A trip to Bancroft is not complete without a visit to the top of the Eagle's Nest for a panoramic view of the York river Valley below.
High upon Bancrofts "Eagle's Nest" you get a panoramic view of the York River Country side and the rolling hills sprawled along the horizon.
Historian Mike Burns speaks of legends clustering about it like precious crystal about their core, a narrative poem, translated from a Native document telling of the days when Aboriginal scouts scanned the river and horizon for enemies, friends and animals for hunting.
Many a poet, photographer and artist tried to capture the beauty of the Eagles Nest through words, photos and paintings. The true beauty of the eagles nest lies in spirit lifting sensation you get when at the top.
Just when the eagles left their mountain is difficult to determine. The story goes that in the summer of 1883 the screams of a child playing out doors brought Mr. and Mrs. Gaebel into their yard where a great eagle was attempting to carry off a small child. Mr. and Mrs. Gaebel attacked the eagle until it flew away, the child was unharmed.
The Gaebels and their neighbors decided that the eagles would have to go and plans were made to remove the eggs from the nest in an evergreen tree growing partway up the cliff of the Eagle's Nest. Being to high to reach from the ground, 12 year old William Gaebel was lowered by rope from the top of the Eagle's Nest down to the tree, were he destroyed the eggs. Ever since then the Eagles went away.
There are other occasions between 1900 and 1902 where eagles were spotted soaring over the Eagles Nest.
Eagles continued to frequent the nearby Conroy Marsh until recently, the last recorded reference appeared in a January 1918 issue of the Bancroft Times where a young man named Sararas shot an American Eagle.
The wooden white cross that stood for many years on top of the Eagle's Nest has been replaced with a new wooden cross. A plaque with the following inscription is by the cross.
"Cross was dedicated by the honorable Pauline M. McGibbon Lieutenant Governor of Ontario on the occasion of the interdenominational Church Service Bancroft Centennial year August 5, 1979."
A platform has been built for watching the many hawks that have been seen.
Each year the raptor migration follows the rising thermals of warm air over the Eagles Nest, where Golden Eagles once roosted or perched.
Broad Wings, Red Tails, Red Shoulders, Merlins and Kestrels have been observed in spring, summer & fall.
The view on top of the Eagle's Nest is even more spectacular during the fall colors. Often in the winter Ice climbers can be seen scaling the ice that builds up on the face of the Eagle's Nest as well as rock climbers in the summer.
Today the Eagle's Nest is accessible by car. There is a place to park at the top of the steep road that winds its way up to the lookout. The "eagles nest" is a perfect location to have a family outing hiking the trails observing flora and fauna.