WHAT YOUR TOUR WILL BE LIKE
Location: Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area and Saline County Conservation Area
Sahara Woods is located just west of Harrisburg and Saline County Conservation Area is about 10 miles east of Harrisburg.
This is a trip for songbird enthusiasts.
Sahara Woods is an abandoned coal mining tract. It is largely flat with expanses of grassland, dense forests and several lakes. During the summer months, the fields are filled with blue grosbeaks, indigo buntings, dickcissels and various species of sparrows.
The wooded areas, particularly the path around Sahara Lake is a warbler haven in the spring and early summer months. In addition, the woods are home to chickadees, titmice, tanagers, kinglets and several species of woodpeckers.
The path around Sahara Woods is flat and well-maintained. If you are capable of walking, hiking the trail is highly recommended.
Bald eagles are a common visitor in the winter months.
Saline County Conservation provides more hills and beautiful Glen O. Jones Lake. The 110-acre lake will remind you of a lake found tucked into a Rocky Mountain valley.
Baltimore and orchard orioles are frequently seen flitting about the trees bordering the north side of the lake. Other typical forest birds – chickadees, titmice and kinglets are also present in good numbers. Bluebirds are also plentiful near the lake.
Walking the lake trail, which features some modest changes in elevation, can be rewarding, particularly in the spring. The trail features excellent opportunities to view warblers, Swainson’s and hermit thrush, and tanagers. Various woodpecker species, brown creepers and brown thrashers are also commonly spotted.
In the fall and winter, the lake generally has a substantial population of Canada geese. There are also opportunities to view diving ducks.
In the spring, the drive from Harrisburg to Saline County Conservation Area takes visitors through areas frequented by trumpeter swans.