Bird Watching in Lake County, Ohio
Lake County has long been a magnet destination for birds and birders alike. Over 330 bird species have been reported form the county, and approximately 260 of those, many using the Mississippi Flyway migration route, stop to rest and feed on the Lake Erie shores and parklands of Lake County. Addl info: www.lakeerieohiobirding.info
Headdlands Beach State Park
9601 Headlands Rd., Mentor (take State Route 44 North to Lake Erie)
120-acre lakefront park boasts a mile long natural sand beach – Ohio’s longest. Features guarded swimming beach, restrooms, changing rooms, outdoor showers, 1 1/2 mile paved hiking trail, fishing, playground and large shaded picnic area with grills. To reserve a picnic shelter call (216) 881-8141. Free parking.
9500 Speery Road, Kirtland 44094
(440) 946-4400 The rare Townsend Solitaire is one of the many rare species which visited Holden
Lake Metroparks – Birding
Call (440) 639-7275. Offering six sites, including two along the lakefront; Arcola Creek Park and Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park (fall and winter); plus Chapin Forest Reservation, Penitentiary Glen Reservation, Girdled Road Reservation and Hell Hollow Wilderness Area. Additional sites that are not to be missed include recently opened lakefront access at Lake Erie Bluffs in Perry Township, and Chagrin River Park in Eastlake and Willoughby.
According to Ohio Department of Natural Resources, in 2006 there were an estimated 4.3 million wildlife watchers in Ohio. Approximately 120,000 out-of-state birders visited Ohio in 2006, with Lake Erie being the most popular destination, spending more than $1.2 billion on supplies, lodging, gasoline, travel expenses and food. Every dollar is a boost to Ohio and its local economies. So roll out the welcome mat for birds and the birders! And the next time you are enjoying a beautiful day in Lake County, don’t forget to look up!
Lake Metroparks Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park
301 Huntington Beach Dr. Fairport Harbor 44077. High St., north of Second St. (440) 639-9972. 21-acre lakefront park features restrooms, showers, changing rooms, concessions, an amphitheater, volleyball courts, a playground and picnic area with grills. Food concession open daily, weather permitting, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. A $2 parking fee applies to Lake County residents, $3 for out of county residents. Host site to Lake County Visitors Bureau’s Perch Fest.
Lake Metroparks Penitentiary Glen Reservation
8668 Kirtland-Chardon Rd; Kirtland, OH 44094 440-256-1404
Witness the most beautiful birds in the feeder garden from the comfort of the observation room of the main building. Humming birds dance across the window moving from feeder to feeder in plain view. Beneath are found ducks, geese and chipmunks. A multitude of birds find their way into the garden and are appreciated by all that visit. Staff are available for questions and conversation. Afterwards visitors can see the care given to birds and animals in need at the wildlife rehab center. Bring your camera.
Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve
8365 Harbor Drive, Mentor 44060 (440) 205-3625
The Preserve serves as an important breeding and nursery area for fish and waterfowl and provides a resting place for neo-tropical birds and butterflies as they migrate each year. Golf cart rentals available Mon.-Fri. for seniors and physically challenged.
Carol H. Sweet Nature Center 440-257-0777
During spring and fall migration season over 250 species of birds can be found. Trails are open daily, year-round, dawn to dusk. Home to the Carol H. Sweet Nature Center located at 5185 Corduroy Road and is open to the public on weekends from Noon to 5 p.m., from April through October. Every Sunday at 2 p.m., a guided walk and/or special program is offered. There is no charge and everyone is welcome. Programs for groups are available by appointment at a nominal charge.