehanna straddles the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland on Route 1 and there’s a great flat rail-to-trail route that follows the Susquehanna River,” says Ewald. “Get a nice five mile run in by following the trail to the Susquehanna and making a left. It is a simple out and back with the dam as your turn around.”

The eagles congregate around the dam starting in October and remain in the area through January, reports the Washington PostThat means that this is a run that you can really only do in the winter — and now’s a great time to go. We have a feeling it’ll be worth your time; Ewald says on one trip he saw almost 50 of the majestic birds.

To run Ewald’s route, he recommends parking at the Susquehanna State Park near the intersection of Stafford Road and Craig’s Corner Road. Then, just hop on the running trail, jog along Deer Creek towards the river, then follow it north towards the dam.

“Just do not expect to PR, because you will lose a lot of time to gawking,” says Ewald.