eBird Bar Charts by Season
Tips for birding Edgewater Park
This is a unit of the Lakefront Reservation located just west of downtown. Drive west on the Memorial Shoreway (OH-2) and watch for the Edgewater exit. This is a large park with a marina, playing fields, breakwalls, beach access, sheltered picnic tables and a fishing pier. Follow the road that passes east around the yacht club and park near the boat ramps for the Edgewater Marina. A breakwall extends out into the lake along the west side of the water treatment plant. Walking out this wall provides a good view of a breakwall protected portion of the lake excellent for gulls and waterfowl. Continue west on the shoreway to West Boulevard and turn north. Shortly, you will enter the upper portion of the park. The bluff to the left (sometimes called Perkins Beach) overlooks a slightly protected bend in the shoreline where gulls and waterfowl may congregate. The upper parking area is an excellent lookout spot for spring hawk migration.
From Dick Hoffman
The Lakefront Reservation is a stop on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.
Tips for birding Burke Lakefront Airport and East 55th Marina
Burke Airport occupies a stretch of the downtown Cleveland lakefront from roughly East 9th Street east to near East 55th Street. From the Memorial Shoreway (OH-2) exit at East 9th, proceed north to North Marginal Drive and turn right, or exit OH-2 at East 55th Street, proceed north to North Marginal and turn left. Besides the airport itself, several marinas and the Cleveland Public Power plant provide good views of protected waters that may harbor interesting waterfowl and gulls. As you proceed parallel to the airport runways, stop at the gates along the fence to view the grassy areas and pools of casual water for shorebirds, Horned Larks, and American Pipits, and watch for flocks of longspurs and Snow Buntings bouncing along the runways. Midway along North Marginal is a rise of land supporting a crossover to the Municipal Parking lot. From this elevated spot, scope the grassy spaces between the runways for shorebirds, Peregrine Falcons, and Snowy Owls. At the eastern end of North Marginal, follow East 55th Street north and east to a unit of the Cleveland Lakefront State Park. Here you will find a marina, concession stand, picnic tables and a fishing pier. Scan the gulls loafing on the marina docks for rarities and look for interesting waterfowl in the protected marina lagoon as well as offshore. In winter, the marina docks and the offshore breakwall are good places to look for Snowy Owls.
From Dick Hoffman
Tips for birding Gordon Park and East 72nd Street
These adjacent units of the Lakefront Reservation provide lake access as well as some limited habitat for migrant passerines. The upper portion of Gordon Park, which houses a park ranger and watercraft licensing station, is an attractive place for nesting and wintering Mockingbirds. From the Memorial Shoreway, which has been joined by I-90 east of downtown, exit at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and proceed north. The East 72nd Street and lower Gordon portions can be reached by turning west on the marginal road which parallels I-90. East 72nd Street provides a good view of the lake including an intake channel for the nearby CEI plant that offers some sheltered water for waterfowl. Lower Gordon Park contains a marina, boat ramps, and a sheltered lagoon. Upper Gordon Park is reached by continuing north on MLK Blvd until it turns right, becoming Lake Shore Blvd. Proceed east as the road curves and goes up a hill. Take the first left at the top of the hill and bear left into the park headquarters. Upper Gordon overlooks an Army Corps of Engineers diked landfill, known as Dike 14, formerly used to contain dredgings from the harbor channels. This was formerly an excellent shorebird spot but has been filled to the point where it no longer provides suitable habitat. It is now the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve. Check the landfill walls for Snowy Owl in winter and watch for Harriers, Red-tailed and Rough-legged Hawks. Check the pines near the headquarters building for migrant Pine Warbler, and walk the fence along the landfill for sparrows and thrushes.
From Dick Hoffman
About the Lakefront Reservation
In 2013, Cleveland Metroparks assumed management of certain Lakefront State properties which include Edgewater Park, East 55th Street Marina, Gordon Park, Euclid Beach Park, Villa Angela and Wildwood Park. While the City of Cleveland will continue to own the properties, Cleveland Metroparks holds a 99-year lease to manage and enhance the parks, with a commitment to outstanding stewardship. Euclid Beach Park, Villa Angela Park, and Wildwood Park join Euclid Creek Reservation, while Edgewater Park, East 55th Street Marina and Gordon Park comprise Cleveland Metroparks newest reservation, Lakefront Reservation.
From beaches to boat ramps, fitness trails to fishing piers, Lakefront Reservation is a true gem in the “Emerald Necklace” anchoring Cleveland Metroparks presence on the shores of Lake Erie. Located in Cleveland, Lakefront Reservation is made up of three very distinct properties, Edgewater Park, Gordon Park and East 55th Street Marina.
Edgewater Park with its 6,000 feet of shoreline features two beaches, a playground, reservable pavilions and one of the best views of downtown Cleveland. A nearby fishing pier provides anglers access to Lake Erie while the boat ramps offer one of the few public boating access points on the west side of the city. Edgewater Beach, a 900-foot swimming beach is open with lifeguards daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. through mid-August.
Gordon Park was donated to the City of Cleveland by William J. Gordon in 1893 who stipulated the park always be open to the public and remain Gordon Park. Part of an Audubon Important Birding Area, Gordon Park provides the best viewing for a large number of diverse and rare gulls and ducks. The 1.3 miles of armored coastline and onshore fishing platforms provide excellent fishing opportunities and is known for winter catches of steelhead and salmon.
Anglers and boaters can take advantage of the 1,200-foot fishing platform, eight transient docks and concession facility at the East 55th Street Marina.
The 17-mile Cleveland Lakefront Bike Trail traces the Lake Erie shoreline providing access to Edgewater Park, the East 55th Street Marina, Gordon Park, Euclid Beach Park, Villa Angela Park, and Wildwood Park.