Hikers have plenty of opportunities to look up for one and down for the other on this 9.9-mile stroll up and along the Blue Mountain ridge. The AT skirts the side of Hawk Mountain, once a popular raptor hunting area but since 1934 an internationally recognized sanctuary for the study of more than fourteen species of hawks, falcons, and eagles. The birds use the mountain's strong updrafts to carry them south for the winter. More than 80,000 people visit annually. More than 30,000 birds come too, most between mid-August and mid-December. Natural history features: Hawk Mountain; Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Social history features: Dan's Pulpit; Tri-County Corner.