Rocky Fork State Park–South Beach and Boat Ramp
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Tips for birding Rocky Fork State Park
Rocky Fork Lake is located between Hillsboro and Bainbridge. This is a large (about 3000 acre) lake with well developed beaches and marinas, and campground. Since there is a lot of boating, water-skiing, and other activities, it is not a good place to bird during summer and early autumn. On the other hand, winter and early spring can be very productive. The lake is not lowered in winter so there is always plenty of water that seldom freezes over completely. The best times to bird are during the week when the traffic is at its lowest. In about fifteen years of birding in the area we have listed about 135 species, but more should be present. There are primitive restrooms all around the lake, but most will be locked during winter.
Open all year during daylight hours.
From Ohio Ornithological Society
About Rocky Fork State Park
Rocky Fork State Park nestled in 1,384 acres in Highland County derives its name from the stream flowing through the park. This stream, winding over dolomite limestone, has eroded spectacular gorges and caves which we can enjoy today.
Present-day Rocky Fork Creek flows through an ancient valley. Blocked by glacial ice more than 12,000 years ago, the stream reversed direction and rapidly cut the 75-foot gorge seen today. Caves in the region formed as rainwater, trickling through the limestone, dissolved the bedrock. Dolomite limestone is particularly vulnerable to this type of weathering. Sullivantia, extremely rare in Ohio, blooms in the gorge. The small white flowers can be seen from the moist cliff face in mid-summer. Other wildflowers include wild geranium, jewelweed, yarrow and Queen Anne’s lace.
Rocky Fork provides habitat for numerous waterfowl, songbirds, raccoons, skunk, red fox and white-tailed deer. The wetlands in the park are home to the green frog, bullfrog, opossum, and muskrat.
From Rocky Fork State Park webpage
Restrooms and handicap accessible facilities at locations identified on Rocky Fork State Park map.