At this point in Darcy and Elizabeth’s Boots & Backpacks hike, readers get to meet a couple of important characters: Marianne Dashwood and Christopher Brandon! They both work at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the world’s oldest educational and scientific organization dedicated to the conservation of raptors.
Marianne meets Darcy and Elizabeth along the Appalachian Trail and hosts them for a few days. Late summer and autumn is the best time to visit Hawk Mountain, because 20,000 hawks, eagles, and falcons pass overhead during their southern migration every year. Visitors gather mainly at the North Lookout and the South Lookout to observe and count the birds of prey.
Another famous feature that Darcy and Elizabeth explore at Hawk Mountain is the River of Rocks, a 2/3-mile-long boulder field deposited during the last Ice Age. You can see it from afar in the image above – the thin line in the valley that sort of looks like a river – or below from close up.
About five miles south of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is The Pinnacle, a 1,615-foot peak along the Kittatinny Ridge said to offer one of the best views on the Appalachian Trail. Darcy, Elizabeth, Chris, and Marianne hike up The Pinnacle in Chapter 15 of Boots & Backpacks.
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