Kilby Road Gravel Pits
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Tips for birding Kilby Road Gravel Pits
The Smith Tract parking lot at the “Brown Barn” on the east side of Kilby Road provides views of the large gravel pit to the south, which is not park property. Birders also view this gravel pit from the Whitewater Township Senior Center fields off Dry Fork Road on the opposite corner of the pit (see map below).
The western side of Kilby Road has more “unlisted” publicly accessible Hamilton County Park property. It is a bit more grown up and provides some Whitewater River access. (See map below.) The park district also owns the tract directly north of this that is split by the railroad easement, and goes all the way to Kilby road directly opposite of Smith tract. This is where the parking access is and the gravel road is walkable to the public through the gravel pits past the railroad tracks. The habitat includes riparian woods and river access. This western portion is where Bell’s Vireo was reported in 2020.
From Brian Wulker
Kilby Road Tract, just about 2 miles south of the Campbell Lakes Preserve along Kilby Road and the Whitewater River, has been acquired by the Hamilton County Park District. The site is signed as a Hamilton County Park District preserve but is so new that the tract has not been developed or much publicized to date. The area consists of approximately 300 acres located on both the east and west side of Kilby Road. Part of the property was a former gravel mining operation and the acreage includes several large ponds or gravel “pits”. Most of the habitat here is open and scrubby grassy fields and the habitat and birds are similar to those at the Campbell Lakes Preserve with the notable exception of Grasshopper and Lark Sparrows. As many as 6 singing male Grasshopper Sparrows were present the past two summers and breeding was confirmed. In the summer of 2008, a pair of Lark Sparrows nested here. Blue Grosbeaks are also regularly found here during the summer and at least two pairs have nested. Blue Grosbeaks are actually uncommon to locally fairly common summer residents throughout the Great Miami and Whitewater River valleys. They seem to have a particular affinity for abandoned gravel pits and other scrubby disturbed habitats in this region.
Kilby Ponds are located in western Hamilton County. Take I-275 Kilby Road Exit # 21. From the cloverleaf exit ramp turn left (north) onto Kilby Road and go north on Kilby about 1.7 miles to a small Parking Lot on the right (east) side of the road. Be advised that this parking lot is poorly marked. There is a Hamilton County Park District sign, but it can be easily missed. Look for a beige colored utility barn that sits a bit off the road.
From Birding Cincinnati
No restroom facilities.