Arcola Creek Park
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Arcola Creek Park is a stop on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.
This natural estuary along Lake Erie can have shorebirds if water levels are low.
About Arcola Creek Park
The town of Ellensburg was built at the junction of Arcola Creek and Lake Erie. It was a thriving community of shipbuilders, fishermen, and commerce. The Arcole Iron Works was located south of the mouth of the creek (then called Cunningham Creek after Captain John Cunningham who purchased property there in the early 1800s). Arcole Iron Works was, at one time, the largest industry in Ohio. Bog iron, discovered in Madison Township near North Ridge Road in 1812, and the abundance of timber provided the raw materials for iron furnaces. Iron stoves, kettles, hollowware, and other heavy castings were made at the foundry.
Lake Metroparks Arcola Creek Park is a place where the fresh waters of the creek mix with the waves of Lake Erie. It is one of the last remaining natural estuaries in Ohio. Steelhead trout spawn and migratory birds find shelter here. The Nature Conservancy, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and Friends of Arcola Creek (a Lake County preservation group) have all been instrumental in the preservation of the natural refuge.
Lake Metroparks now manages 153 acres of land called Arcola Creek Park through an agreement with the Lake County Commissioners.
From Arcola Creek Park webpage
The 62-acre Arcola Creek Park is a Lake Metroparks-owned and managed park located at the northern end of Dock Road at Lakeshore Boulevard in Madison Township.
The site features one of Ohio’s few natural Lake Erie estuaries. An estuary is a transition zone where freshwater from a river is mixed with water from a lake or ocean. Estuaries are ecologically-sensitive habitats that provide sanctuary for many native plant and animal species and filter pollutants that would otherwise impact the lake.
In the early 1800s, the area surrounding Arcola Creek at Lake Erie was a thriving ship building and industrial community known as Ellensburg. Industrial activity faded in the 1850s.
The estuary and floodplain have been restored back to a natural setting. Arcola Creek Park features a beach, observation deck and fishing access. The 0.16-mile gravel-surfaced Wickert Trail leads to the beach. In 2013, the park district acquired 30 acres, increasing the length of creek frontage from 1,600 feet to 4,900 feet.
From Lake Erie Public Access Guide
Restrooms on site.