Shagger's Inn, a shallow water impoundment , provides critical wetland habitat for an abundance of wildlife and a close, secluded spot to canoe, kayak, fish, hunt, wildlife watch & picnic. The wetland contains one of the few nesting areas in PA for Osprey. Waterfowl is common in spring and fall. The surrounding Moshannon State Forest is an excellent place to find Scarlet Tanager, Purple Finch and Wild Turkey. Other wildlife includes beaver, black bear and white-tailed deer.
Oasis Of Sights And Sounds, Surrounded By State Forestland
Croaking complaints all the way, the predatory shorebird surrenders its feeding grounds. Measured wingbeats carry it from a snag and before two intruders at water’s edge.
The novice birder in me tracks a blue heron skimming the 20-acre lake. Then I look beyond its flight path: the angler sees shallows and depths rich with panfish, chain pickerel and largemouth bass. The waterfowler sees Canadas and mallards on the water and anticipates fall flocks to come.
And the farmer among us? He sees it all, and more. Before us is the bumper crop of his annual efforts. His harvest is the satisfaction others like me find when he guides them to his special wild place.
“Isn’t this something?” asks Wade M. Dixon as we step from the cool, green anonymity of state forest hardwoods.
“Shaggers Inn Shallow Water Impoundment.” So says the Moshannon State Forest map, but the label does not do this forest oasis justice. On this section of Clearfield County plateau, flooded when a Medix Run tributary was dammed, one finds the serenity of a waterway cloaked in wilderness.
“This is not a state park,” said Dixon, a district forest maintenance supervisor. “You won’t find comfort stations, or other buildings, but you do have a chance to experience true wilderness.”
The birder, angler, boater and hunter saw it all that day, guided by a man his Moshannon Forest District colleagues lightheartedly call “the gentleman farmer.” For years now he’s polished this gem in the necklace of natural treasures that is Moshannon. He keeps the farm equipment running, the food plots growing. Some at first saw problems; he saw only potential. At this special spot, he now sees something else. When evening shadows creep across hillside fields flanking the lakes, that’s when they come: white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, and more. All feeding among sunflower, sorghum and grasses planted by Miller and his crews.
“In the evening they’ll all be up there feeding,” said Miller, waving a heavily calloused hand. “In the fall we don’t harvest anything here, the wildlife does it all.”
Shaggers Inn - Directions
(dirt road, no winter maintenance)
Moshannon State Forest Public Use Map available at:
Bureau of Forestry,