The word ‘eco-lodge’ may call to mind exotic Costa Rican vacations, but a green travel destinations may be closer than you think. The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle, located at the heart of the Pennsylvannia park system, is the case in point.
This LEED Gold certified hotel sits in the middle of Bald Eagle State Park, near State College, in the center of the state. The Centre Daily reports that it makes use of geothermal heating and cooling, a solar thermal array (for hot water), Forest Stewardship Council-certified building materials throughout, a rainwater harvesting system (supplying water to dual flush toilets), and regionally sourced materials. During construction of the Inn, about 73 percent of construction debris was diverted from landfills.
The Inn also gives visitors a chance to check out green features outdoors–specifically, the birds that make their home in Bald Eagle State Park. Free resources included in the price of a stay include birding backpacks, spotting scopes, field guides and an e-tracking kiosk for logging or looking up recent sightings within the park. Birds are also part of the Inn’s decor, from the tracks leading into the front lobby to the Audubon and Ned Smith prints in each room, to the personal bird scope waiting each visitor on their deck.
The Nature Inn is located at the southernmost edge of the Pennsylvania Wilds, a 12-county region in the state’s northern tier known for its outdoor recreation, natural beauty, and yes, birds.