Sears Woods State Nature Preserve

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Crawford County

Sears Woods State Nature Preserve
Coordinates: 40.7759349, -83.0428112
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Ohio Birding Day Hike
Sears Woods Trails
Sears Woods, in the Sandusky River Important Bird Area, has two trails: the 1.25-mile Hiking Trail that loops through the woods, and a smaller, mown-path through a meadow that’s known as the Bluebird Box Trail. The loop trail meanders through a mature upland forest, upon bluffs overlooking the Sandusky River, and winds its way through old field habitat. The trail is marked with orange flagging to keep hikers on the path during autumn leaf fall.

There is a description with map and photos of a hike on the loop trail in the TrekOhio website.

About Sears Woods State Nature Preserve
+ Large old-growth trees
+ Excellent spring wildflowers
+ Parking area
+ Trail system

Sears Woods is named in honor of the nationally renowned Yale professor of ecology, Paul B. Sears from whose family this preserve was purchased in 1986. It is an impressive beech-maple old-growth woodland adjacent to the Sandusky River. The preserve contains one of the best remaining fragments of the once extensive forest which covered this region of the state. The month of May is a good time to visit for viewing the outstanding display of spring wildflowers.

Located in Crawford County, 1 mile southwest of Bucyrus on OH-4; proceed 2 miles west on Mount Zion Road. A parking lot and trail system are available.
From Sears Woods State Nature Preserve webpage

Not just a gem for Crawford County, but for all of Ohio, Sears Woods is an awesome example of what a mature forest looks like. Situated 1.5 miles southwest of Bucyrus, Sears Woods encompasses 137 acres. Its 1-mile loop trail meanders through a mature upland forest, upon bluffs overlooking the Sandusky River, and winds its way through old field habitat. The trail is marked with orange flagging to keep hikers on the path during autumn leaf fall.

Sears Woods has an abundant display of wildflowers, especially in spring. They blanket the forest floor under a canopy of towering maples, oaks, cherries, and hickories. The trees themselves are giants, relics of days gone by when large trees would have been the norm. The forest provides many spectacular views during the fall season, as the colors mix and mingle, offering photographers excellent shots. Sounds of woodpeckers in the winter months can be heard as they battle squirrels for nuts; deer flee from view as their white tail disappears into the forest. Chorusing Wood Frogs call from the ephemeral pools in late winter. Flocks of migrating songsters – warblers, thrushes, vireos, tanagers – work their way through Sears Woods in the spring, looking for caterpillars to sustain their energy. Some bird species stay and can be heard through the spring and into the summer, just as the singing insects begin to fill the air with their songs.

Sears Woods is jointly owned with the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. The Park District maintains a management agreement with them to ensure the use of Sears Woods as a public State Nature Preserve. It was purchased in 1986 from Paul Sears (1891-1990), the well-known ecologist and conservationist from Crawford County.
From Sears Woods State Nature Preserve (Crawford County Park District) webpage

No restroom facilities.