eBird Bar Charts by Season
Ohio Birding Day Hike
Shawnee Lookout Trails
Blue Jacket Trail – 1.3 miles – moderate
Smell the rich aroma of the northern spicebush as you enter the trail. Look for small yellow blooms in the spring and their bright red fruit in the summer. Further on, look for tall prairie plants in the clearings. View the oxbow from the overlook above the Great Miami River. The oxbow hosts many waterfowl species. Bald eagles are commonly seen cruising the river as are black vultures, red-tailed hawks and the occasional osprey. Looking down you may find an eastern box turtle crossing your path. Looking up, watch for woodland birds such as ovenbirds, wood thrush, rufous-sided towhees and gray catbirds.
Little Turtle Trail – 2 miles – moderate
Breathtaking overlooks of the Ohio River characterize this trail. The likelihood of catching sight of a bald eagle late winter to early spring is high as they’re scouting out nesting sites. The contrast of the white head and tail feathers against the dark body and its massive size are unmistakable. Listen for downy woodpeckers, or the much larger (at least as large as a crow) pileated woodpecker “knocking” on trees to pry insects from them. You might even hear their laughter as they speed by. Visible from the trail is a prehistoric burial mound from the Woodland period, dating between approximately 1000 BC and 1000 AD. Of the over 10,000 earthworks in Ohio, nearly 40 of them are found in this park. Flint artifacts, such as knives, drills and spear points, as well as stone pestles, hammers and tablets, were left behind to tell the story of over 14,000 years of history of this space.
Miami Fort Trail – 1.4 miles – moderate
Enter the Miami Fort earthwork, built by the Adena and Hopewell cultures, dating back nearly 3,000 years ago. Notice the high, constructed berms to your right as you enter the fort, possible used for water retention and agricultural irrigation. Look for other burial mounds along the trail also constructed by the Adena and Hopewell cultures. View the confluence of the Great Miami River and Ohio River at the point. Indiana and Kentucky are also visible. Keep your eyes open for American bald eagles and black vultures soaring on the updrafts from the river. Commonly found on the trail are Fowler’s toads, zebra swallowtails and their host plant the pawpaw tree, cerulean warblers, American redstarts and fox squirrels.
The AllTrails website has descriptions with maps of hikes on all 3 of the trails at Shawnee Lookout.
About Shawnee Lookout
Shawnee Lookout is well known for its historical Springhouse School and Log Cabin, Indian archaeological earthworks and nature trails, including the 1.3-mile Blue Jacket, 2.0-mile Little Turtle, and the 1.4-mile Miami Fort trail that offers a spectacular view of the Great Miami River. The park also offers boat access to the Great Miami River, picnic areas, and playground.
Ulmansiek Wildlife Sanctuary is a 263-acre of seasonally flooded riparian habitat located along the Great Miami River and noted for the wide variety of migratory waterfowl that use it as a resting area. An additional 914 acres are wetlands located adjacent to the park and are protected through conservation easements. The area provides valuable habitat for a variety of wildlife.
From Shawnee Lookout webpage
Restrooms at locations identified on Shawnee Lookout map.