Bolivar, Ohio 44612
Bolivar Dam (US Army Corps of Engineers) webpage
Bolivar Dam Area (Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District) map
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Please note that the Stark-Tuscarawas county line runs east-west just north of the Spillway Fishing Access and then follows the Tuscarawas River. Birders who carefully keep records by county will want to use the hotspots in the appropriate counties.
Tips for birding Bolivar Dam
There is no parking on the dam itself. We tend to bird from car and the traffic is usually non-existent most of the time. Do not park on the dam and start walking, as that is clearly not allowed according to signage.
The east side of the dam represents backwaters from the Sandy Creek area and some adjacent Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District public lands just to the north along Dueber Avenue Southwest. Along the dam section, when flooding occurs, the area can produce waterfowl. Eagles nest in the area. That side is lined with many Sycamore trees. The west side of the dam is a large grassy area that is mowed, so it does not represent great grassland habitat, however it is not unusual to see Horned Larks, Grasshopper Sparrows, and most likely Savannah Sparrows based upon the habitat. A Rough-legged Hawk has been seen intermittently in the area, primarily towards the landfill. The dam does provide a very distant view of the south end of the landfill, where the tarps cover the ground, which does produces roosting gulls in the right conditions, but not consistently and scoping from that distance is a challenge.
From Jon Cefus
About Bolivar Dam
Bolivar Dam is on Sandy Creek of the Tuscarawas River, 183.4 miles above the mouth of the Muskingum River, located in Stark and Tuscarawas Counties of Ohio. The Dam has an impervious core with a cut-off trench and is flanked by pervious zones. The embankment has a maximum height of 87 feet, a crest length of 6300 feet, and a crest width of 25 feet. Constructed primarily for flood control, the maximum flood control pool level of elevation 962.00 feet would encompass 6500 surface acres. There are two levees, Magnolia Levee and East Sparta Levee, within the Bolivar Dam reservoir. Bolivar Dam is a Dry Dam which by definition does not have a permanent pool or lake behind the dam. Only during times of excessive rain and prevention of downstream flooding does the dam retain water creating a temporary pool. Restroom facilities are provided at the Bolivar Dam Day Use Area on a seasonal basis (April – October).
From Bolivar Dam (US Army Corps of Engineers) webpage
Restroom facilities are provided at the Bolivar Dam Day Use Area on a seasonal basis (April – October).