About the Ridge

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Photo: Phil Campbell

About the Kittatinny Ridge and Corridor

The Kittatinny Ridge—also known as Blue Mountain in some regions—runs through Pennsylvania for 185 miles, from the Delaware River to the Mason-Dixon Line. The Ridge is the first prominent landscape feature you encounter as you move north or west from Philadelphia, and it marks the entrance to Pennsylvania’s Ridge and Valley region. It is one of the Commonwealth’s most treasured landscapes, providing the scenic backdrop to life in 12 counties.

The Ridge is home to the world-famous Appalachian Trail and is a Global Important Bird Area. As a premier raptor migration corridor in the northeastern U.S., one of the leading such sites in the world, it is used by tens of thousands of hawks, eagles, and falcons each fall. The Ridge funnels thousands of southbound migrants; lesser numbers also follow the ridgeline north in the spring. Other species in addition to raptors migrate through, including Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Monarch Butterflies. It is home to wildlife of all sorts.

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is among the best known hawk watching sites in the East, but there are several other sites worth a visit as well as many game lands, ski areas and local parks.

KITTATINNY RIDGE BROCHURE

KITTATINNY RIDGE FACT SHEET

BENEFITS OF BEING AN IMPORTANT BIRD AREA

What the Ridge Provides

  • Clean and reliable drinking water
  • A multitude of recreational options, including hiking on the Appalachian Trail, hunting and fishing
  • An abundance of wildlife, including the world-famous fall raptor migration
  • Breathtaking scenery, both from the top of the Ridge and from miles away
  • Economic benefits from the many visitors to the region’s parks, trails, and game lands

Threats to the Landscape

Like most areas along the East Coast, the Kittatinny Ridge and the Appalachian Trail face a host of formidable threats. Chief among them are habitat loss due to residential and commercial development. While the Ridge contains many parks and game lands, the majority of land is privately owned and vulnerable to development in areas with increasing populations. Energy production and transmission looms as potentially the largest threat of the next generation. Siting of wind turbines and high-voltage transmission towers has the potential to disturb large tracts of unbroken forest, degrading habitat for wildlife and decreasing water quality. Overabundant white-tailed deer, invasive exotic plant species, and a changing climate provide added stresses to this natural landscape.   The Kittatinny Coalition was established in 2002 to address these challenges.

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