Lake Erie Bluffs Metropark
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Ohio Birding Day Hike
Lake Erie Bluffs Trails
Use the Clark Road parking area to begin a 4-mile hike which combines 4 of the trails in the Lake Erie Bluffs Metropark. From Clark Road hike the Eagle View Loop Trail (.6 mile) counterclockwise. After passing the observation tower take the Shoreline Trail down to Lake Erie and follow it for .6 mile. Next hike up the bluff to the Bluff Loop Trail (1.1 mile). Turn right and hike this trail counterclockwise. At the junction of the Shoreline Trail and the Lakeview Trail, take the Lakeview Trail (.6 mile) back toward Clark Road. When you encounter the Eagle View Loop Trail, take it to the right to return to the parking lot.
Tips for birding Lake Erie Bluffs Metropark
Lake Erie Metropark is a stop on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.
Lake Erie Bluffs is a relatively newly opened area along Lake Erie in North Perry. Trails cut through honeysuckle thickets can have large numbers of migrants. It is the best place in the country to find Yellow-breasted Chat. Be sure to also check nearby Lakeshore Reservation as that small park can also have large numbers of migrants in spring.
From Haans Petruschke
About Lake Erie Bluffs Metropark
The 600-acre Lake Erie Bluffs property will permanently protect a significant amount of wetland, meadow and mostly undeveloped lakefront habitat used by rare and common plant and animal species.
Amazingly, the property remains largely unspoiled by previous development. The mix of 40-foot high beach bluffs and open sandy and cobble beach across 9,000 feet of shoreline are the site’s dominant features. The beach area hosts trees, shrubs and small plants including the majority of the park’s rare plants.
Visitors can enjoy low-impact recreational activities such as hiking and fishing at this new park. Improvements made to enhance public use include parking lots, restrooms, and installation of gravel trails with scenic overlooks and two grand access point to a natural beach along Lake Erie.
Lake Erie Bluffs adds to the big picture. Lake County Port Authority Executive Director Mark Rantala explains, “It’s another piece of the shoreline and I think — especially a piece of the shoreline that has public access — that’s really important.”
From Lake Erie Bluffs Metropark webpage
The 1.6 miles of wild, natural beach at the Lake Erie Bluffs is one of the largest undeveloped stretches of shore along Ohio’s coast. The passive recreation nature preserve can be accessed north of US-20 (North Ridge Road) via Lane and Blackmore roads. Parking lots and restrooms are found off both Lane and Clark roads.
Acquisition of the 600-acre preserve by Lake Metroparks was made possible through a multi-year process by federal, state, local, and non-profit partners working together to provide a variety of grants and funding sources. The bluffs opened in June 2012 with land added through 2013.
Pebbles and rocks are mixed throughout the sand at the preserve’s beach, at the back of which stretches 20 to 30-foot tall bluffs from which the site’s name is derived. The bluffs play an important role in the formation of the shore by providing sand that makes up the coastal beaches. The bluffs are also a rare habitat for many endangered and threatened species that have been recorded on site. The preserve’s upland areas include woodlands, wetlands, and meadows used by rare and common plant and animal species along with migrating birds and butterflies.
Lake Erie Bluffs is open sunrise to sunset. There is no lifeguard on duty and swimming is at your own risk. Kayaks and canoes may be launched from the beach, but must be carried down the graded gravel trails from the parking lots to the water. Trails also meander through upland areas of the site.
Restrooms at locations identified on Lake Erie Bluffs Metropark map.