Located on the Appalachian Trail (AT) along the Kittatinny Ridge (Blue Mountain) are two places which offer spectacular views of the distant mountains and valleys below. Baers Rock and Bake Oven Knob are less than 2 miles apart. The Kittatinny Ridge has been designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon Pennsylvania.
From Route 309 approximately 2 miles north of New Tripoli, turn right onto Mountain Road (SR 4024). Turn left on Ulrich Road which is initially paved. In approximately half a mile, the paved road goes right. Continue straight ahead, still on Ulrich, now a gravel road. It meets Bake Oven Road coming in from the right (no sign). Continue straight ahead. The road from here on is Bake Oven Road. It is about 1.5 miles to the game lands parking area on the right at the top of the ridge. Bake Oven Knob is located at latitude – longitude coordinates (also called lat – long coordinates or GPS coordinates) of N 40.748706 and W -75.7338.
The trailhead is at the far end of the parking lot. Access to the knob is via the Appalachian Trail. Follow the trail (white blazed markers on the trees) east for about 0.4 miles to the top of Bake Oven Knob at 1,560 feet above sea level. The short hike to the top is a steep and rocky climb. Hiking shoes are recommended. The Knob, with views off cliffs to the north and south, is an internationally recognized vantage point for viewing fall hawk migrations. The southern view, 50 feet to the right of the trail, is the better of the two. The peak time at Bake Oven to see raptors migrating south from breeding grounds in the northern United States and Canada is mid to late September. Up to fourteen types of raptors have been spotted in a single day. Eagles, hawks, falcons, ospreys, cormorants, geese and swans can all be seen using the autumn winds and thermal updrafts to ride along the mountain ridge top. Also at the summit hikers can inspect the concrete foundation remains of an old tower that served as an airplane beacon.
Baers Rock is 1.4 miles west on the AT from the parking area along a grassy and rocky earthen path. Baers Rock is 150 feet off the trail to the right. It will take some climbing up the large rocks for a great 360-degree view at 1,500 feet above sea level. It is also a good spot to watch for hawks and vultures.
There are no restrooms in the parking area or on the trail. Leashed dogs are permitted on the AT. Take care when climbing over rocks that can be slippery when wet. Bake Oven Knob should be avoided during the rifle deer hunting season. Hunting is not permitted along the Appalachian Trail; however it borders State Game Lands 217. There is no hunting allowed on Sundays in Pennsylvania. For dates of hunting seasons and blaze orange clothing requirements visit the PA Game Commission website.