Delaware Wildlife Area–Cole Road
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Tips for birding Cole Road
There are two eBird hotspots associated with Cole Road.
Cole Road is a loop road which provides access to the Delaware Reservoir. Use the Cole Road hotspot to report birds seen along the road or on the reservoir. See the photo tour below for a description of driving the loop on Cole Road.
The second hotspot may be used to report birds seen on or near the ponds south of Cole Road. There is an old gated road going south from Cole Road which provides easy walking access to the ponds. A scope may be helpful in viewing birds on the larger pond.
About Delaware Wildlife Area
The 4,670-acre Delaware Wildlife Area is situated in central Ohio eight miles north of Delaware, 10 miles south of Marion, and between US-42 and US-23. The wildlife area is adjacent to the Delaware Reservoir and Delaware State Park and can be reached from the east and west by OH-229 and from the south and north by US-23 and County Road 220.
The topography of the area ranges from flat to slightly rolling. The soils are generally well drained and of medium productivity. Approximately 350 acres are under cultivation in row and small grain crops annually. Approximately 50 percent of the wildlife area is in old field habitat consisting of mixed grasses, briars, and small shrubs. Over 10 percent of the area has been planted to prairie grasses, timothy, and clover to provide grassland wildlife habitat.
Nearly 40 percent of the wildlife area consists of second growth hardwoods and brush in advanced stages of succession. The timber stands consist of cottonwood, ash, elm, beech, maple, hickory, oak, and black walnut.
From Delaware Wildlife Area webpage
No restroom facilities in the wildlife area.
Restrooms at locations identified on Delaware State Park map.
A Photo Tour of Cole Road
By Cam Lee
Near the start of the loop, there is a pull off which provides access to one of the several grassy fields on the south side of the road.
At .5 mile, you reach a tee in the road. To the left is an additional parking area, with access to another grassy field. To the right is the continuation of the loop road. This is also the beginning of several views of Delaware Lake. At this juncture, the Olentangy and Whetstone rivers converge.
At .7 mile there is a swampy area that is usually worth checking for birds. From here the road begins to veer away from the lake and is bordered by succession forest on both sides.
Next, you come to a second pull off which, like the first, gives access to the grassy fields. There is a lane connecting the two pull offs which is usually mowed. If walking the loop this can be an alternative to the roadway. This also marks the beginning of woodland on both sides of the road.
The loop road now runs parallel with the lake ( Whetstone River Branch). There are multiple pull offs for lake access through this section.
At 1 mile you will reach the Whetstone River again. This area is a shallow bay and in late summer often has mudflats which you can check for shorebirds. The loop road will continue an additional .3 mile to the starting point.